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Listed in 1 collection

Listed at 1 museum

Listed for 1 maker

Quick Details

Carriage Type

Market Float

Date of Production

early 20th century

Accession or Inventory Number

NT 1152554

Materials used

Paint, Wood, Iron, Rubber

Summary of Market Float

This float is a stylish well-built example for general purpose use. The builders, Lamble and Co were based in Liverpool which is interesting as Pickering, who gave their name to this type of float, also had a workshop there. 

Pickering Floats were most commonly used for delivering milk as the floor of the vehicle is fairly low to the ground enabling customers to hold their pails under the tap of the churn. This particular example was more likely to have been used for transporting livestockt o market as it has been adapted with high slatted sides and is a large vehicle, too high for milk churns.


Height: 6ft ½”

Length: 12ft 6”

Width: 5ft 11/2”

Wheel Diameter: 4ft 6 ½”

Full description

On first appearance it is clear that this float has been adapted at some point to accommodate more stock to take to market. The float itself is completely original but the side front and back have been heightened by some two feet at a slightly later date. Setting aside these later but still old additions the float has a lovely profile and is rather well built. 

The top rail of the body of the carriage is sheered off on each side, this with a front rail that curves upwards in the centre soften the appearance aesthetically. The body is framed with ash and has mahogany panels with mock cane work inserted around the middle on the sides and back, an unusual feature on a float. In the centre of each side panel is a shaped board bolted to the top edge. It has straight sides and curves up in the centre, clearly designed to carry a sign written name and trade.  Splashguards are bolted to this panel on each side. They curve up at the centre and sit quite high above the wheels. 

The back panel is made in a way that originally enabled it to be completely removed, but the later addition of a hinge at the bottom of the panel now prevents this. Fitted on top of the body of the float are slated side extensions for carrying stock. This structure slots on iron supports into three sockets on the sides. The style of the ironwork is different to the rest on the float which suggests it was a later addition.

On the back upper most corners of the float are forged grab handles. At the front is a rein rail and, as with the splash guards is bolted to a panel designed to carry a trade name.  The rail has been made completely dysfunctional by the addition of the extra height on the body of the float. 

A seat runs on a runner which stretches the entire length of the body with holes to secure it placed every three or so inches. The driver’s seat had a central support to the floor with a fixed seat back. The passenger seat has a folding seat back and a hinged seat board allowing more space for stock in the float when folded up. Both seat backs are nicely curved with beautifully made curved and tapered supports.

For access to the float one would expect a step at the back. This appears to be missing. There may be holes on the underside of the body to the attachment of a step. A lamp bracket is bolted to the front corner posts of the body on each side. 

The wheels are 16 spoke warner pattern with rubber tyres they have mail axles with a cranked shaft. Side springs with a double curvature form the suspension on the float. The shafts are on fulcrum stays from the front of the body of the float and have leather coverings at the points of the breeching staples and tug stops.  Pig tail hooks are fitted to the front of the body of the float.

The float is varnished with sham cane work on the sides and back which is painted a pale yellow. The springs and wheels are also painted pale yellow with fine black lining.  A brass plaque is bolted to the side panel towards the front with the name of the owner.



On a metal plaque: Philip Yorke Esqre Erddig Park Wrexham

Condition report

In good sound condition and with the exception of new rubber tyres and the slatted sides adding extra height which were made some time ago, perhaps not long after the float was built, it is completely original.

The float may benefit from being displayed the other way round or at a slight angle so that the viewer can really appreciated the craft that went into building this vehicle.

Access information

This Market Float is in the care of The National Trust, Erddig.



LL13 0YT

Picture credit

The National Trust / Amy Bracey / Robert Lovell