Promotional pencils from Grandad Lane’s business. The house was littered with these pencils when we were kids, so I’m glad a few have survived for posterity. Unlike the rest of my family, Charles Harrison Lane came from an upper middle class background, with aristocratic connections. His father, however, disgraced the family in some way (a forged or fraudulent document was involved) and was banished to America for several years, and young Charles ended up working as a chauffeur to to earn a living. This is how he met my grandmother Peggy, who was in service as a lady’s companion; they were married in 1915 just before he went to fight in the first world war (and separated in the 1930s, but that’s another story). Later Charles ran a business as a car mechanic and radio engineer in Hammersmith, west London, in a mews subsequently demolished to make way for Hammersmith broadway and the Novotel. These pencils (bearing the proud but archaic statement “British made”) advertise the business, with the following words:
CHAS H. LANE
Automobile & Electrical Engineer & Contractor
1-5 Montague Mews, Hammersmith W6
Overhauls & Maintenance – all work guaranteed.
Car & Radio Battery station. ‘Phone: RIV. 1093.
With thanks to Owen Llewellyn for the micro photography.