2020 marks the 125th year of continuous production of Dennis products in the Surrey town of Guildford. Over that century and a quarter, the company has had its share of ups and downs and changes of direction and ownership. However, it still retains a huge amount of loyalty from Guildfordians as well as users and admirers of the products which have been produced by the company over that time.
Mention the name of Dennis to anyone in the Guildford area, and you will inevitably be offered an anecdote of how that individual or one of their relatives worked for the old firm. Indeed, as the town’s largest employer for many years, the relationship between the town and company are inextricably linked.
The geographic loyalty is matched by equal fervour when it comes to the companies products: the name of Dennis and the sight of shiny fire engines are inextricably linked, even with folk who were barely old enough to have been born when the last Dennis fire appliance sadly left the factory.
Sadly, much of the fascinating history of the company has been lost during all those upheavals over the years. It seemed an appropriate time, therefore, to capture much of the remaining information, particularly from private collections, to provide a record of those 125 years before it was lost forever.
The result was the book Dennis Buses and other Vehicles which has just gone on sale. It contains both the story of the evolution of the company and considerable technical detail of some of its most prominent models.
The book is introduced by none other than John CR Dennis, grandson of one of the two brothers who founded the company all those years ago, and contains almost 300 photographs of the factories, people and products covering those 125 years.
Release of the book has been delayed by Coronavirus, however it is now available from many online outlets such as Amazon and WH Smiths, and should also appear in High Street bookshops as they reopen.
Dennis Buses and Other Vehicles is published by Crowood Press and has an RRP of £29.95. ISBN 978-1-78500-707-1