A PROGRAMME about Peel Engineering Company will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
The producer of the programme, Jeremy Grainge, made a day visit to island at the end of August to do the recording.
Former Peel resident, journalist and broadcaster Andy Kershaw has always shown a close and enthusiastic interest in the firm’s most famous products – the P50, and the two seater Trident.
The P50 is a three-wheeled microcar. It currently holds the record for the smallest automobile to go into production. The car has no reverse gear.
Andy and the producer were met at the Manx Transport Heritage Museum by George Gelling, the former works foreman, and Sam Knight, the museum secretary.
Mr Knight said: ‘The group walked along to the factory, and George described the experimental nature of Cyril Cannell’s enterprise. Mr Cannell and his small workforce were innovators, way ahead of their time in fibreglass technology.’
Although the car is tiny, it is too wide to go through a doorway so it was pushed through a rear window onto drop down hinged tables.
The small group of lifters struggled, shouted conflicting instructions, and somehow, despite being hampered by scaffolding erected on an adjacent building, managed to get the car out.
The car was started with Andy clearly delighted with the experience and the interviews were recorded.
Mr Knight said: ‘The story of the Peel engineering and the cars they made seem to fascinate so many people beyond these shores.’
There has been the Top Gear programme where Jeremy Clarkson drove the P50 around the BBC television centre, the ‘green cars of Europe’ from Seoul Broadcasting Service in South Korea, which went out to most, if not all the countries in SE Asia, and now BBC Radio 4 is in on the act.
‘Publicity like this just seems to happen to us in the Peel museum – we are, of course, delighted.’
The programme title, ‘Cheaper than walking’, was the slogan put on promotional material to market the P50 in the early 1960s. The half-hour programme will be broadcast on Monday, October 8, at 11am.
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