GALLERY: History of Hitchin firm celebrated at book launch

Sanders carriages on display

Sanders carriages on display - Credit: Archant

The changing nature of a business which was in existence for more than 80 years has been documented in a book which was launched last weekend.

Brian and Amanda Goodwin with their Sanders carriage

Brian and Amanda Goodwin with their Sanders carriage - Credit: Archant

Carriages to Cars, the story of coachbuilders and motor dealers Ralph E Sanders and Sons of Hitchin, by Stephen Bradford-Best, charts the history of the company from its early days of coach and carriage building, through the formative years of motor car manufacture and repair, to car dealership and its closure in 1979.

Many members of the Sanders family have given assistance in the research carried out by the author, and more than 20 of them were present at last Saturday’s launch hosted by Hitchin Historical Society which saw more than 200 people attend.

Many items of memorabilia from the company, including photographs of their cars, were on display between 10am and 2pm at Hitchin Priory, as well as four restored 19th century Sanders carriages which owners had brought to the event.

Phil Rowe from Hitchin Historical Society said: “The society is very grateful to the Sanders family, to the carriage owners and to the management and staff at the Priory, all of whom made this event a huge success.”

Copies of the book, priced at £14.95, can be obtained from the society by emailing