COUNTY councillors from throughout the Midlands converged on Worcester at this time exactly a century ago to discover the delights of the new Age of the Automobile.

Berrow's Journal reported on the special assemblage arranged by the Automobile Association of its members and vehicles "in the neighbourhood of Worcester Shirehall.

County councillors from Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire were invited along, "if not automobilists already, to attend this demonstration and gain for themselves a personal knowledge of the control which a driver of an automobile has over his vehicle".

The AA emphasised the importance of county councillors having practical experience of "this new form of locomotion which has been encouraged by the highest authorities on the Continent and which should, if not unnecessarily fettered, provide employment at good wages for thousands of mechanics in this Kingdom.

On a similar theme, the Journal of 1901 warned that "the stately steed which prances proudly in front of the City Fire Engine, must look to its laurels.

The wondering admiration of small boys who flock after the horse to fires is soon likely to be diverted to the Norwich Union Fire Engine which has just been transformed to motor power.

The Journal of a century ago also carried an amusing item on Pedal Power: Many of the guests arrived on bicycles for an entertainment at a clergyman's house near Broadway the other evening.

A boy was instructed to label each machine with the name of the owner, and he did so. However, not himself being a cyclist, he pinned the tickets to the tyres of the bicycles. The faces of the guests, when it was found that every cycle had a puncture, was a study!