W Holland of H Batts Butchers won the Errand Boys annual Derby run through the streets of Maidstone in Kent. Mrs H G Tyrwhit Drake - the Mayoress of Maidstone - presented the Challenge Cup to the winner. September 25th 1935. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

By Mark McConville


STUNNING RETRO pictures have revealed the annual derby race run by errand boys across the United Kingdom and indeed the world.

The incredible images show the annual derby at Maidstone in 1935 as W Holland of H Batts Butchers won it and was presented with the cup by the Mayor of Maidstone.

Meals on wheels . The winner ? He’s somewhere up there in front. November 1955. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Other striking shots show market porters competing in the annual Bushel Basket carrying championship at Herne Hill Athletics Grounds in London in 1936.

The craze wasn’t restricted to the UK as other photos show a Derby Day taking place in Tokyo, Japan in 1955.

The stirring snaps show delivery boys competing in races, with the original caption claiming they ‘make any Western waiter or porter look a mere amateur’.

Who preserve a fine oriental calm under the circumstances. November 1955. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Expanding on the point the caption also states: “In England we are proud of our Covent Garden porters.

“In Paris they boast of the balancing feats in Les Halles. Every country has a porter to be proud of. In Japan, it is not only porters who have a gift for balance.

Porters of Borough Market, South East London, practising for the All – England Half Bushel Basket Championships. 31st August 1937. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

“The swift squads of delivery boys, either on foot or on bicycle have a skill which makes any Western waiter or porter look a mere amateur.

“Every year the delivery boys have a kind of Derby – a grand annual contest through the streets of Tokyo between sidewalks lined with critical members of the public. Our pictures were taken at the last Derby Day.”