The Sentinel Drivers Club

History of The Sentinel 1933-45

1933 April
The first Shaft Drive 4 wheeler, known as the ‘S’ type (S4) was brought into production (No 8798). This had an enlarged version of the SDDG4 four-cylinder single-acting engine with two speed gearbox. The S4 could be optionally fitted with four wheel brakes. The cab was redesigned, a new lighter boiler was located behind the driver and the bunkers were situated above the boiler for ease of stoking.

1933 May
Full Doble two-engined shunting loco supplied to LMS (No 8805), the only true Doble built with 1500 psi flash steam boiler.

1933 July
The first Model S6 was introduced. This was a tipper No 8821 which survives today.

1933 September
Sentinel buy Garner Motors and transfer production of 3,4 and 6 ton diesel or petrol lorries at Shrewsbury.

1933 November
The Model S8 was introduced (No 8894) but only another eight were built of which only one survives (No 9105)

1934 Febuary
The S-Type tractor (No. 8656) was manufactured, but only five were made.

1935 March
Sentinel introduce their new range of 3,4 & 5 ton Sentinel-Garner diesel & petrol lorries with Austin, Meadows or Perkins engines.

1935 September
Second Sentinel-Doble lorry built with V4 triple-expansion engine and coke fired boiler.

Sentinel ran into financial problems after Stephen Alley had sold all his shares in the company. An Official Receiver brought in to rescue the company.

1936 September
Abner Doble returned to America, all further development suspended

1936 December
Sentinel rescued by Stephen Alley buying back into the company but Garner Motors was sold off to repay creditors.

1937 October
Last DG waggon suppled to South Africa (N0 9329). A total of 851 DG’s produced from November 1927.

1937 October
Sentinel buy rights to produce HSG (High Speed Gas) vehicles from Gilfords Ltd.

1938 December
Last pre-war steam waggon exported to Dublin (No 9362). Some 405 ‘S’ type waggons were built since 1933.


NovemberSentinel show new Sentinel HSG 5 ton lorry and 35 seater bus at Commercial Motor Show. Only one bus and about nine lorries actually sold before war intervened to stop all road vehicle production.


During the war sentinel manufacture over 11,000 Bren gun, Lloyd and universal carriers, hundreds of Herbert turret lathes, also thousands of 94 mm and 114 mm shell casings and many more war time items. They also repaired American built Atlas, Buda, Caterpillar, Cummins, Fairbanks Morse and Waukesha diesel and petrol engines.