Maceroni and his associateswent to Joshua Beale at his East Greenwich Engineering works for vehicles to be made and which Gordon supervised. Joshua's brother Benjamin Beale helped with the drawings and together they went to Wright's carriage works in Ray Street, Clerkenwell, and selected a carriage to which they could add the steam engine. When the carriage was tested it was discovered that the steam blew the fire out and so alterations had to be made. This extra work was done by Beale.
On a Wednesday in 1840 another party went in Maceroni's carriage from East Greenwich through Lewisham to Bromley 'a distance of 8 miles, performing the journey in the (almost) incredible short time of 28 minutes'. They finished by going up Blackheath Hill at 12 miles per hour 'with only one wheel clutched' 'in gallant style with a load of 17 passengers' The next day they went up Shooters Hill at 14 mph with steam blown off at the top, having left. This was done in the 'incredible time of 28 mins'. On the way back they went up Blackheath Hill in gallant style and at the top of Shooters Hill with they stopped at The Bull for what they said was water.
Inevitably, water was not all they took at the Bull - 'the men were regaled and eulogised the scientific engineer'. They carried on across Blackheath and on up Shooters Hill at the speed of 14 miles and hour and so back to East Greenwich,. Everyone was delighted.
Alexander Gordon said that this was not all strictly true. He said that there had been collisions on bad roads . Frank Hills protested that the only problem was with taking in muddy water . Gordon went on to point out that if these vehicles were to undertake regular and reliable services then they needed to demonstrate that they could do it. Why they publicise, he asked, when ever they' 'ascended a hill' or went over a 'newly gravelled road' or met with one of the 'collisions so natural on common roads'. This might have perhaps been remarkable when Samuel Brown went up over Shooters Hill but 15 years later in 1840 vehicles should be able to cope. If Mr. Beale and Mr. Hills had these wonderful cars - then, asked Alexander Gordon, were they not running regular services in them?
this article originally appeared in By Gone Kent