DID YOU know that in 1921, a York man set the world record for the distance jumped in a motor car?

Well, you do now. That man was FE (Frank Ernest) Wasling, the owner of FE Wasling's Ford dealership on Blake Street.

On two days - July 12 and July 13, 1921 - he made no fewer than four jumps at Knavesmire, racing his Standard Ford up a ramp and over a hedge before landing on another wooden ramp. He covered distances of 31 feet, 33 feet, 38 feet and, eventually, 40 feet, setting the world record. Eat your heart out, Jeremy Clarkson.

It was quite a stunt - but also a great bit of daredevil advertising for Wasling's garage.

In Yesterday Once More a couple of weeks ago, Mr Wasling's great nephew Richard Wasling wrote in with some fascinating information about his great uncle's Ford dealership - and about FE himself who, in addition to being clearly a bit of a car nut, was also a keen cyclist and member of the Yorkshire Road Club.

That piece prompted Isabel Smith to get in touch. Mrs Smith is the granddaughter of William Ward, a garage-owning rival of Mr Wasling who, between 1927 and 1947, owned and ran the Castle Garage on Tower Street.

All the photos in our gallery today (apart from the ones of FE Wasling & Son and the Castle Garage) were supplied by Mrs Smith.

York Press:

Postcard showing FE Wasling making one of his record-breaking 'jumps' in a Standard Ford at Knavesmire, 1921. Image supplied by Isabel Smith

Two of them show Frank Ernest - one making that record-breaking jump, the other sitting proudly behind the wheel of an elegant white motor. But most of the other photos feature her own grandfather, William Ward.

The Ward family had traditionally been butchers, Mrs Smith says. But in the 1901 census her grandfather, who would have been 19 or 20, was listed as an 'apprentice motor engineer'.

Just how or why that came about, Mrs smith has no idea - it was the very, very early days of motoring (only 16 years after the first motor car of them all, the Benz Patent Motor Car). By about 1905 or so, her grandfather had found work as a chauffeur for Mr Walter Cliffe of Melbourne Hall in Melbourne, East Yorkshire. Several photographs show the elegant cars he drove for Mr Cliffe.

William's first wife, Emma Appleton, tragically died in childbirth just 9months after the couple's wedding, having given birth to triplets, only one of whom - Derek Ward - survived.

After moving to Melbourne Hall, William married Walter Cliffe's housekeeper, Isabel walker - Isabel Smith's grandmother.

The Ward's clearly lived well while at Melbourne hall: photographs show the young William to have been a dapper, well-dressed young man, who sported a neat moustache and often wore a straw hat. 

York Press:

Dapper: William Ward with a 1910 Napier

By about 1920, however, the ward's had left Mr Cliffe's employ. Mr ward seems to have worked for a while for Star Motors, before buying the Castle garage in 1927.

He ran the business until 1946, before selling up - and lived to the ripe old age of 78. Mrs Smith remembers him well from his later years - a tall, laid-back, placid man, who retained his love of cars right to the end. "He bought a Standard Vangarde," Mrs Smith recalls. "It was supposed to