WZB 20

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WARNING.— The person in whose name this vehicle is displayed may or may not be the current owner of the vehicle. Readers are warned, therefore, that this entry is not proof of ownership.


Registration Mark
WZB 20
(a) Type:
Type 1
(b) Year:
(c) Colour:
Anthracite Grey
(d) Paint code:
(e) Engine CCs:


(a) Country of origin:
(b) County first reg'd:
(c) Current or last known location:

Model information

1200 Beetle Deluxe


This entry is less about the Beetle you see in the still from the RTE report, but more about the story of John Kelleher. Why include it? Well, in my research with RTE I came across it and I thought it made for a good read, and with the slightest link to an old VW, I thought I’d include it.

Newspaper seller John Kelleher dices with the traffic in Cork city to make his living.

John Kelleher a former Echo Boy, operates from the traffic bollard in the Coliseum Cinema area of Cork running back and forth to motorists with newspapers. From a family of newspaper vendors John’s mother began selling newspapers in the 1920s and the family have been operating in the Coliseum area ever since.

With four children of his own John Kelleher hopes that they will carry on the family tradition. “It’s an honest and good living.”  In the late 1940s traffic on Cork’s streets was much lighter when John Kelleher began working and he sold papers mainly to pedestrians. As years passed and traffic got heavier, the corporation introduced a one way traffic system. As a result of the one way system, all traffic has to pass by Coliseum corner in order to get to the city, providing a boost to the newspaper trade.

Operating from the island in the centre of the road John Kelleher navigates the passing cars, trucks, bicycles and buses as he sells the newspapers. “I have to be on my toes and keep things moving.”

The work requires a good head for numbers with some of his customers paying cash at the time of purchase, and others paying weekly or monthly. However, he does foresee a few problems when decimalisation is introduced.

This episode of ‘Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 12 November 1969.


Incidentally, the Beetle was assembled at MDL’s Naas Road plant in Dublin and painted Anthracite Grey (L469), sent to Cork to be sold and it was registered to its Cork owner in December 1965.

Submitted by: RTE Archives

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