In 1960, Woolwich Council invested in what was meant to be a fully automated multi-storey car park. The idea was that a motorist would deliver a car to a parking bay on the ground floor. Using a series of conveyor belts and lifts, the car would then be automatically dispatched to any one of 256 parking spaces.
Unfortunately the Woolwich Auto Stacker never really worked. At its opening in May 1961, which was attended by Princess Margaret, the first car got stuck on one of the conveyors and had to be manhandled back into position.
This was just a foretaste of many malfunctions to come and the Auto Stacker was eventually demolished only a year after it opened.
Answered by: Nick Rennison