Sounds like the 1930 chummy had a later engine. Did you look under the bonnet and find out where his/her starter was or ask the owner about the issue ? By 1930 the starter would've been in a flatter more compact aluminium casting but still forward facing.
Unfortunately, the bonnet was closed. Though I had a brief conversation with the owner(Roy Wilkins) I didn't note the cockpit layout until later. So, as there was nothing protruding into the cockpit next to the gear change (ball type), a later engine. When did the starter move from the footwell to be in the engine compartment?
Off the top of my head I would've thought that by 1932 all engines would've had the rear facing starter motor. However, the Austin 7 Companion Book as far as I can see only refers to a modified starter switch in April 1932 'which is now welded to the floor' that suggests that it was towards the middle or end of 1932. Obviously someone else may have a more accurate answer !