With origins going back to mechanical transport before 1890, when a red flag was carried in front of vehicles using the highway, it is not surprising that as a family the Shoplands have collected a number of vehicles over the years. The family's interest in Military Vehicles stems from employing them in the Timber Business: www.shoplandsawmills.co.uk For example the 'Y-type' AEC lorries of the Great War Period through to an ex-Naval Bedford TL today.
The idea of collecting Military Vehicles started from a desire to show future generations the tools that were used, in what Winston Churchill described as `Their Finest Hour,' when Britain and her Empire stood alone against tyranny. Beside the pleasure of restoring the vehicles, their use and display is a testament to their design and helps to teach people about the armed conflict.
At present the collection numbers between 30 and 40 vehicles housed in Clevedon, Somerset. It comprises of mainly Bedfords, Chevrolets, Crossleys, AECs, Austins, Jeeps and Champs. There is also an artillery section together with ongoing restorations that include Staghound and Fox armoured cars, brought back from Australia. A number of pre-war cars relating to the wartime era are also kept.
Information as to sources of spares, parts, manuals and wartime artefacts etc are gratefully received. New vehicles are purchased if they compliment the collection. Occasionally surplus items are for sale.