There's been a huge push on the gun in recent months, spearheaded by Paul and aided by all workshop team members. Here's what's been going on.

Work on the gun had more or less stalled while we concentrated on 'The Little Lady' and the Bedford. We were able to erect the gantry which was essential to being able to move these heavy components. At some point in its past life, the elevation gear had been welded together. The welds had to be cut carefully and the quadrant and recuperator freed off to allow it to be removed.

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With the recuperator gone, we were able to shift the cradle from side to side using a 10 ton jack. It was extremely stiff. More components were freed off and the cradle could be pried from the carriage. A lot of grot and a rather horrible rats nest greeted us!

The bearings were removed, cleaned up, as well as the bearing surfaces, and the whole lot was needle gunned and painted. 

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Meanwhile, the extremely stiff leg was finally taken off (required the full force of the big jack, and the weight of the carriage itself!), flipped over and given some TLC.

This leg carries the wiring on the underside which operates the electronic brake solenoids. Once measured up, some suitable galvanised tube was fitted.

With the cradle re-mounted, and now able to be moved by hand, the traverse and elevation gear can be mounted, requiring lots of grease. The 3.7 AT prototype gun donated a traverse wheel.

In this process we discovered the ID plate showing that this gun was formerly E Sub.

A start could also be made on the barrel. The breech has been opened up, and the whole thing has been rubbed down and put into primer.

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We're hoping to get this project completed this summer, so watch this space!


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An update on what we've been doing with the tipper...

CAB

The binnacles have been cleaned up.

The inside of the cab is being painted white (typical of classic commercial vehicles)

 

ENGINE

New carb ready for fitting

 

New ignition leads and distributor cap

BRAKES

Stopping is more important than starting, and to that end we have fitted new/refurbished master and slave cylinders. The drum covers have been cleaned up and painted.

Below: The front brakes during reassembly

BODYWORK

Getting the dents out the old fashioned way... with a hammer!

Inside of the nose cone into zinc primer, then gloss black for waterproofing.

 

 

As always, we've been busy behind the scenes over the winter months. One of the biggest events has been the acquisition of a new artillery piece, 'F Sub'. This gun was formerly at Tilbury, the Collection acquired this from our friends at The Garrison, Larkhill in 2015. It is our intention to restore it to working condition in order for ourselves and The Garrison to do firing demonstrations.

The Garrison were kind enough to give us some practice on a couple of their working guns over a weekend in November. We learned a lot in a very short space of time! Practice makes perfect and we plan to do lots more practice on 'F Sub'.

 

The radio silence in the months since the Dig For Victory Show 2015 doesn't mean we've been idle!

We took the Beach Master jeep on a trip to The War and Peace Revival in Kent. The largest gathering of classic military vehicles in Europe is always a great event and this year was no exception. We bumped into a couple of fellow naval jeeps there!

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We also like to support local shows, and took the Matador Timber Tractor and the Anderson Shelter down to the Walton in Gordano village fete, which this year had a 1940s theme. They are pictured here with Dave and Lindsay's Morris.

 

The Little Lady - Jeep

The main focus of our attentions has been the 'Little Lady'. We had a very fixed and very important deadline to get this vehicle on the road.

Many gallons of midnight oil were burned in trying to get it finished on time, and a week before it needed to be dispatched on its most important mission yet, she turned over and fired up for the first time since the fateful motorway collision years ago.

There's still a couple of bits and pieces to iron out, but overall it's a super vehicle to drive, and smart to boot!

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We were recently asked to supply two vehicles for filming of the upcoming BBC drama 'Close to the Enemy'. The Jeep and Bedford OY stepped up to the challenge. Keep an eye out for it on your TV screens in 2016.

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