IMG_6372From the absence on the blog, you might be forgiven for thinking not much has happened the past six weeks. In part this is true regarding the restoration of the Staghound but we have been busy with lots of other projects. The Crossley primemover was moved inside, after seventy years in the open. This seemingly simple task still took several days to achieve with flat tyres, seized brakes and a collapsed cab to hinder us. What also amazed me was how heavy the tractor was to move about; the faithful old Bonser Forklift certainly had its work cut out at times.



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As you may well know my 'original' Jeep nicknamed The Little Lady, was involve in a nasty prang some years ago and came off rather worse for wear in a collision with a National Express coach on the M4. Over the past year my friend Jon has built a jig so we can straighten and restore the chassis. Back in March last year I was given some Jeep parts by Neil Harris and Matthew McMahon in Australia which has made it all possible. Over Christmas we sorted through the parts and hope to have the chassis finished by the end of Feb......well hopefully!



IMG_6433The main reason for work stopping on the Staghound was due to the fact that the workshop had the roof removed in December. The workshop, commonly known as the Blacksmith Shop (its original use,) was built in 1944 to replace an even older structure built from a WWI aircraft hanger. The asbestos roof on the shed had over time become porous and needed to be replaced. During this process, which is still on going I must add, we had to remove all the lights and so it has been impossible to work in the building at night. Thanks to Adrian Jones we now have some emergency lighting so we can get back to the Stag.



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Other little jobs that have been done in the interim have been the removal and refurbishment of the the Jeep's dynamo and the fitting of a dropping draw bar to the old David Brown 1212 tractor. The later has been a long awaited improvement, removing the need for jacks and slings when hitching up the tractor and trailer in a slightly hazardous operation. All these things are time consuming and don't have conspicuous results but are necessary in the life of the Collection. With the end of January approaching it will soon be time to wake the collection from its winter slumber; more heartache and days of dirty hands awaits before the fun begins.

Bedford OXC trailerOnly the other day we were fortunate to find a Bedford OXC Trailer languishing in a Somerset farmyard. The unit had been converted into four wheel trailer with the addition of a front axle. Used for the past seventy years for the annual hay harvest. The trailer coupled up nicely behind our faithful David Brown 1212 for the journey home.

I must start with an apology for the two week break in my blog.  This has in part been down to my complete frustration with the Staghound and the fact we have been very busy.  Currently we are struggling to remove the shock absorber arms.  Every possible trick has been employed: Pullers, heat, hammers, wedges you name it, we have tried it.  Sadly we have to remove the arms because they are different front and back; we have four shock absorbers with four back arms!  Typical.  On a brighter note the new front arms have been painted and are waiting to be fitted. Also we have removed a broken fitting from the rear axle and tapped the hole.  As I have said before, lots of little steps!

stag axle    stag nuts

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On the 4th December 2011 we joined the IMPS at Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the introduction of the Jeep.  Along with 77 other Jeeps, the Beach Master took her place in the line-up for the obligatory photo session.



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