In the run up to Tyntesfield WWII weekend we thought we would refurbish our old Naval signalling lamps and make tripod for them to stand in. With the aid of Mr Jones and John Weedon we refurbished the lights and Dave Perry welded up a boss onto which we fitted some legs to make a tripod. 

Search light boss  Search light legs  Search light on legs

Although the legs are a little heavy we don't have to worry about the light toppling over.  The new tripod looks great but I am sure the lights will look even better panning through the night sky and lighting Tyntesfield this June.

After another debacle with the NT we were left with the Anderson Shelter to repair for the Tyntesfield WWII Weekend.  With only a few weeks to go the members of the local Imps group came to the rescue and have started cleaning and repairing the air raid shelter we rescued from a garden in North Weston, Portishead some ten years ago.  The shelter is complete with beds and has been dry stored which helped to keep it in good condition.

Anderson Shelter  Anderson Shelter project1

Anderson Shelter team  Anderson shelter project3  

Our thanks go to Keith Whitehead, Tom Standeven, Alan French, John Weedon, Tim K who gave up their Tuesday afternoon to the cause.  Next week we hope to mount the shelter on a trailer so we can move it with ease ad build a permanent exhibit we can tow to events.

Over the Christmas period we had a reshuffle in the main workshop and moved the 4.5" carriage under cover.  After an initial hosing down with the pressure washer to remove all of the flaky paint and 'crud', the carriage was moved inside to be rubbed down and repainted.  Despite languishing outside the carriage is in remarkably good condition.  The picture below shows the removal of the counter balance that was fixed to the cradle when the gun was used to test fire different barrels.

4.5 restoration

The next issue with the carriage was to free all the relevant levers and latches:

4.5 restoration1

This is very much an on going process.  Below you can see the locking mechanism for the 'spades' that help stop the gun recoil when fired.  

4.5 restoration5

As we cleaned sections of the gun we painted them with a red oxide rust paint.  The effect of painting the gun as you progress is two fold: Primarily it protecs the metal but it also gives you a psychological lift as the gun gradually changes colour.  Below is an area we did not paint as we discovered  a white marking in the form of a circle. Any ideas to what this might signify would be gratefully received.

4.5 restoration4

Although we have been busy with the gun carriage we have still been working on the Staghound.  Below is a photo of the recently paint flutes for the fire extinguishing system.  Although we are a long way from fitting the flutes they will be stashed away with the rest of the system till the time it is ready to be fitted.

stag flutes

As well as the flute we have been cutting down the bolts that hold on the front axle.  To date the front axle has been fitted about three time only to find the heads on the new bolts were too big; then the bolts didn't have enough thread and finally they were far too long.  All in all it has been a little frustrating but now the axle is in place albeit missing a few pins!

stag pins1

stag frt axle2

Almost on its wheels for the first time in 15 years....

stag frt axle3

One thing is for sure, there is never a straight forward job on a Staghound!


T Tanks

Today was a busy day at the collection moving and shuffling things round in preparation for our up coming show at Tyntesfield.  We were lucky to have some extra pairs of hands to help us move things about.  Derek Mitchell, Mark Brothers and Nathan were at the fore front of the action and their presence was much appreciated.  On site we also had Sam and Jill Mitchell along with Debbie Smith who were busy cutting out the Tyntesfield Tanks in preparation for the 'invasion' of North Somerset. 

T Tanks2 T Tanks1  T Tanks3  T Tanks4

The boys hard at it on the brooms as we clear the shed so we could pull out the old QL. All in all a good day at the Shopland Collection and a big thank you to everyone who worked so teribly hard.


As part of our WWII Weekend at Tyntesfield House we decide to produce a promotional video that will be aired at the beginning of May.  On the 5th April we took our Bedford OY to Tyntesfield for the shoot.  We were joined by eight volunteers who answered the call to help.  Below are a few of the pictures from a fun day out.  My thanks goes to everyone who made it so enjoyable despite the bitter temperature!

img 3273  img 3342  IMG 3356  img 3337