my special friendsLast week we decided to clear a little space in the workshop and split a spare engine block and gearbox so they could be palletised and stored elsewhere. We were very fortunate that Tom Millward was passing our way and he stopped to give us a hand. There is rumour that our workshop, one of the oldest buildings in the Sawmill and formerly the blacksmith's forge is haunted; until I saw this photo I had dismissed such talk but now I am not so sure!

img 3178The following pictures were taken last week when we collected the 3.7 prototype from the Midlands.  

The old girl took a bit of dragging from her resting place but with the aid of a mini digger, a couple of chains and the 20t winch on the Scania we soon had the gun loaded.  









Below are a few photos of our arm wrestles, past, present and future....

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It is amazing what you can fit on a Scania with a little planning.  Dad has ambitions we build a 6" gun turret so we can re-enact the Battle of the River Plate but I am not so sure. I think the barrels would make fabulous gate posts!

The trouble now is where to put the new treasure!

Tyntesfield House 2011    Tyntesfield Lawn 2011

The past few weeks have been dominated by preparation for our WWII weekend at Tyntesfield House.  Sadly very little has been done to the vehicles but we have been busy working on the organisation and marketing of the event that is the biggest annual outing for the Collection.  We are very lucky to have the opportunity to display the vehicles in such wonderful surroundings, where the public can see them in all their full glory.

This year will be very different as we have a marquee on the lawn and the focus of the event will be moved to House itself, with a full programme of events throughout the day.  The whole ethos of the event is to bring history alive through displays and exhibits. For example, we hope to live fire some of the artillery and have interactive displays where visitors can learn about the vehicles and guns.

If you want to stay a little later into the evening, we have a Forties fashion show and dance planned in the marquee.  The event is billed the Tyntesfield Affair and promises to be a fun filled evening.  Tickets for the dance cost £10 and can be bought on the National Trust web site or from the yard office at the Clevedon Sawmills.

staghound power steering unit

Despite our focus upon the landing craft we have still been making small steps with the the T17.  Since my last report we have fitted the rear axle and the front axle is waiting its turn.  With the aid of Herb, the number of reconditioned parts in on the increase to the extent that we have had to start clearing shelves to store them.  Where we can we are trying to refit the part to the vehicle so they do not take up space; this might give the idea there is a plan which would be wrong but certainly there is a process.  

staghound radius rod arms

Right are remains of the radius rod arms, the bits that hold the axle in place and stop it swinging on the mounts.  The Staghound has four of these arms however they are different front and back.  We were lucky to find two NOS arms for the front but the back proved more tricky.  In the end we sent them to our 'nice' man at the engineering shop who made two arms out of six broken remains.  The next problem it to find some new castellated nuts, which is proving more difficult then you might imagine.  Without doubt we will have the old girl back on her feet before Christmas which will be a massive lift for moral.

With less than two weeks to go we needed a big weekend on the LCVP if we are to have any hope of getting it ready for the BBC.  Sadly our efforts on Saturday were undone on Sunday when the weather turned making it impossible to work on the boat.  Below is a little picture diary of our efforts.

lcvp restoratation lcvp restoration1

Removing the engine covers, bow-ramp winch and gun decks.

lcvp restoration2 lcvp restoration3

Adrian gets to grips with the pressure washer.

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Bilge after being pumped.

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Nearly ready for paint.

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Rollers are the way forward!


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One thing is for sure, there is no way we could have made so much progress with the help of Adrian Jones together with Derek and Sam Mitchell.  Their continued help and support has been much appreciated.  The restoration phase continues but with a week of wet weather on the horizon it will certainly make things a lot more difficult.

If you are interested in learning more about LCVPs check-out the following website.