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FJL 233 - AKA Audrey - was manufactured on January 29, 1945, for the Royal Air Force. She now wears her original wartime hood number 208960 and postwar registration 22AA28 from when she was used with the RAF in occupied Germany.
She was sold by HM Government in 1953 to William Taylor & Sons, Spalding, Lincs, as a hack to repair threshing machines etc. Later sold to Hoggs Buses, Benington, as a recovery vehicle, then bought by Paul Faunt, Boston, aged 19 for £45 in 1970.
He painted her red and black and, not being able to pick up girls in her (and his mum telling him off!), she went to A Oliver & Sons, Swinehead, from 1971 then to Larry Dench in Long Sutton in US markings. So she’d been in Lincolnshire for 60 years!
She is very original, having never been fully restored and only having five owners since the King!
For 2017 she has been recently restored in her original markings and made her debut at the Old Warden Fly Navy show on June 4, 2017. Her markings show her assigned to 146 Wing, 83 Group, 2 Tactical Air Force (British Air Force of Occupation) RAF Ahlorn, Lower Saxony, Germany, circa mid-1945 with 263 Squadron which flew Hawker Typhoons.
The markngs are in memory of Ft Lt Doug Sturgeon, who flew with them . . . an old friend, sadly no longer with us.
Her current custodian is Ben Brown, Northampton, and she is often to be found at her second home – Sywell Aviation Museum!


Audrey's little friend is a 1943 BSA folding airborne bicycle, Penny.
In 1941, during the Second World War, the British War Office called for a machine that weighed less than 23 pounds (this was not achieved - the final weight was about 32 pounds) and would withstand being dropped by parachute.
In response, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) developed a folding bicycle small enough to be taken in small gliders or on parachute jumps from aircraft.
The BSA folding bicycle was rigged so that, when parachuted, the handlebars and seat were the first parts to hit the ground (as bent wheels would disable the bike).
BSA abandoned the traditional diamond bicycle design as too weak for the shock and instead made an elliptical frame of twin parallel tubes, one forming the top tube and seat stays, and the other the chainstay and down tube. The hinges were in front of the bottom bracket and in the corresponding position in front of the saddle, fastened by wing nuts. The peg pedals could be pushed in to avoid snagging and further reduce the space occupied during transit.
From 1942-45, the folding bicycle was used by British & Commonwealth airborne troops, Commandos, and some infantry regiments; some were used on the D-Day landings and at the Battle of Arnhem. About 60,000 were made.
Many were "acquired" by other units and strapped to Jeeps, tanks and carried in aircraft as a useful, compact runabout, especially on spacious RAF airfields.
This example was purchased in the 1970s by an engineering apprentice for £4. On his first day at work his colleagues undid the wingnuts causing the bike to collapse on his way home and he didn’t ride it again!
It remained in a barn until 2017 when it was acquired by its present owner, Ben Brown, Northampton.



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This little Jeep is half the size of a real one . . . just imagine it twice as long, twice as wide etc! It was scratch built at Newport Pagnell, Bucks, in 1991 by Dennis Reyland for his grandchildren. They have now grown too big for it, but the great-grandchildren now love it. Chassis: Mainly Dexion L-section. Body: Mild steel and plywood. Motor: 24 volt from a mobility scooter. Front wheels: From a wheelbarrow or two. Rear wheels: From a Vespa scooter.

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The MT350E is manufactured by Harley Davidson. These bikes originated from the Italian SWM Tornado in the early 1980s. It was also developed in a military version, but the firm was in financial trouble and, in the collapse, the design went to Armstrong-CCM. In 1987, Armstrong's military motorcycle business was sold to H-D and the MT350E is a development of the Armstrong MT500 with a smaller capacity engine, electric start and disc brakes. It appeared in 1993 and continued until 2000. The carrier at the back takes an SA-80 rifle and the front panniers are for fuel cans, ammunition . . . or beer! This MT350E went into service with the Army in 1996 and carried the military registration GH 08 AA. It was released after only covering about 8,000 miles and I am its first registered civilian owner, putting it on the road in 2016. H-D was a large producer of military motorcycles in WW2 with their WLA (American Army), WLC (Canadian Army) and US (South African Army) models being the best known.


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Is this the longest combination of vehicle and owner in the MVT? John Marchant, the grandfather of the MV preservation movement and former MVT chief judge, bought his Canadian Military Pattern Ford F60S in 1947 and has owned and used in ever since. The CMP was built in 1942 and until 1946 was in service in North West Europe. It was sold at the Bordon disposal sale with 15,210 miles on the clock. John rebuilt the engine and used it on his Northamptonshire farm until 1997, clocking up another 13,025 miles. He then fitted a new Canadian engine and rebuilt the body. It now lives in a comfortable retirement on the farm but was brought out and given a run around the fields at the South East Midlands Area’s 2014 Crank-up Weekend on April 26-27. If readers know of a member who has kept the same vehicle from before 1947, please let the webmaster know!

John Marchant (above) and the 1942 Ford of Canada CMP F60S he bought in 1947. All the markings and camouflage are exactly as they were when it served in Europe during the war.

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Tim Webster's fire engine started out as a Green Goddess, however due to his work with the Museum of RAF Fire Fighting at RAF Scampton, he discovered that back in 1968 in Malta the RAF purchased two Army Fire Service Goddesses, repainted them and put them back into service in one of the satellite stations to RAF Luqa. Tim Says: "I obtained the vehicle record cards from RAF Hendon and also the correct paint codes used. I then had to contact the RAF Historic Branch to obtain the station crest which is one the side of the vehicle. The Historic Branch informed me that I needed to contact the MoD Crown Copyright Branch to obtain permission for display. This done, it was back to the Historic Branch who then issued a disc with the crest on it. Then it was a case of taking the disc to the signwriters for reproduction. The point is I am probably one of a few people that found out you do need permission to display insignia. The finished product is now an exact copy of the vehicles used by the RAF at that time.
Left: A visit to RAF Scampton by a party of school children from Malta, who posed in front of Tim's vehicle.

The RAF Fire Service also turned out

Gordon Beale's Army Fire Service vehicle with Tim's RAF Fire Service truck

... and some picture of Tim's previous projects




No, not Harrier!

... and finally, the rear of the year!

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February 2013: I have been doing an M38 and here are some pictures. It was blue when I bought it 18 months ago. The paint was not good and nobody wants a blue one so I took it apart, painted in olive drab and I am now slowly rebuilding it.

From Wikipedia: The Willys M38 United States Army jeep, replaced the World War Two models known as MB and GPW. It was a 1/4 Ton 4 × 4 Utility Truck manufactured between 1950 and 1952 with a total production of 45,473 units. The M38 was based on the civilian model CJ3A. Willys designated it an MC. However, this version carried a beefier frame and suspension than the CJ3A. Some were assigned to the Korean theatre of operations and after that conflict was over in the mid 1950s, they were manufactured for export overseas.






Is there something green lurking in your garage? Let other area members have a look and send a few words and some jpeg pictures to the webmaster (see contacts page).