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About BlueBelle

  • Rank
    Warrant Officer 1st Class

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  • Location
    Calgary, Canada, for now!
  • Interests
    British Army vehicles 1950-1990. Unit histories 1950-1990. Travel. Writing. Music. Cooking. Politics
  • Occupation
    Brit Businesswoman and owner at www.taylorandtaylorconsultants.com
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  1. Where has sense and sensibility vapourised to? I'd love to go and see 'The British Cold War Museum' with lots of Lt Stone-coloured vehicles as exhibits too! Oh yes, the Cold War was part of the reason HM Armed Forces were in Libya, Malta, Gibraltar, Egypt and, er, a many other Near and Mid East places other than BAOR and the UK. RAF Idris, Tripoli was a dispersal airfield for the V-Bomber force, 22 Fd Engr regt RE openly built NBC defences in Tripolitania and, practiced for war against Soviet forces. At least one decoy airfield was built, inflatable decoy vehicles were deployed (though how many, types, where and exactly when I have yet to find out) and, as a decoy airfield existed, then surely decoy or scrapped aircraft would have been sat on it. Then just look at the might within the Wheelus Airbase, the biggest US airfield outside of the US ..... all those Mace and Matador missiles! The Matador being the world's first first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile. Bomber, fighter and transport fleets and massive areas of desert bombing ranges. Yes, the chill of the Cold War was evident in Libya. A read of the good book by Griffin and Robinson should be had: 'The Royal Armoured Corps in the Cold War 1948-1990'.
  2. BlueBelle

    Army Lamp

    79 Railway Sqn RCT & Wksp REME in the 70s also had them in BAOR as did the train crew and REME repair team of the British Berlin Military Train "The Berliner". Their versions switched to red and green light also, for obvious reasons, perhaps. The slot frame on the back of the lamp played a part in their usefulness. Manufacture by Chloride Bardic Ltd, once upon a time.
  3. BlueBelle

    Mk1 Ferret

    Am I missing something here? Please can someone explain how a Ferret Mk1 gets to be a Ferret Mk2/5 having "never had a turret fitted'? I do like a good mystery. Without a turret, the Ferret is quite cute and would grace my drive quite suitably here in Calgary
  4. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    Hmm, I think I need to source a copy! Thank you for posting, John.
  5. BlueBelle

    Prinn barracks

    Wecome to HMVF Roy! Always great to have 'someone who was there' join and of course, there's no better place to post your photos and memories than here at: http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/35098-libya-tripolitania-vehicles-barracks-1950s-to-1966/ Regards, Lizzie
  6. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    Just the ticket John, thank you! Look at those angled corner lockers! I can't see if the air cylinders are sat in 'cups' to prevent the cylinder bases from sliding. Do you see them in your book? Is the photo you've taken a photo of the book or a scan?
  7. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    FAB photos of the MRA1 'Dry air charging' (FV16103) Wally. I knew you'd be there! Thank you.
  8. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    Engine starters - Tanks and Planes? No. Balloons? No. fill an air barrage balloon or any balloon with air and ..... see it stay on the ground. Unless it's hot air of course. From CMV Autumn 2013 I have extracted the slightly re-written info below: 'The MRA1 'Dry air charging' (FV16103) was a conversion of the original cargo body by Strachans under contract 6/VEH/11579 for 29 vehicles. The body featured a Coventry Climax 4-cylinder engine driving a Reavell three-stage compressor mounted on a reinforced floor. The top edges of the front two body side panels and the forward bulkhead were extended upwards to allow the compressed air bottles (I say cylinders) and the associated pipework and control equipment to be supported. Two large cylinders were fitted each side, upright and clamped in, with another three smaller cylinders fitted over the wheel arches. The dry air charging trucks were intended for use with the hydro-pneumatic recuperator fitted on the 5.5" Howitzer. In 1958 there were five medium regiments equipped with the 5.5" Howitzer and each Battery REME section had such a vehicle issued, operated by REME Armourers ( I say, Gun Fitters as Armourers only 'did' little guns, personal weapons, section machine guns and maybe the 'little guns' fitted as co-axial machine guns on some vehicles)'. I'm actually astonished they were using compressed air with its O2 content of 21% in an oily recuperator system. O2 under pressure with just a hint of a hydrocarbon material in or around the pressurised area can result in an explosion. Hence an inert, clean dry gas was 'normally', specifically Nitrogen as in say, suspension struts and so on. Some Howitzers of the same period seem to have had their recuperators charged with Nitrogen. Maybe someone on here knows more about recuperators on artillery pieces? Here is another gas safety lesson for you: The valve outlets on 02 and Nitrogen gas cylinders are identical, as are the cylinders themselves. Colours are different but can sometimes be difficult to distinguish so, the only way to tell what's in your gas cylinder is to read (and understand) the labelling on the cylinder. A recuperator around 2005 had just been serviced on a Royal Artillery 105mm L118 Light Gun and the gun was put to use to target the enemy in Afghanistan. On firing, the gun exploded in the fire pit; fortunately the gun crew were not killed and the live ammunition in the gun pit seemingly did not detonate. The recuperator had been mistakenly filled with O2 instead of N2, the recuperator's grease recated with the O2 under recoil pressure ..... Boom! The video, stills and story were rapidly withdrawn but not before I saw them and 'captured' what I needed to. Similarly, a gas suspension strut under a jacked-up 100 ton coal dump truck which was in for servicing ('somewhere in Nottinghamshire') and on axle supports had O2 released into the strut instead of N2 and an immediate explosion resulted - the truck collapsed onto the mechanic. I won't show you the photo - it's my line of business to make people safe around compressed and cryogenic gas and equipment and, if they've not heeded me and not learned to apply the imparted knowledge and implement a 'safe system of work' , I sometimes get called back to tell them what went wrong. MRA1s are such dinky little trucks, even though they were 'hated' by their users in uniform.
  9. BlueBelle

    DUKW's in the UK

    DUKW's, LVTs, Terrapins were there and I'm sure I've seen a photo on the web of a Seep-type thing. Spoilt for choice on what to take there! Except that perhaps some of those vehicle types are no longer resident in the UK? The hangers they used were on the site of RAF Morfa .... nip out of the camp, over the main railway lines onto the beach and into the water. Instead of a vehicle you could try to get one of the few types of aircraft (Queen Bees -radio controlled Tiger Moths and, Henleys ) that flew out of the airfield as target tugs for the AA 3.7" guns just a mile further north at Tonfanau Camp. RAF Morfa reverted to being an army-only camp shortly after the end of the war, if not slightly before. There is some stuff about Morfa Camp, the RMs (who may have called their bit of the camp, 'Neptune'), the army and the RAF on the web but I don't have the links to share anymore. Also remember this is Morfa, Towyn, Merioneth, not the other Morfa near the other Towyn near Liverpool! All place name spellings are correct, as was! Towyn station at one time had its own main line railway sidings and loading ramp, now long gone. Tonfanau camp, if I'm not mistaken, also had a railway siding coming off the main line very near to where the quarry siding take off. So you could take a train of sorts, as well to your 'do' if you did some homework to find out what was used and so on. A train with DUKWs, LVTs, Terrapins, Queen Bees and Henlys on board!
  10. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    Wow! Thank you Clive. I'm 'on standby'. This is so exciting .... I might end up buying the truck as well! No, that's not an offer to buy the truck .... honestly. So easy to get carried away. To email then I guess, Clive and a BIG "Thank You" again.
  11. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    Thank you Clive. Fantastic information for which I'm most grateful. You know what's coming next ...... If anyone has the above EMERS could they please photocopy/scan said info/diagrams/photos for me? All costs met. Hmmm, I bet there are no such EMERs for sale, not that I need the whole EMER. A search in a well known auction website came up with .... no EMERs.
  12. BlueBelle

    Morris Commercial MRA1 LPG fitted

    That is a nice looking truck, Mark. Do you have any photos or drawings that depict what the layout and fittings were/should be for a Welding truck? I have a few photos of Light Stone-painted Welder's MRA1s trundling around in Libya but none that give me a clue as to the interior of the 'cargo' bay. I bought the UHB, WO Code 17802 in the vain hope there would be much to see ..... no such luck as it doesn't cover any of the variants. Just the cargo truck and the chassis for the water truck. In writing about Libya/Tripolitania and army equipment, I desire to do so from a very well informed stance. You may just be able to help me though I'm sorry to say that I'm not in the market to buy your lovely little lorry. Lizzie.
  13. BlueBelle

    Centurion Collimator Jettison Switch

    Jayne Bond here: A guess that it was to set off the explosive charges to release the towing point bolts of the mono-trailer from the hull rear. Why put there on the collimator I know not. This also implies that I don't know where the switch for performing that delicate task was! Yes, explosive bolts and a 200 gallon petrol tank!
  14. BlueBelle

    Saladin CES drawings

    Oh! I'll have a look see again. If I have them, you'll have them too!
  15. BlueBelle

    Saladin CES drawings

    If you were to search the forum, say using 'Saladin' as a search term, you might have come up with this result: http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/35817-saladin-mk2-armoured-car/?page=2 Scroll down and view what I posted, then. It may be what you need. Lizzie