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Cheshire Steve

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About Cheshire Steve

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    Lance Corporal

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    Cheshire, England
  • Interests
    Cars, Bikes, engineering history, old lathes

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  1. Am now the proud owner of a WW2 ALCO Featherweight engine (a J.A.P. model 3 engine with ALCO cast into the timing cover). Its not a generator engine, so probably drove a fuel pump or something similar that used belt drive. Steve
  2. Does anyone know about the "Lyon Lights" set up as beach defence lights in WW2 near to pillboxes, so that if a landing takes place you can light up the beach? I have read of them being installed in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Britain. They were self-powered lights, engine, dynamo, and 20 to 24inch spotlight. Everything points to this being a product of Arthur Lyon and Co., but I can't find any evidence to prove this. One account said the engine was a Lister, another said Briggs & Stratton. Reason is I have just created a Wikipedia page for Arthur Lyon & Co as have seen people confuse the Lyon ALCO with American Locomotive Company, furthermore I have seen people confuse the company that made the Norman engines that ALCO sometimes used with Norman motocycles - who were a different firm. So I created a Norman Engineering page too. If anyone has anything to add or correct to the Wikipedia entries (or a photo they took of some ALCO kit) then let me know. I would be especially interested to learn about the Lyon and Wrench WW1 searchlight units powered by Coventry Simplex engines. Steve
  3. Glenway has been withdrawn from the sale. I hope that is a good sign, but don't have any details. Steve
  4. I suppose you may argue that the Glenway sailing barge was never military, but due to its role in rescuing 190 members of 27th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery from the beach at Dunkirk, I thought I should draw your attention to the fact that she is up for auction with no reserve on 7th October, and given the effort and funds required to save her this could be the end of a distinguished member of the Dunkirk little ships, that has somehow survived for 105 years. According to the little ships association, she was towed out to Dunkirk by the tug Crested Cock, loaded with food, medical supplies and munitions. She was later spotted by Bruno de Hamel on an anti-submarine patrol. She was loaded with 190 troops unable to get the engine going to get her off the shore. As a yachtsman he took control of her and got sail on and sailed her back to England, taking 16 hours and losing 20 men to their wounds on the way. She was picked up outside Dover and towed in by a tug. More of her story here : http://www.adls.org.uk/t1/content/glenway So if the Royal Artillery Association are looking for a worthwhile project .. it might be their turn to rescue Glenway. Lot 36 : http://www.blackwater-marina.co.uk/auction_list.htm
  5. Been a long time since I started this thread, but my knowledge has advanced much about the 1956-1958 air drop trials. Perhaps MKAY, you can elighten me about what Old Sarum (AATDC) did and what Boscombe did. I suspect that Boscombe, being a civilian (Ministry of Supply) site back then, did not have any military vehicles assigned to them, but that all vehicles involved in the drops were likely on AATDC books. I have also been wondering if MSPs were loaded at AATDC, shipped to Boscombe and placed in the Beverley and then flown back to Old Sarum as a drop zone. Steve
  6. Thanks, I remember him telling me the military shipped an ME109 all the way back to Farnborough because it was a new version. Could be that one then ..
  7. To mark the passing of my father 1232098 LAC Arthur Richardson, yesterday, I thought I would post some more pictures from North Africa that he took c1942/43 when he was in 58 RSU and also provide you with the aircraftman's version of the 10 commandments which he copied into his journal in September 1943, as follows : 1. Thou shalt not turn propellor without checking igniton switches. 2. Thou shalt not warm up engines without wheel blocks. 3. Thou shalt not leave aircraft without checking parking brake. 4. Thou shalt not leave aircraft without locking controls. 5. Thou shalt not start engines without seeing prop is clear. 6. Thou shalt not taxi airplane if not qualified to do so. 7. Thou shalt not clean aircraft inside hangers with flammable fluids. 8. Thou shalt not leave cowls where they will be blown away by other aircraft taxiing or warming up. 9. Thou shalt not leave a job until a final check indicates that it is finished. 10. Thou shalt not use jacks without being sure of capacity. And thats about as religious as my father ever got. I assume the aviation experts among you will be able to tell me the types of plane pictured. If anyone's interested one of the other posters on here has kindly shared with me some of the logs of 58RSU which he studied at the National Archive. These have accounts of planes crashed and recovered by the RSU from June to Nov 1943 (all too often during training rather than enemy action), and details of vehicles moving in and out of the unit each month too. Could be useful if there is something specific you want to research. If the national archive was a bit nearer I would go there myself to get hold of the info for July 1942 until May 43 and see if I could tie them in with the photos - as my father was attached to 74 squadron in Nicosia from June to Nov 1943.
  8. Very late reply from me - I can't say for certain that the photos are of hurricanes being re-skinned in the open, but when going through his photos, when he came to these my father told me they had to re-cover the newly delivered hurricanes because the fabric had been affected by the tropical delivery route they were using. It could be that these photos reminded him of that activity, but at the time I understood that these photos were the record of this activity being carried out. I am afraid its too late to ask him now, his dementia has gone too far. Courtesy of JamesR who posted earlier I now have a big chunk of 58 RSU logs, and it gives some interesting insights into what they were up to day by day. Planes are individually identified with such details as crashed by nn OTU, recovered, locations, sent to MU etc. It could add some interesting details into the history of some planes (I wonder if any still exist from then). Also there are vehicle transfers summarised at the end of each month, which gives the type and WD vehicle numbers.
  9. I had never heard of that before, and having looked at it it seems interesting but the structure for the air forces for example seems to only include squadrons, not air sea rescue, not RSUs, not MUs. The search engine only works if you are registered for it, so guess I will have to do that (this probably means that external search engines like Google are unable to locate information within it). I have quite a lot of info on various family members in WW1 and hopefully they will fit into the structure, so will have a look next time we have a rainy day. Steve
  10. Thanks, I have been wondering what to do with the photos. I thought about uploading some of them to Wikimedia Commons as it seems there is a way to make them free for public use yet at least keep my father's name on them as copyright owner for posterity. There is a large field for description on there so its one way to get them on record. Posting them on here allows me to tap into the local expertise to fill in a lot of the gaps too, and I have had some useful observations. Which RAF Museum does this guy work at? I am not too far from Cosford and have wondered about going down there to pick their brains about Syko cipher devices. I e-mailed the RAF Museum about the case I found that held my father's Syko cipher device and it was 6 weeks before I got a 2 sentence reply from the London museum, so I still wondering about various aspects, like how many were issued. Steve
  11. Actually I think the answer is there in the photos, the huge inlet under the engine, which is not present on other photos of Hurricanes that I have seen in other theatres of war. I don't know whether this is for extra cooling, or large dust filters for the engine air inlets, but it must be a modification for desert use, and I think that means its a Mk IIB Trop, as opposed to a regular Mk IIB.
  12. Having looked up some info on Hurricanes it says there was a specific "Mk IIB Trop" for North Africa. So I assume that is what features in the photos, but don't know how you would tell. Steve
  13. Thanks, that link provides an interesting record of what went on, though if I had being flying in central Africa and come across the giant cacti referred to, then I would think I was seriously lost (no cacti in Africa). Part of the text sounds like an accurate description of the work of the RSUs working in the Western Desert recovering planes that didn't make it back from raids. I assume they did have to recover some being ferried up, but sounds a bit like the two activities have got a bit confused. However very interesting stuff, I had never seen any details of that ferry route. Steve
  14. Are those pods under the wings the extended range fuel tanks to get them there, and from where? Maybe from where you said but with intermediate stops. I don't know the range of a hurricane. Steve
  15. A few more photos from my fathers collection. Newly arrived hurricanes in North Africa in 1942 or 43 arrived with rotting fabric, so they had to be stripped back to the skeleton and re-covered. I think this was something to do with them being assembled and delivered right through tropical Africa. I don't know if these photos are of a single plane or several, and I can see different roundels, but that could be before and after. I am sure the ground crew were none too pleased to have to do this on new planes on top of all their other duties. It looks like hot work - and sitting on the tail plane while the engine is run up looks like it might sting a bit. If anyone can tell me about the aircraft delivery routing, and the dates this problem occurred that would be handy, I might even be able to tie it in to a specifix location/unit.
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