Jump to content
eddy8men

Dorking covenanter recovery

Recommended Posts

i'm going back down on thursday to move the tank and reassemble it as best i can. we'll be using a giant 4x4 forklift to up end it and get the crap out of it, after which it will be moved nearer to the main building and put together with the parts we have.

i'm looking for volunteers to help with the resto. i'm bringing a gas axe and welder genset and an assortment of large hammers. anyone that knows how to use these precision tools will be most welcome :)

 

this will be a one day resto

 

If only I was closer or when down in Southampton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you have all been waiting for.attachment.php?attachmentid=126369&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126370&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126371&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126372&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126376&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126374&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126375&stc=1

 

There was a good amount of original green paint still but what we all want to know is what the T number represents. Obviously it is the tank number but can anybody relate it to a particular vehicle and its service in a particular brigade or division. There was also a red tac sign with 51.

 

The ugly person in the tank is Rick who thinks it is his personal property (it probably is - well done Rick)

2017-06-01 14.11.45.jpg

2017-06-01 14.45.06.jpg

2017-06-01 14.46.28.jpg

2017-06-01 14.58.29.jpg

2017-06-01 16.08.27.jpg

2017-06-01 18.35.59.jpg

2017-06-01 19.37.44.jpg

2017-06-01 16.08.27.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done, Rick

Your tank's census number T18656 falls into the following groups;

[h=2]T18361 - T18660 CovenanterI, II, Bridgelayer[/h][h=2]T18661 - T18760 CovenanterI, Bridgelayer

[/h]These numbers are from the pre-1948 A Vehicle census list on the MAFVA website. Not sure where it means these groups were gun tanks and bridgelayers or just the latter. You will have to look for unusual fittings on the hull to ascertain if it was a bridgelayer.

regards, Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought you were joking about picking it up with a forklift! :shocked:

 

(I hope the "one day restoration" was a joke, at least, it looks in surprisingly good condition for something that has been buried for 72 years or so.)

 

Chris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing stuff !!!! :bow: Rick you are a star!!! Is the turret form the same site ..only it looks different colour ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bridge-layer might explain lack of turret, but then again it's also missing the "bridge'y parts "

 

Important thing is it's recovered, job well done .

 

Is that the engine and final drive in the 4th photo, still in the tank?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's clearly a Mk III gun tank, T18656 was an English Electric built tank to contract T104 which covered Mk I, II, III and bridgelayers.

 

The turret came from either Pirbright or SPTA, I can't remember which!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur with Adrian, there were 300 built in that contract by English Electric, as being I , III , IV marks which included 28 bridge layers out of that 300. The BL's were based on a MKI or Mk IV chassis , built without turrets for this purpose rather than converted gun tanks. Total production figures are something like 1771, being 500 MkI (20 B/L ), 680 MkIII , 585 MkIV ( 60 B/L ) Cheers Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's clearly a Mk III gun tank, T18656 was an English Electric built tank to contract T104 which covered Mk I, II, III and bridgelayers.

 

The turret came from either Pirbright or SPTA, I can't remember which!

 

It is definitely a gun tank - it still had some of the cardboard inserts in the shell racks. The engine, final drive and radiators are still in situattachment.php?attachmentid=126381&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126382&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126383&stc=1

What we would love to find out is what unit it belonged to. the first one dug up in the 1980's had a 79th AD badge (see my previous photos) but we cannot make out any badge or markings except what I have mentioned above. Does the 51/red square with the T number correlate?

2017-06-01 14.58.29.jpg

2017-06-01 16.02.23.jpg

2017-06-01 18.18.44.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea how much you actually shoveled out of it? What is the basic state of the interior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does the 51/red square with the T number correlate?

 

Nope, the 51 indicates the senior regiment in the brigade at the time, the T number is just the census number of the tank. You would need the formation sign to figure out the user.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is Boar hill between coldharbour and North Holmwood which I believe is still in use, we used to collect bullets from the sand pits at Milton heath between Dorking and Westcott as kids 50 years ago, it was a wartime range.

 

 

 

 

Yes extremely like that, what a great start!

 

Westcott was still in use as a range in 1958; put many a round down there when I was at school in Leatherhead. Was that really 60 years ago? I must be getting on!

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rick has finally gone home having welded most of the loose bits onto the tank and put a grill over the turret top to keep the great unwashed of Dorking off his toyattachment.php?attachmentid=126389&stc=1

2017-06-02 17.31.03.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

couple of long hard days for sure but worth it, finally got home at 10.30 pm.

 

and so onto the next buried tank :cool2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
great unwashed of Dorking

Oy, we do not have unwashed in Dorking great or otherwise :mad:

 

Looks a whole lot better for the wash and brush up, well done Rick!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thought of the work involved in restoring that thing is sobering to say the least.

 

I would guess that both the engine and transmission will have taken hits during its target days, hull work can be done from new materials, but how to source a usable Meadows engine and a correct Wilson transmission would be

quite a task?

 

By the way, many years ago I came across 2 or 3 sets of those unique road wheels with the characteristic holes/dimples in the rubber tyre in a scrap yard in central Victoria. I do remember that the pair of wheels on the swing arm were darn heavy. At the time I had no way of transporting them. They were complete to the swing arm which is where they had been oxy cut off the vehicle (of which no trace remained).

 

I offered to recover them for Bovvy, who showed no interest even though their Crusader had damaged rubber on its road

wheels, so did not take it any further at that time.

 

On the next visit they had gone and when I asked where was told to South Australia. Given that the HMV community in SA isn't all that big, chances are that some enquiries may locate them. Worth a try.

 

Regards

Doug

Edited by dgrev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

but how to source a ............. correct Wilson transmission would be quite a task?

 

 

 

There is new or as new one available, I have told Rick, and it is in NSW...... 'no names, no pack drill' ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The thought of the work involved in restoring that thing is sobering to say the least.

 

 

Now that it's recovered, I'm hoping Rick will work his way up to it by finishing the work on a certain Charioteer first ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lauren charioteers are boring i want a real challenge to get stuck into :)

Edited by eddy8men

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

unfortunately i never take many pics of my antics as i'm normally otherwise engaged but i did manage a few of the covenanter

IMG_20170602_104020010_HDR.jpg

IMG_20170602_150656746.jpg

IMG_20170602_104034814.jpg

IMG_20170602_104050901_HDR.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rick

 

I note the turret ring has taken a massive hit.

 

What size turret ring fits?

 

Is it the same as Matilda, Staghound, Lee/Grant?

 

Regards

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

doug the left side of the tank looks like it was used for infantry demolition training and is absolutely hammered. i don't know what size ring will fit yet but i'm sure i will get to grips with it one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
doug the left side of the tank looks like it was used for infantry demolition training .
That was my first thought as well, combat engineer training with a charge placed on the sponson, just above or slightly behind the 2nd road-wheel, which blew off 2 wheels, the turret, and buckled the ring.

 

Looking at the timing though, Coventanters relegated for scrapping in 43 , and PIAT introduced in 43, first unit issued PIAT's were Canadian (who were also the last to operate these covenanters according to Denbies hisotry) is it possible that the damage was caused by a tank hunter crew training with PIAT ?

 

At least you have most of the unique Covey parts, like those radiator covers and turret. Wheels and tracks are still probably pretty rare but look like they might have been shared with other early cruisers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...