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Tony Lawrence

REME Lightweight Electrical Repair trailer

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Out of the blue I was given by the previous owner the missing manufacturers plate and army re-build plate for the trailer.

This promptly opened up a can of worms as we had previously thought that these rare trailers were from a batch of 300 manufactured by Dashwood - in the Chilwell list of B vehicle numbers this manufacturer is the only one shown specifically manufacturing these trailers and given their very low survival rate this is logical.

However the plate I was given is an Orme Evans plate with a WD number (X 6150842 ) and contract number 23/7945. The WD number is lower than John Corden's Dashwood manufactured trailer or the REME museums machinery trailer (also Dashwood)

The contract number relates to "Trailer 10 cwt 2wh Various types" and is referred to in the various ID lists as covering the following trailers...Lightweight electrical repair, lightweight machinery, lightweight  type 'Z', lightweight compressor, lightweight circular saw, lightweight electric welding, lightweight generator 5 KW, lightweight G.S. No. 1 Mk.2, lightweight store and No. 1 Mk.2, lightweight water, 100 gallon. i.e most of the lightweight trailers. So it begs the question as to why (and how)  Orme Evans managed to manufacture such a wide variety of trailers. Granted certain components were the same throughout the range but the basic chassis were very different. Brockhouse manufactured a few 10cwt trailers, Dashwood only the electrical repair trailer, Reliance only some GS trailers, Reynolds several different types and finally SS Cars who only manufactured GS No. 1 trailers. Logically it should have been easier to allow each manufacturer to produce certain types to make for more efficiency.

All this means really is that an unknown number of Lightweight electrical repair trailers were produced and that the first were probably produced by Orme Evans with Dashwood producing a later batch but why there were so few survivors is anybodies guess unless it was because unlike a trailer that can carry something such as a mortar trailer or GS trailer there is absolutely no other use for them and so they were dumped or scrapped.

Also my trailer probably dates from 1945 as this date was stamped on the jaws of all four vices that were on the worktop and the rebuild plate dates from 1961 so they were still being used then.

Sorry for the ramblings but it is too cold to go into the garage!!

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I wonder why my trailer had olive drab paint in inaccessible areas and under the later glossy green if it was produced after 1945 as your post might suggest?

Of course the other option which would explain all the conclusions drawn from these plates is that they are not actually the plates from this trailer...but are indeed from another Orme Evans produced 10cwt trailer of some type.

At some time they have been removed and mixed up, as believe the previous owners had several trailers.

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1 hour ago, cordenj said:

I wonder why my trailer had olive drab paint in inaccessible areas and under the later glossy green if it was produced after 1945 as your post might suggest?

Of course the other option which would explain all the conclusions drawn from these plates is that they are not actually the plates from this trailer...but are indeed from another Orme Evans produced 10cwt trailer of some type.

At some time they have been removed and mixed up, as believe the previous owners had several trailers.

First of all, when was bronze green introduced? If my trailer is anything to go by it was after 1945  (dates on vices).  Would it have been repainted during it's 1961 re-build?

Secondly all the WD numbers were allocated in blocks so on second thoughts the order may be irrelevant and dependent on time of manufacture and use of the allocation by the manufacturer.

Thirdly, the plate holes match up exactly to those on the trailer - I do not know if the holes on the trailer match up to the Dashwood plate.

No doubt somebody out there will have an answer.

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This is the brass plate from my Electrical Repair Trailer:

image.png.3fc1f39312f366a35a4369a039413652.pngIMG_0225 (Medium).JPG

Dimensions appear similar to the aluminium one.

The 1961 rebuild plate is of a standard format and size, so any rebuild plate would have the same dimensions and location of of securing holes

 

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15 hours ago, cordenj said:

I wonder why my trailer had olive drab paint in inaccessible areas and under the later glossy green if it was produced after 1945 as your post might suggest?

Of course the other option which would explain all the conclusions drawn from these plates is that they are not actually the plates from this trailer...but are indeed from another Orme Evans produced 10cwt trailer of some type.

At some time they have been removed and mixed up, as believe the previous owners had several trailers.

When in doubt go to the records at Deepcut - I now have the key card for my Orme Evans "trailer. 1/2 ton Lt.Wt. Electric repair. 2WH"

Also, guess what? On the same key card are the records for the Dashwood trailers of the same designation. I believe a pint is in order!!

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 Parts sandblasted and now am waiting for decent weather to take it outside to spray. The main chassis appears to be in good condition and all I have to do is remove the tow hitch to dismantle it to free it up.

The valve grinder is in pieces to be gradually cleaned and re-assembled. It is a restoration job in it's own right,

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With the advent of good weather the restoration has come on in leaps and bounds - photographs are the best to show progress.

I have kept the original wood even though it is not in the best condition (but it is imperial measurements). One interesting thing is the use of Phillips screws. One or two could be put down to later replacements but the main box is completely constructed using these screws as are many of the other wood units (such as the rear tool drawer) and footman loops attached to wood.

The other puzzle is the electrics. There is an obvious line of cable clips taking the main trailer cable to the rear of the trailer and a set of double size clips from the rear to the convoy light underneath. Logic says that the main cable goes to the rear and a small Lucas junction box fixed to a plate on the rear chassis member. From this a cable returns to the convoy light but why have a junction box. There is no apparent set of holes that would fit a rear light or trailer plug as on other trailers or any type of switch. All these parts are listed in the parts list for this type of trailer but there appears to be nowhere where they were fitted.

Any ideas?

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