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RAF Leyland workshop lorry

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I am sure most forum members will remember seeing the two RAF Leylands at the Knowle Hill rally on the forum a few years ago. The second chassis on top of the first with the parts to restore it scattered amongst many other additional lots.

They were both purchased by David Seeley who restored one, moved it on and then started on the second one but fitted it with an original workshop body which also featured on here some years ago. This could be seen at the GDSF this year. Although not finished it has really come along.

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David showed me some photos of the workshop not long after he acquired it and he asked me what the two vertical supports in the first photo were used for. I have never seen these on any of the workshop body photos that I have seen so thought they might be added later, but David is confident that they were either built into the workshop as new or popssibly added very professionally later on. They do seem to have the original colour paint as per the rest of the lorry. Any thoughts please?. 

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13 hours ago, Great War truck said:

David showed me some photos of the workshop not long after he acquired it and he asked me what the two vertical supports in the first photo were used for. I have never seen these on any of the workshop body photos that I have seen so thought they might be added later, but David is confident that they were either built into the workshop as new or popssibly added very professionally later on. They do seem to have the original colour paint as per the rest of the lorry. Any thoughts please?. 

Any sign that they might have supported overhead lineshafting for a lathe? 

http://www.lathes.co.uk/drummondlargerlathes/img23.jpg

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21 hours ago, Great War truck said:

...he asked me what the two vertical supports in the first photo were used for. 

Tim,  I assume you mean the two supports in the last photo?  It looks like there are three supports - one on the left side and two on the right.

Looking through some photos here, it is not uncommon to see one support approx. midships on either the left or righthand side. There's no obvious consistency, or what they were used for.   I've not seen any with two supports, let alone three.  That's not to say it's wrong, just unusual.  I'll keep looking!

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Thanks chaps. Allof the equipment should have been electrically powered so no need for line shafting. Good idea though.

It was the first photo and the two verticals towards the far end on the left. I have seen another vertical on a photograph which looks like it was securing a pillar drill, but I have not seen anything quite like these.

Thanks

 

Tim

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13 minutes ago, Great War truck said:

Thanks chaps. Allof the equipment should have been electrically powered so no need for line shafting. Good idea though.

If you look on lathes.co.uk enough you will find that many electrically powered lathes had overhead lineshafting. 

The example I gave a link to was an example of that. Here is another photo of the same lathe showing the electric motor.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/drummondlargerlathes/img26.jpg

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The roof  'ridge'board'  seems far to heavy in section for roofing, also the end structure(s) seem reinforced .  Seems to possibly be for a general purpose "sky-hook" for hanging a small set of rope-blocks off -  SWL  1/4 ton  ?

Timber has not been considered sufficiently reliable for lifting off for many years , however I can recall quite frequently used - 3 steam powered Scotch derrick cranes (this was until abt. 1970 ) , the 'clog factory' supplied timber blanks from a estate to Holland.  Also a few manual  Scotch derricks in such as timber-yards.

Edited by ruxy
spelin

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I maybe wrong but I believe there is a WW-1 RFC workshop body with equipment held at IWM-Duxford

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That upright support on the off side does appear in photos of some workshops as a mounting for a drill press. The body at Duxford has that wooden post and drill attached.

The layout of workshops does appear to have varied according to use and the type of specialist repairs. Photos show some with an engine and generating plant and others with line shafting including drive with a flat belt of the lorry flywheel. Also here we must consider an evolution over time, where development steadily changed the design as required. Another possible use relates to the heavy roof beam with this being for lifting items. Again the specialist link arises as if for some work on items that could not be manually lifted to work on, ie. small field guns or mortar repairs.

 I ask if there are holes in the vertical boards indicating attachment of machinery, and also likewise holes along the roof beam from which a steel rail could have been suspended. Remember those rails about the butcher shops for hanging meat carcasses from. That brings in another option, could the beam be used for hanging carcasses of meat in transport?  As for using a workshop type body , that what was available  at the time and location. Farming and crop growing was an important part in activities back from the lines. 

My thoughts are that these workshops were widely varied for specialist use, with the different fields of engineering all being involved in keeping things going.

 Great to see this area of the supply line being restored.

 Doug

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The IWM-Duxford dispay with blacksmiths bellows hearth (too big for rivet-heating)  & type of machinery seems more of a general millwrights shop for anything , not including specialist armourer (who may have called at times for their services).    The workshop being queried is  RAF , so I am thinking more rotary aero engine fitting shop  ?  + anything not canvas / dope  timber construction.

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40 minutes ago, ruxy said:

The IWM-Duxford dispay with blacksmiths bellows hearth (too big for rivet-heating)  & type of machinery seems more of a general millwrights shop for anything , not including specialist armourer (who may have called at times for their services).    The workshop being queried is  RAF , so I am thinking more rotary aero engine fitting shop  ?  + anything not canvas / dope  timber construction.

That would fit with my theory of lathe with overhead for driving milling and grinding attachments. 

Back in the 40s and earlier lathes were used for many things that would now be the role of specialised milling and grinding machines. 

Just take a look at all these attachments for the Rivett 608 (one of which resides in my living room).

http://www.lathes.co.uk/rivettearly608/index.html (scroll past the photos)

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I only have access to the 1923 inventory at the moment (there is a 1918 one at TNA, Kew but I haven't had a chance to copy it yet) and I can say that the IWM workshop body is pretty representative for the RAF Workshop lorries and trailers. Will try and get it scanned in a put up on here.

Only 4 photographs I can find in the RAF Museum collection, and they're not great unfortunately.

The first one is undated and could be a trailer as opposed to a lorry but it's the same body regardless

The second is wartime.

The Third is 45 Squadron, Iraq 1923

The last is also undated.

 

Leyland 1.jpg

Leyland 2.jpg

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Leyland 4.jpg

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I did some work on the workshop body at Duxford some years ago and was told then that it was originally a railway wagon body that had been re-purposed at the time, I'm not sure of the veracity of this though.

 

PT

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I wonder what the lathe is? It is very similar to the Drummond that I had a link to, but is clearly not exactly the same. 

Both have the large pulley in the base that is characteristic of a lathe with a treadle-power option, and in context that would probably have been worth retaining. 

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By 1923 the lathe options were:

Colchester 6" or 7"

Drummond 5" or 6"

Haigh 5"

Holbrook 5" or 6"

Not sure what the options were earlier on.

Also came across another pic, although most of it is obscured. 3 Trade Test Party, Cardiff 1916. And despite the RFC making every effort to become mechanised, it looks like horseshoes were still part of the blacksmith course. 

Leyland 5.jpg

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9 minutes ago, RAFMT said:

By 1923 the lathe options were:

Colchester 6" or 7"

Drummond 5" or 6"

Haigh 5"

Holbrook 5" or 6"

It does look like a Drummond (full circle tailstock handle) except that the clasp-nut lever is mounted on the side rather than front of the apron. Having a handle on the end of the leadscrew is also slightly unusual for a lathe which also has a carriage traverse handle on the apron. 

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Not so rare ,  well on Hobyist class lathes .

http://www.small-lathes.co.uk/Leadscrew-Handwheel-[A4735_6]/www.small-lathes.co.uk/Leadscrew-Handwheel-[A4735_6]/852.htm

I served 6 years apprenticeship as a fitter & turner ,  huge 6ft faceplate  flat-belt drive Swift (as mate) , down to Colchester Student & Myford .  My fav. toolroom class would without doubt be Henry Milnes & yes - Colchester inc. (providing it has a quiet  Kopp variable) but collet machine would have to be Brown & Smart.  So , yes been with centre lathes been around the block , have 2  + a ancient flat-belt Atlas (USA) unused for over 40 + years.  I can't recall using a leadscrew handwheel - on any lathe other than a Myford.

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It may well be that the MOD specified features on machine tools that were not usual on civilian production.

David

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4 hours ago, David Herbert said:

It may well be that the MOD specified features on machine tools that were not usual on civilian production.

David

It would be back-geared with bull-wheel of indexing type so that it could be used as a dividing-head.  It would not have had a carriage thread dial-indicator, doubtful if power reverse .  The leadscrew handwheel could probably be used for quick reverse-back when screwcutting.  However judging by the size (as big as the carriage handwheel) - I am thinking more use when shaping/cutting keyways , broaching splines , cutting gears - man-power being cheap , probably one at the headstock doing the indexing and another on the leadscrew handwheel driving the tool , using the carriage handwheel is done for this but not best practice.   Designed as a full universal - no miller or shaper on board.

Edited by ruxy
spelin

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The workshop body at Duxford I think first featured as part of to me a very atmospheric Dawn Patrol tableau with the Bristol F2b Fighter and the R.E.8 along with animated dummies dialog music and sound effects bird song explosions and lighting effects plus sparks off of the grinding wheel out from the workshop. All viewed as from the inside of a shattered building broken window and all. Early eights or there about in the Hanger adjacent the vehicle ramp over to the North side of the site, happy days, regards the body being a modified railway wagon, not heard that while I was there appears a little narrow for railway use but it’s a wooden structure so why-not       

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WIDTH..    More probable that it was adapted from a time-line container for a  'flat'  - in use until the first Freightliner with what is now the standard ISO container(s) -  BR approx.  1967...  Probably not worth considering a rail/lorry demountable.

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In WW1 the army had workshop wagons on the two foot gauge railway networks that served the forward areas. The bodies of these wagons were very similar in style to the truck mounted ones and came with different internal equipment depending on role. Obviously these were significantly narrower than standard gauge wagons so it is entirely possible that this is an explanation of the railway wagon theory.

David

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