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TREWHELLA WINCHES

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I was thinking about a British Army winch, which I bought from an ex-ministry dealer (for my local railway society) in the early 70's, a Trewhella Monkey Winch. Brilliant piece of kit, if a little cumbersome compared to a Tirfor.

 

To my amazement, I discover these are still being made, by the same company!

 

They also still make a Wallaby Winch, again supplied to the army.

 

I imagine they were standard issue to REME units, but can anyone say if these winches had any other specific applications? Also, from what era - WW2?

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I was thinking about a British Army winch, which I bought from an ex-ministry dealer (for my local railway society) in the early 70's, a Trewhella Monkey Winch. Brilliant piece of kit, if a little cumbersome compared to a Tirfor.

 

To my amazement, I discover these are still being made, by the same company!

 

They also still make a Wallaby Winch, again supplied to the army.

 

I imagine they were standard issue to REME units, but can anyone say if these winches had any other specific applications? Also, from what era - WW2?

 

 

Tony,

 

We mentioned Trewhella recently with the rope shorteners. When I was involved with winch and crane load testing for the army, we used to have Tirfors in, but on one occasion a Trewhella turned up, obviously quite old, looked like the Wallaby that you showed, much better hand winch to use, than a Tirfor although more cumbersome.Trewhella at one time advertised in the farming magazines, the Monkey winch, for pulling down trees, etc.

 

I think they were used in the war as part of REME equipment also a good chance the Engineers also used them. I seem to think they were originally an Australian company, hence the Wallaby name.

 

Richard

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We always knew them as the Trewhella tree winch, as you say a bit slow and cumbersome, we had a monkey winch years ago and it was often used to recover vehicles, got us out of trouble numerous times.

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Every home should have one. Much more versitile than a vehicle mounted whinch. Any idea where you can get one? Preferably ex military. The BRIXMIS crews used them and there are some good stories about using them to get away from the Narks.

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There is a series of video's available of British Army war-time training films. The one covering Recovery demonstrates one of these winches in use.

 

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never heard of them before , thanks for the information and the link , wonder why they never started a branch in the USA ?

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They started in Australia, then opened a factory in uK (natives were freindly).

 

You Americans - your idea of a winch is a %^&^*%$£ great Cat D8 with a chain - concept still the same though, hook up and work the (steering) lever backwards and fowards :whistle:

 

Probably never started in USA 'cos you guys are pretty good at building your own tools. I use U.S. drilling augers, nothing over here can touch them for quality of construction and correct use of alloy steel.

 

Lets see, what else from USA was good, well there was the 6x6 jimmy, (but that was a while ago now) - hmm, have to get back to you.......... :-D

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I grant you most Americans would rather use something engine powered rather than something hand powered but if those winches are as strong and versatile as they claim I m sure the extreme off roaders and smaller construction outfits would find them a handy tool to have .

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I've used turfors for all sorts of weird and wonderful. They have as much power as motor winches and a lot more control you can feel the pull in.

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Rather than do the pressing job, the VAT return, I have just spoken to the proprietor of Trewhella. Some interesting facts -

 

* Each Hengist and Hawser GLIDER (Arnhem etc) had a Wallaby winch with collapsible handle (down to 12") stowed, for use if needed to unload equipment.

 

* Some Sherman tanks had a Monkey winch supplied as part of their standard equipment, stowed on the hull somewhere. He doesn't know for what purpose.

 

* Monkey winches are still made for export (Africa etc for tree pulling) but are hideously expensive, like you could buy 3 Chinese copy tirfors!

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* Monkey winches are still made for export (Africa etc for tree pulling) but are hideously expensive, like you could buy 3 Chinese copy tirfors!

 

Which would you trust your life to? ;-)

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A resurrection to a very old thread....

 

I was rather saddened to learn yesterday that the firm of Trewhella Brothers went into liquidation early in May 2017, bringing to an end another chapter of British engineering. I found it strangely reassuring that up until now it was possible to buy spares for the Monkey and Wallaby winches, along with the rope shorteners, fence wire strainers, and other top qualtiy Trewhella products. Sadly no more.

So another British engineering name bites the dust. Very sad.

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Damm! I have actually now got one, my son picked it up for litterlly a couple of quid at a boot sale. 

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I've just had a quick tally-up round the barn and found the rather startling total of four Monkey winches and three of the scarcer Wallaby winches!

Does this make me a bad person or just a weirdo? 

I may have to investigate remanufacturing the various springs used on these winches. Most other parts are easy enough to refurbish but the springs tend to fail and are all oddballs.

Edited by utt61

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Hello and thank you for letting me join your Forum.  I was reading "utt61" Post regarding his collection of Monkey Winches and the prospect of having to have new springs remanufactured.

I have to date found that the Monkey Winch is no longer manufactured by Trewhella Bros in the UK, hence no exports or spare parts available in the UK as a result of the Company going "belly up" in early 2017.

There IS now a manufacturer in India that is producing these winches!  I contacted the Company to see if they provided a spare parts back-up or would sell "replacement parts".  The answer was a flat "No".  There IS a seller in China...does not answer inquires.

OK that's the bad news!  The "GOOD NEWS" is there is a chap in Australia Dennis Trewhella (now the penny have have dropped for some already). Yes "Kin" of the Original Trewhella Brothers.  He is in his capacity of "keeper of all plans/schematics" Trewhella now out of kindness and consideration to keeping these winches/jacks running, making parts where possible.  He currently has replacement springs for the Monkey Winch and is in the process of having the cast sweeper remanufactured to original specs.  Enough of my ranting as a new member.  His contact e-mail is trewhellajacks@gmail.com so if chasing "odball springs" and such this chap may be able to assist.  Hope that helps.

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Brian, welcome, and thank you for such a helpful first post! The news that spares may once again become available is very encouraging and welcome.

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