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Top marks for spotting and identifying the upside down Ram. As Adrian has said rolling it over enabled us to do the underside welds, which were on the new sponson plates.


How can you tell it's a ram? What makes it so different from a Sherman.

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How can you tell it's a ram? What makes it so different from a Sherman.



Totally different hull casting especially the front end. Casting narrows toward the front -where the Ram style muguard will be fitted, note the ventilator bulge half way along the side with a small deflector plate welded to the underside of the sponson - where early Rams had sponson doors, the hull front has a drivers door like an M3 or M7priest or Sexton and a different shape to take it. there is a hole for the auxilary turret and a small piece of casting to match up with the Rams M3 style 3 piece differential. Both these were elliminated on later Rams.

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Antony there is a problem with the last picture .

It's not on the good side !

You are crazy people !

Who's machine make this ? :D


I have been called 'Loco' by a Spaniard, 'Ting Tong' by a Thai so I don't mind being called Crazy by a Frenchman. It's probably a help in this line of business!

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alan turner

.....I have visual evidence of new that Cents and chieftains starting off inverted in the jig then being turned right way up, also the cent turret line at Leeds was all turret ring up until the last job on it was finished



The jigs and manipulators in factoies making Cents such as the ROFs and Vickers were pretty much the same as those developed during WW2. The welding manipulators that did the hulls and turrets on Cents were similar if not the same as those used on Valentines and each factory also had at least one manipulator that was a heavier version of the ingenious portable unit that Adrian made. These can be seen in war time photos jigging Churchill mk7 hulls- but in other factories.


As to the turret being built upside down, obviously alot of machining around the turret ring requires the casting to be inverted and the Central Press series of photos do show inverted turrets littering the floor at Leeds- however there are photos in the same series showing turrets in the manipulator having the turret roof welded in from above at a fairly early stage in the manufacture and other actions (see the old Ian Allan Centurion book by Simon Dunstan).


Prior to the redevelopment of Vickers Newcastle in the 1970s the turret ring machining jig was the same jig that had cut many naval vessels turret rings dating back at least as far as WW1. There were also deep barbette fabrication pits in the plant capable of swallowing a complete 15inch barbette -but planked over and used in later years for comparatively tiny twin 4.45in barbettes for Whitby calss frigates and probably later class single mounts too.

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I am due to see Simon Dunstan in the near future as he hopes to do a new large book on the Centurion and he has already seen the 700 odd from RAWHS colln when I first met him, and feels that some of the views held may tell differing stories to those of the past.


View of single Cent line at Leeds attd.

turret lathes middle shop.jpg

Turret erection line middle shop.jpg

Hull Erection lines middle shop 01.jpg

Turret Machinig West Shop 01.jpg

Turret Machinig West Shop 02.jpg

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alan turner

View of single Cent line at Leeds attd.



Further to your post shown below are three stock photos of none Barnbow or Elswick welding manipulators for completeness. Ist is Valentine probably at Metro or a sub-contractor. The next is a Mk7 Churchill which again could be at a sub-contractor. The 3rd is the prise winning Guy motors manipulator.



Variations of the above are shown in the following central press photos as mentioned in my previous post in the first two photos rotatry manipulators are visible in the background as are other types.


the last photo showing a pit manipulator


Manifacture of turrets showing turrets both inverted and upright on various plains and jigs, the final photo shows a welder working on the roof of a turret held in a pit manipulator.


The purpose of a manipulator is fairly simple to hold the work piece and to allow gravity welding, which improves the quality of the weld, in addition makes it less hazardous to the welder. It would be perfectly reasonable to start the welding of a hull boat inverted.


I am fairly sure that most if not all of the Central Press photos were taken in Barnbow rather than Elswick/Scotswood which was a fairly ancient factory even at that time and to endorse what Simon Dunstan has infered that different manufacturers may have different systems to carry out the same job. David Fletcher mentions in his book Mr Churchills tank that a skilled and knowledgeable welder or industrial historian would be able to differentiate the manufacturer of Mk7/8 tanks by the welding methodolgy.














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Engine factoide

I was talking to the engine builders today and they rekon that the pair of engines with all the new internals ,new 4 valve heads and up rated injectors should develop around a combined 440 horse power ,a good increase over the original spec and hopefully alot less smoke !!


Edited by Adrian Scott
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While the engines are being readied for test running, work is continuing on the turret.


When the M10 was put into the playground, anything that junior could snag themselves on was removed and consequently the interior of the turret was stripped bare.


We remade all of it and it has now been fitted back in place.


These show the turret after blasting together with the fitted stowage for the six ready rounds, four Stens, dial sight, binoculars, grenades etc. etc.






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Those boxes to the left of the Stens look remarkably like repro boxes of the ones I was trying to get identified a while ago.


Do you have measurements? Are they divided inside?




They are repro boxes for grenades and are divided internally for four grenades. I don't have the dimensions to hand. They are only made of 16g sheet though and are standard for the time.

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