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Range Wrecks

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Why does Comet No. 5 have a different rear plate, without what I assume (perhaps foolishly) are exhaust outlets that can be seen on all the others?




It's an early, A hull Comet which used a Cromwell style rear hull design. That featured internal fishtails that discharged upwards immediately in front of the rear plate. B type hulls used the armoured, external fishtails.

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Rarer than B types but then they always were! There are a few A types in preservation.


To elaborate a little, early type A had a plain rear plate, lower on the top edge which was made up to full height with a welded sheet metal extension as per Cromwell. Later rear plates were full height and drilled for fishtails, though the holes were covered with square blanking plates. These may be B type hulls but lacking the external fishtails due to a supply problem presumably.

True B type hulls have the external fishtails.

Edited by Adrian Barrell
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Never noticed the difference in Comet hulls when I photographed them 2011. When in green working up there in the seventies the place was awash with old vehicles; three Churchill Toads, Centurion target tank, lots of Chieftains, four or five Conquerors, many Sherman and lots and lots of Daimler Armoured cars. We used to use a hull from a Charioteer as a high speed smoke generator for laser tests also an Austin Champ for the same. There was also a Daimler Armoured car in the park at Kirk also one in Dalbeattie. Both removed some time ago because of children falling off them. I think they were both cut up for scrap. >:(

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Kirkcudbright No 23. Chieftain













This one is interesting it is 00DA05 an unarmoured prototype used for driving trials. When we shot it it was complete except for the main armament gun barrel. The big holes are 120 APDS and the small ones on the wing are .50 ranging gun. Happy days.


Not in the same position today, it was dragged up the hill about a hundred yards for some reason in the past. I see some enterprising person has taken the radiators.


You're doing a great job Balmae, well done it's great. I was unable to get around as much as you have managed, I couldn't take that many photographs when I was in green because of all the confidential background stuff. It might be an idea to follow your lead and document all the hards on the major ranges. There was a big house on the edge of the range area call Balmae, there were still some outbuildings and a pet cemetery there in the late seventies, early eighties. The big house on the other end, Netherlaw was complete but since knocked down.

Edited by challenger
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Some excellent info there fellas, anymore greatly appreciated on any of the wrecks. Balmae cottage and walled garden are still there and kept maintained due to an agreement it would be handed back to the original owner if ever the site was sold off. A lot of the old buildings have since been demolished. Still a few more wrecks to come. Cheers!

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