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Ruddington and Other MoS Sales Catalogues


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Going to stick my neck out here Nick, but I know of an M20 that arrived from Ruddington in the back of an (unknown) army vehicle.  The owner, who still has it, did not know he was also buying a bike so there is some (only some) truth in the myth.

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  • 5 months later...
On 1/4/2020 at 2:10 PM, Nick Johns said:

Complete Myth...along with all the other myths of someone buying a truck and found a load of bikes in the back, and the old tale of Jeeps in packing cases sold cheap....it Never Happened ! ...nearly always told by somone who had Never been to a Military disposal auction

I believe what is said about. Old bedford QLs  being full of old motor bikes. I've also been told of Willys been dumped in quarries. My Landrover series 1 RGC 524 was sold in a group of 3 vehicles from Ruddington Air Port to a farmer Tony Derby. Is there a sales brochure of where and when.

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There have been lots of such stories over the years lets deal with  facts after the war this country was bankrupt   so it is a fact that  the government needed every penny. The auctions were held  under strict guide lines and all had a government offical in attendance  who kept the records  all vehicles arriving where checked and assess for condition so do you think that any one would over look a truck full of motorcycles. When vehicles are sold as a group there is a good reason they may have all been damage or stripped for parts before going to the sale.Do not get me wrong it is know there were biding rings who worked at auctions if any one can prove the stories show the proof hear say is a good form of the beginning to a story. 

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Rings, yes, in one catalogue I have there are scribbled calculations for payments to be made to another dealer.

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Surely with the thousands of vehicles auctioned over many years  the odd mistake must have been made.

Like leaving something in a truck or mis describing a lot.

Edited by XS650
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The system that was in place  was designed to avoid this happening the item for disposal was logged on its record card so if a disposal depot for arguments sake had  1000 items delivered then these would be recorded at the site then the auctioneers staff would record these for the catalogue At the sale the items would be recorded on the clerks payment ledger A the price B when payment made  C by whom  Then when the final results where put together the governments audit office would check the figures and last the record card would be amended .As you say it  mistakes could happen but from experience  the hand of man was usually  involved some years ago l was at  major armoured vehicle disposal depot after a auction on collection day were we witnessed a member of the public putting items from other vehicles in the one he had bought this was used in a later case

Edited by wally dugan
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00BK36, 02BK87 & 18BK90 were FV1601 upgraded to FV1623 upgraded to FV1624 and were sold off in July 1971. 02BK87 was sold in error having been previously withdrawn from sale. 

The selling price is not recorded but 00BK36 sold for £90 & 11BK90 for £50.  02BK87 (below) was purchased I believe by Mike Goodman who was invited to sell it back to the MOD an invitation that he declined.

For missile test purposes these vehicles had the same control & guidance systems fitted to Hornets., this equipment was considered sacrificial to be used in Hornets (in the same way that the system was backed up by Humber variants so that a B60 engine could be used to keep a Hornet operational - a point that seems to have been missed with the later introduction of Land Rovers to replace some Humber roles.)  I can only guess that some of this equipment perhaps had not been removed entirely as much of the control system for Malkara was replicated in Swingfire and considered sensitive?

70531971_02BK8701(Medium).thumb.jpg.97e329b20af5dd8610f36b6df7fa5c8d.jpg

Here is an extract from Max Richard's Humber Register of 1988

1623.thumb.jpg.886f3af403f570339c7ef609a115beb6.jpg

That must have been a crossed wires confusion on the day of the auction. The other error at a higher level that comes to mind is that despite the start of Operation Banner in August 1969 & by late 1971 there were about 200 Pigs in service in NI of these 139 had needed second line repairs. But even during 1971 Pigs & Humbers GS were still being sold off at Ruddington. To then start buying them back about 200 in early 1972.

As for bits in the backs of vehicles, I am told that many of the early Pigs that were sold had rear wheel stations in bits chucked in the back, no doubt with Chobham joint problems. A forewarning of the problems that were to come with a fleet of near 500 Pigs at any one time 80 Pigs were off the road with wheel station problems.

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From experience with MoD auctions, I can also see a basis of truth in the story. Things do get lotted up incorrectly or misdescribed at sales, including at the MoD disposal sales, but in my experience a buyer getting more, less or something different than they thought is more often than not the buyer's fault, not the auctioneers'. A bike in the back of a truck is likely to have been offered as such by the auctioneer and missed by the buyer rather than anything else.

I've seen a lot of spares come out in the back of vehicles, and I've got a Rubery Owen office trailer that came with new lighting, map tables etc. in the back, but I'm pretty sure the disposals people knew they were in there.

As to the stories of new jeeps, why not? Perhaps they won't have been CKD in crates, but I've seen plenty of brand new and delivery mileage only vehicles go through MoD sales, so why would that not happen in the '40s and '50s? The key to the story, though, is usually the price, forgetting the effect of subsequent inflation.

About the time I was going to Aston Down sales, I picked up a catalogue from the late '40s with prices in. On the face of it they looked cheap, with Bedford 3 tonners making around £25, but work it out in proportion to the weekly wage of the time and it was almost exactly the same as the current going rate for Bedford TKs at Aston Down.

I suspect Vass may have been given the option on those Bedfords; something auctioneers (used to) do to get through a large sale quicker. Instead of putting each up individually, the auctioneer would offer the first lot with an option on a number of subsequent identical lots. The winning bidder for the first lot could then take the rest at the bid price.

 

 

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 these stories all revolve round complete vehicles i accept  that vehicles did have things thrown in the backs general stuff that would have ended in the scrap compound or obsolete stores.. The point is that a record was kept of vehicles going for disposal if there was a discrepancy between what was sent and what  was sold the audit people would look in to it as most of the stories claim more than one and it is always motor cycles.          Also it would raise concerns about the honesty of those involved in the auctions as any one with a bit of common sense would know that there are those who may be tempted  .    As yet no  one has proof that this was a common thing at military vehicle auctions  as for sales catalogues l have a large number covering at least eighty years as well as original auctioneers accounts ledgers  showing the length's that  they went to  show transparency of dealings do not forget that any mistakes on there  behalf could be class as defrauding  the government and as to been cheap just compare what it cost in the forties and at todays prices

Edited by wally dugan
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it just crossed my mind if as what has been said that a vehicle left with a motorcycle and no one knew it was there there would only be one  release document for the  truck this in return would cause a problem when applying to register the motor cycle even more so as  been ex    military l am aware there ways and means to get round this but surely then the purchaser  would know there would be a problem and if honest would enquire at the auctioneers but that would be to unlikely then as now

Edited by wally dugan
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A friend of my father's bought a lot of 3 Bedford RLs from Ruddington to work in the woods on his Ravenswick estate in North Yorkshire. He sold 1 to someone at Ruddington and set off driving 1 and towing the other non runner on a solid towbar, after a couple of miles he thought that it was rather sluggish and pulled in to a layby to check for binding brakes. When they found that the brakes were not hot they checked the back of the Bedfords and found 25 crates in each truck, they opened 1 and found a BSA B40 so they opened more and found each crate contained a B40. Hello then found a phone box and rang the auctioneer and was told "you bought that lot so they are yours".

A friend of mine actually bought one of those  B40s and I can remember seeing the crated B40s stacked in his sawmill. 

On a slightly different tack a friend of mine went to the last auction at Aston Down to buy some Land Rovers, the auction ended without any Land Rovers being auctioned, my friend approached the auctioneer and asked why the Land Rovers had not gone through, the auctioneer admitted they had missed them and asked my friend to make an offer on them.

My friend checked the Land Rovers and found some were running, some had bits such as engines missing  and some were accident damaged. There were series 3 109s, 88s, ambulances, piglets and 101s. So my friend being cheeky offered £125 each, the auctioneer said that he would put the  offer in and let my friend know the outcome. 2 days later my friend got a phone call from the auctioneer telling him "they are all yours, all 450 of them, you have 3 days to move them" Yes he bought 450 Land Rovers at £125 and he did move them in 3 days to the field opposite the entrance to Aston Down.

 

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So they didn't notice 6 TONS of motorcycles until well into their journey and the auctioneer missed 450 Land Rovers, every single one. The vehicles most punters went there to buy.............mmm

Hard to believe

Edited by XS650
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Well that's interesting and for once one that can be checked as the location  is given and as it was the last one held  As post war military vehicle sales are a particular hobby of mine. in the past the national audit office archives have been of help in my research so a FOI request may be helpful and as the numbers are quite large there should be a record as it's not single items

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