Jump to content

Dorking covenanter recovery


Recommended Posts

i'm going back down on thursday to move the tank and reassemble it as best i can. we'll be using a giant 4x4 forklift to up end it and get the crap out of it, after which it will be moved nearer to the main building and put together with the parts we have.

i'm looking for volunteers to help with the resto. i'm bringing a gas axe and welder genset and an assortment of large hammers. anyone that knows how to use these precision tools will be most welcome :)

 

this will be a one day resto

 

If only I was closer or when down in Southampton

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 212
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Having chosen the coldest day of the year Rick successfully loaded the Covenanter and set off for home at about 5.30pm. It is almost a year since the first reconnaissance to Denbies. I was there for a

i'm going down to denbies next week to collect the tank and bring it back up north to start the resto, so if any of you southern types haven't sen it yet now's your chance.

i thought it was a good show and was pleased they didn't try to take all the credit. i plan to go back down soon and bring the tank back to manchester

Posted Images

What you have all been waiting for.attachment.php?attachmentid=126369&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126370&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126371&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126372&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126376&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126374&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126375&stc=1

 

There was a good amount of original green paint still but what we all want to know is what the T number represents. Obviously it is the tank number but can anybody relate it to a particular vehicle and its service in a particular brigade or division. There was also a red tac sign with 51.

 

The ugly person in the tank is Rick who thinks it is his personal property (it probably is - well done Rick)

2017-06-01 14.11.45.jpg

2017-06-01 14.45.06.jpg

2017-06-01 14.46.28.jpg

2017-06-01 14.58.29.jpg

2017-06-01 16.08.27.jpg

2017-06-01 18.35.59.jpg

2017-06-01 19.37.44.jpg

2017-06-01 16.08.27.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done, Rick

Your tank's census number T18656 falls into the following groups;

[h=2]T18361 - T18660 CovenanterI, II, Bridgelayer[/h][h=2]T18661 - T18760 CovenanterI, Bridgelayer

[/h]These numbers are from the pre-1948 A Vehicle census list on the MAFVA website. Not sure where it means these groups were gun tanks and bridgelayers or just the latter. You will have to look for unusual fittings on the hull to ascertain if it was a bridgelayer.

regards, Richard

Link to post
Share on other sites

bridge-layer might explain lack of turret, but then again it's also missing the "bridge'y parts "

 

Important thing is it's recovered, job well done .

 

Is that the engine and final drive in the 4th photo, still in the tank?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur with Adrian, there were 300 built in that contract by English Electric, as being I , III , IV marks which included 28 bridge layers out of that 300. The BL's were based on a MKI or Mk IV chassis , built without turrets for this purpose rather than converted gun tanks. Total production figures are something like 1771, being 500 MkI (20 B/L ), 680 MkIII , 585 MkIV ( 60 B/L ) Cheers Andrew.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It's clearly a Mk III gun tank, T18656 was an English Electric built tank to contract T104 which covered Mk I, II, III and bridgelayers.

 

The turret came from either Pirbright or SPTA, I can't remember which!

 

It is definitely a gun tank - it still had some of the cardboard inserts in the shell racks. The engine, final drive and radiators are still in situattachment.php?attachmentid=126381&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126382&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=126383&stc=1

What we would love to find out is what unit it belonged to. the first one dug up in the 1980's had a 79th AD badge (see my previous photos) but we cannot make out any badge or markings except what I have mentioned above. Does the 51/red square with the T number correlate?

2017-06-01 14.58.29.jpg

2017-06-01 16.02.23.jpg

2017-06-01 18.18.44.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does the 51/red square with the T number correlate?

 

Nope, the 51 indicates the senior regiment in the brigade at the time, the T number is just the census number of the tank. You would need the formation sign to figure out the user.

Link to post
Share on other sites
There is Boar hill between coldharbour and North Holmwood which I believe is still in use, we used to collect bullets from the sand pits at Milton heath between Dorking and Westcott as kids 50 years ago, it was a wartime range.

 

 

 

 

Yes extremely like that, what a great start!

 

Westcott was still in use as a range in 1958; put many a round down there when I was at school in Leatherhead. Was that really 60 years ago? I must be getting on!

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

The thought of the work involved in restoring that thing is sobering to say the least.

 

I would guess that both the engine and transmission will have taken hits during its target days, hull work can be done from new materials, but how to source a usable Meadows engine and a correct Wilson transmission would be

quite a task?

 

By the way, many years ago I came across 2 or 3 sets of those unique road wheels with the characteristic holes/dimples in the rubber tyre in a scrap yard in central Victoria. I do remember that the pair of wheels on the swing arm were darn heavy. At the time I had no way of transporting them. They were complete to the swing arm which is where they had been oxy cut off the vehicle (of which no trace remained).

 

I offered to recover them for Bovvy, who showed no interest even though their Crusader had damaged rubber on its road

wheels, so did not take it any further at that time.

 

On the next visit they had gone and when I asked where was told to South Australia. Given that the HMV community in SA isn't all that big, chances are that some enquiries may locate them. Worth a try.

 

Regards

Doug

Edited by dgrev
Link to post
Share on other sites

doug the left side of the tank looks like it was used for infantry demolition training and is absolutely hammered. i don't know what size ring will fit yet but i'm sure i will get to grips with it one day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
doug the left side of the tank looks like it was used for infantry demolition training .
That was my first thought as well, combat engineer training with a charge placed on the sponson, just above or slightly behind the 2nd road-wheel, which blew off 2 wheels, the turret, and buckled the ring.

 

Looking at the timing though, Coventanters relegated for scrapping in 43 , and PIAT introduced in 43, first unit issued PIAT's were Canadian (who were also the last to operate these covenanters according to Denbies hisotry) is it possible that the damage was caused by a tank hunter crew training with PIAT ?

 

At least you have most of the unique Covey parts, like those radiator covers and turret. Wheels and tracks are still probably pretty rare but look like they might have been shared with other early cruisers?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...