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Hi Guys

Just found this forum while trying to track down the old wagon I used to drive.  During the 1970's I was the unit sparky with 245 Squadron REME Worshop (TA) in Bristol.  My usual weekend runabout was an Albion Clansman 6x4 machinery truck 55BD01 together with her 10kVA generator trailer .  Spent many a cold and wet night sleeping under the canvas side shelters.  I have a hunch that when the unit was disbanded she may have ended up in the SEME historic vehicle collection at Bordon.  I have found a few shots of this type on the net and looking at the finer points of detail I think I have tracked her down.  Is there a point of contact where I could be able to confirm this?

Many thanks

Roy

 

Edited by 245Sparky
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Hi Richard

Many thanks for the info.  Lyneham is much closer to me as I live in North Somerset these days.  I used to live in Swindon right under the flight path of those Hercs which droned over all day.  What a relief it was when something different flew in, like the VC10 tankers and the odd Nimrod.

That must of been a hell of a challenge moving everything from Bordon where I did my basic 'being marched up and down and  shouted at'  followed by courses at SEME.

I will certainly follow up and arrange a visit.

Regards

Roy

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Mk3iain said:

One of these ?

 

 

Found the pic on the interweb...

 

Roy, If you have any pictures or reminisces please share, you never know where it may lead ..

 

Iain

Hi Iain,

Right truck but wrong body, looks like a workshop body from a Bedford RL. The Albion had the same design workshop body as used on the Fordson WOT6 and Bedford QL, canvas tilt with fold down sides to act as work benches. I remember one of these still in service in late 70's.

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I agree Richard.  The cab and chassis look the same but it was a dropside body as you mention with canvas top.  There is a shot of 55BD02 on Flicker which has a few detail differences.  The cabside turn indicators are in the wrong place - too high.  There is another with Q plates which I think was probably '01 and that has the indicators more or less as in Iain's picy.  I will share my recollections when I have time to put them together.   

Regards

Roy

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Yep, that's the one Iain.  We certainly customised ours with strip lighting in the workshop area.  I will certainly contact Roger and make a booking to visit Lyneham.  It'll be like seeing an old mate from 40+years ago if my old  'Mashy Wagon survived the move and if I can be allowed to sit in the cab I'll instinctively know that this is the one.  She went halfway round W Germany in '76 without incident.  Passed my HGV2 test in her around 1974.  So manouverable with the very tight turning circle and short wheelbase that the reverse parking test was a doddle.  In fact the examiner tightened it up to less than the dimensions allowed for a class 3 and I still managed to do it.

 

Regards

 

Roy

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1 hour ago, 245Sparky said:

Yep, that's the one Iain.  We certainly customised ours with strip lighting in the workshop area.  I will certainly contact Roger and make a booking to visit Lyneham.  It'll be like seeing an old mate from 40+years ago if my old  'Mashy Wagon survived the move and if I can be allowed to sit in the cab I'll instinctively know that this is the one.  She went halfway round W Germany in '76 without incident.  Passed my HGV2 test in her around 1974.  So manouverable with the very tight turning circle and short wheelbase that the reverse parking test was a doddle.  In fact the examiner tightened it up to less than the dimensions allowed for a class 3 and I still managed to do it.

 

Regards

 

Roy

Hi Roy,

Good job you did not take your test in the 10 ton Albion RE machinery wagon, they were incredibly heavy to steer, not helped by the big lathe across the front end of the body.

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I think I know the one you mean Richard.  

In 1977 we were invited to take part in the Queen's Silver Jubilee event on Bristol City Centre.  We did a full cosmetic restoration of our Albion with all the chrome cleaned and polished and wheel nuts picked out in red and white.  We displayed her with both side shelters erected, even painting the canvas awnings.  It was in that condition that we went to our annual camp at Barry Buddon near Dundee.  While there we took her across to her home at the Albion motor works in Glasgow for some sort of anniversary celebration which was taking place.  On return home we were reminded that this was a vehicle still in active service and ordered to respray her in matt camouflage livery, including all the shiny bits.  It was a great shame after all the work we had done previously.

One thing I discovered was that if you pulled in and set up camp on a very cold night and you were put on stag, that radiator grille took a good few hours to cool down so I kept warm by leaning against it.  Always volunteered for the first stag!

Roy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spoke to Roger this week and he confirms that my old wagon is at Lyneham.  It is in the reserve collection so not on display as such but he says that won't be a problem.  Just need to sort out a date and time when I can book a visit and take a trip up the M4.  I have found some old colour slides which I took  40-odd years ago and are in fairly good condition.  I don't have the means to digitalise them but I have told Roger I will hand them over to the museum to do with them as they see fit.

Roy

 

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Would you Adam and Eve it!  Last night I saw an Albion Clansman registration no. 55BD07 with REME markings on the cab.  It was on BBC2, Dads Army series 9 episode 1 entitled 'Wake up Walmington'  18 minutes in.  It was first broadcast in 1977 when my old wagon 55BD01 was still on active service.

Didn't believe my eyes at the time but I had another look on i-Player this morning and there it was.  I wonder how that one ended up being selected as a prop and still bearing military number plates.

Roy

  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Roy,

If you have a spare £12k handy, you can have an Albion workshop from Legacy Vehicles currently being advertised in the magazine 'Old Glory'. This may be the one you refer to in your last post. It looks in fine condition from the photograph and appears to be on UK GSK plates.

Regards,
Mike.

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Thanks Mike but I'd struggle to get it on the drive!  In any case, her indoors might object to our brace of BMW's being parked out on the road.  If only I had a barn I'd jump at the chance.  

When with 245 Sqn, our wagon was normally parked up in a section of our garages with about 3 inches clearance either side when going through the doors.  To manoeuvre it in and out involved a 90 degree turn in little more than the length of the wagon but the turning circle was so small that it always went through in one go.  Once inside, we plugged it into the mains with a flying lead to power the machinery.

Roy

 

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A nice example but a shame it has been modified quite a bit including the interior and the long crease in the driver's side cab door.  It doesn't look right to me with the turn indicators so high up on the cab, almost like a pair of ears.   I'd forgotten about the ladder to access the spare wheel between the cab and body.  I can't see any of the stowage facilities for the side shelter poles and canvasses which may have been removed.  I think '01 which is at Lyneham still has these.  Must take these photos with me to compare when I get round to visiting the museum.

Roy

 

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55 BD 01 was in the contract 6/v/6422 and was in a batch of 3 ton machinery   albions in the batch of numbers 54 BD 14 to 55 BD 16  l had 55 BD 10  and 99 BD 10      10 ton albion machinery truck at beverley and in the early days were used in the restoration of vehicles

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