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Royal Navy Green Goddess


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I have recently acquired an ex-RN 'Green Goddess ' 05 RN 81 and wondered whether anyone can shed any light on it's history. Apparently it was stationed at a nuclear facility because of it's ability to pump huge quantities of water in the event of an accident. It was painted red and seems to be a late model as it has a later pattern grille and chassis number. It needs a lot of restoration including some new panels at the front, wings and upper. Are these available anywhere ( same as Bedford RL etc. ) ?

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The GGs built for the Auxiliary Fire Service had the original style grill plus had a recess central above the windscreen for twin amber flashers. A number were also built for the Army fire service. Some. Of these had the later grill and no recess above the windscreen. I have the chassis numbers for some of these. So it may have been transferred from the army ?? Let me know the chass number and I will check if I have it.

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Thanks Ted. The chassis number is RLHZ3 49040 and I believe the Navy number was 05RN81 as that is stamped on a tag on the keyring. The chassis and underneath is painted black but the body seems to have been red from the outset as there is no sign of green or blue paint. However I would be very interested to find out more and its year of manufacture. It is currently on a Q plate having been registered in 1996 however I would like to re-register with an age appropriate number.

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Afraid Nothing like that chassis number in the incomplete Army list I have- most are 11***    then 19***  then a handful 345***. The nearest to yours is 345520.  With no sign of green I expect this will be ex Army, Some of the first batch into Army Fire Service  service were gloss green and some Lt Stone. then later batches in red. But they had the earlier grill and the recessed twin amber flashers.  They were followed by a batch with the twin amber flashers and new grill, Then a later batch with  new grill and no amber flashers  ( see attached ).  Unfortunately It seems when some later examples were delivered the chassis numbers RLHZ3  12345 would be recorded as 312345.      

The attached Army example is listed as chassis number 345455- which I presume is RLHZ3 45455.  Sorry I cannot give you a better answer. TED

01 EL 35.jpg

Edited by ted angus
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Thanks for your help Ted. The plot thickens as they say. My main worry is whether mine is pre-1960. My understanding is that all the goddesses were built from 1955-1957 however the late grille and bug eye front indicators might tell a different story.

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The later grill was fitted from 1957 IIRC, 01EL35 in the last picture dates from 1963/4. At least two of the RL support vehicles for the Goddesses that we sold had the later grill and dated from 1966.

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Thanks Mike. Perhaps it was only the earlier pattern Goddesses that were made in the fifties and the later pattern after 1960? Anyway it is still a mystery unless there are Bedford production records somewhere.

 

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 The Royal Navy re issued their ERM and some have been used on three or more different RN vehicles over time.

05RN81 was allocated to a Morris Commercial Fire Tender which was sold at Ruddington on 15th March 1960.

Maybe after the Morris was cast,  05RN81 was  re allocated to a Bedford 4x4 Fire Tender, because 05RN88 and 05RN89 were both Bedford 4x4 Firefly Fire Tenders produced by HB Angus, and both sold at Ruddington in January 1978. Interestingly my records show these these Firefly vehicles as RLC3 rather than RLHZ3, so maybe a batch of RLC3 drop side cargos were converted by HB Angus for RN use. Conjecture of course, but might assist further investigations.

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Just when I thought I couldn't get more confused.....! That is very interesting about the re-allocation of VRNs which adds another level of complication. I wonder if the RN have a record of their vehicle fleets somewhere? Thanks for the information which will help fit the jigsaw together.

 

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Hi Ted, That looks an interesting mixture of parts. They look to be civilian pattern wheels/tyres and cab. So mine must have been registered about the same time though I wonder when it was made.

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05RN89 & 88: They are not converted from a RLC3! So my conjecture was incorrect!  They look as if they are based on the the civilian Bedford S type but with 4x4 added.  Similar chassis spec to some of the Bedford recovery vehicles of the period. 

Regarding date of production or date into service,  04RN88 date into service was June 1965, and 06RN17 date into service was 1968, so 05RN81 would fall between those dates, maybe 1966/7 , sorry I do not have further information to be more specific.

 

As far as I know they are no official records of Royal Naval vehicle history, but I do have a list of approx 2500 ERM's that I have compiled over the last 30 odd years from various sources.

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1 hour ago, B series said:

05RN89 & 88: They are not converted from a RLC3! So my conjecture was incorrect!  They look as if they are based on the the civilian Bedford S type but with 4x4 added.  Similar chassis spec to some of the Bedford recovery vehicles of the period. 

 

The S type, 4x2 was discontinued around 1959-60 when the TK was introduced, but the R type 4x4 continued in production to around 1969. The R type 4x4 was available on the civilian market during all this time so unlikely this is a S type converted to 4x4 if it is an early Sixties model.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, B series said:

05RN89 & 88: They are not converted from a RLC3! So my conjecture was incorrect!  They look as if they are based on the the civilian Bedford S type but with 4x4 added.  Similar chassis spec to some of the Bedford recovery vehicles of the period. 

Regarding date of production or date into service,  04RN88 date into service was June 1965, and 06RN17 date into service was 1968, so 05RN81 would fall between those dates, maybe 1966/7 , sorry I do not have further information to be more specific.

 

As far as I know they are no official records of Royal Naval vehicle history, but I do have a list of approx 2500 ERM's that I have compiled over the last 30 odd years from various sources.

Not converted from S type  but pure RL . A number of R series vehicles supplied to the Armed Forces employed dual rear tyres - with all-round 9.00-20 tyre size than on the more common single rear setup 11.00-20.  dual rears tended to be employed on vehicles that were fully laden at all times  eg the RL recovery ( Army + AFS), RSC recovery ( RN),  RN crash tenders ( 2 different types), Tippers . These are simply RLs & RSCs with different size tyre arrangement. 05 RN 88/89 are RLC- R= R type L = long wheel base C = supplied by Vauxhall as chassis cab.  RSC  R type S =short wheelbase  C supplied as chassis cab by Vauxhall.

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Edited by ted angus
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Thank you Ted for additional technical info. I did not know the C = Chassis cab.  I was aware that there were several Bedford RL types in service with twin rear wheels, and from an engineering perspective it makes sense to use twin rears on a vehicle that is operated at near max mass most of the time, and in Navy service would be on tarmac most of the time.

 

I assume the Green Goddess vehicles had an off road requirement, and therefore  single rears were specified as per army spec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Indeed, the first batches of GGs and support vehicles were on 4x2 S type chassis. However as the the realisation came about that damage would be on greater scales subsequent builds of all types of vehicles for the AFS  would be on the RL chassis, plus some support vehicles on the Commer Q4 4x4. 

 All the examples of the GG lookalike for the Army were 4x4, 

Ted.

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