musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Category: Collections and Museums

HM Prison Gloucester

It was time to go to jail; although in this case I am innocent I tell you! I was framed! call my lawyer! 

HM Prison Gloucester had recently unlocked it’s doors to the public and was accepting visitors to the disused facility. It was then added to my bucket list and it was one of the reasons I was in Gloucester yesterday.

The prison lies on the east bank of the Severn and was built on the site of a 12th century castle. The keep was demolished in 1787 and a prison was built in it’s place in 1879 while a debtors prison was added in 1826. A new wing was added in 1884 and the governors house was built 1850’s, although it is outside the walls.  

Once past the front door of the prison there was a labyrinth of passages to navigate, fortunately one of them led to the toilet! The first area I explored was where “closed visits” were conducted. There were 3 cubicles where the prisoner was able to talk to his visitor without having physical access to them. 

This is a holding cell, and it would be where arriving prisoners could be kept while they were booked in or until such time as they were allocated a cell, or if there was a shortage of space. It is a temporary solution though, and ideally overcrowding in this space would be avoided as much as possible. 

Once I had cleared the admin block I entered into what was known as a “sterile area” which was really a fenced in area behind the block with gates leading to an exercise yard.

Make no mistake, you will not be able to scale that fence easily because it may look flimsy but it is not. I expect the sterile area is used to cordon off the gate house from the rest of the the prison. There is a vehicle entrance in this sterile area and I suspect it was from here that prisoners were removed from vehicles for processing. 

For some reason prisoners always walked in an anti-clockwise direction in the exercise yards. There were three yards in total and this one leads into B wing. However I did not go into B wing immediately but went to the debtors prison instead. This was originally built to house people who could not pay their bills although this area has changed a lot since the Georgian era when it was built. In fact there was not all that much to see.

Entrance to the Debtors Prison

It was now in use as the healthcare centre, so was in a reasonable condition and the only real way you would know it was part of a prison would be the many lockable doors and barred windows.

Opposite the old debtors prison was the A&B wing which is probably the most spectacular part of the prison. Photography in there was difficult because of the varying light conditions and small cells, but I have to admit some of the images I took were stunning. Let us go inside before the screws find us….

To the left is the “A” Wing, and to the right is “B” wing. 

“A” Wing.

“A” Wing is probably where the general population were housed. The cells that I went into had a double bunk and a washbasin and toilet in them. These facilities were only installed into the cells in 1995/96. Prior to this prisoners would have to “slop out” at the start of the day. 

The cells are small, even with such a narrow bed frame in it. The toilet is out of frame but is on the other side of the washbasin in the left hand photograph. Imagine being locked in here for a long time, staring at the same walls day after day.

The wing has 3 levels to it and there is access to “C” block via an overhead walkway on the 2nd floor of this wing. The 3rd level was roped off so I could not investigate it.

There is one curiosity that is not immediately obvious and I did not take too much notice of it at the time. Outside each cell is a coiled serpent and they represent evil. Above them are lion claws which represent justice bearing down on evil. It seems to be just the sort of symbolism that the Victorians would have used. 

Returning to the central entrance I went into “B” Wing/Segregation. Two levels of this wing housed remand prisoners, and one housed “VP” prisoners and the segregation unit. 

Unfortunately I could not go into the chapel as the access to it was closed off. Instead I crossed over into “C” Wing and explored there for awhile. It was built in the 1970’s, and in the 1990’s was a “young offenders” unit until it was closed in 2013. It does not have the heaviness that I felt in the other block, although I am sure it must have been a rough place when occupied.

Having had a look at the interiors it was time to look at the exteriors. The only view you have of the outside is the sky; a very high wall surrounds the prison and there was no getting over it too easily.

It kind of reminded me of the garden walls in South Africa. 

The execution shed is long gone, but it was built at the end of “A” Wing, the Governor able to watch it from the luxury of his home. The last hanging in this prison took place in 1939. It is thought that there are over 100 prisoners buried in unmarked graves under the prison.  

And then it was time to leave. I have to admit the prison is an interesting place to visit, and they offer guided tours too. Personally I prefer doing my own thing and having a post mortem afterwards. 

Make no mistake, this place is not a holiday camp, it is a grim cold building that must have been noisy, crowded and violent. It is the nature of the inmates that they tend to be amongst the worst of the human race. 

I have visited two other prisons: the first is the “Women’s Jail” as well as the old “Number 4” Jail in Johannesburg, but it appears as if I never did blogposts for them (since retrospectively rectified). 

Random Images. 

¢ DRW 2017. Created 04/07/2016.

Updated: 30/06/2017 — 12:32

Moving the Dak

This is another retrospective post that I am doing based on images that I have in my collection. The exif data of the images says that this event happened on 05/04/2009, but, it may be incorrect due to my frequent file movements.

Anyway, one fine Sunday in 2009 I headed off to the South African Museum of Military History aka “The War Museum” in Saxonwold. I vaguely recall the reason for it, but somebody forgot to tell me that they were holding a military themed fair on that day. I hopped onto the M1 North, intending to bail out in the vicinity of St Andrews or Oxford streets, Unfortunately, the universe was not playing fair and as I approached the turn off I realised that I would not be turning off at that point because there was a thumping great Dakota blocking the exit! Now Daks are not the sort of thing you expect to find on a highway, they tend to congregate around airports, airborne invasions and occasionally rusting away in backwaters of the world. Some still insist on flying, and you know what they say “you cannot keep a good Dak down”.

This unfortunate Goony Bird was being towed tail first towards her destination (which was probably the same as mine), her wings had been shed but her engine housings were still intact. However, there was no way I could fit past her and given the fact that this was a highway meant I could not stop for a quick squizz, I had to get back into my lane really quickly and find the next off ramp. I do not know that part of town so well and there was a good chance I would end up taking one heck of a detour as a result. 

Eventually I managed to orientate myself and was in the correct area with the War Museum in front of me, although the place was buzzing with cars and people. I was very tempted to up the hook and head off for home instead.  I have just checked my images to see why I was at the War Museum and the reason was that I wanted to get pics of Nancy, the Springbok Mascot.

I forked up vast amounts of dosh to go into the War Museum, and it was packed, however, I first had to get my image and headed to the display where she was. Images taken, I went outside to look at the exhibits and displays. There was a small contingent of re-enactors  in military uniform and some of them were really amazing to see. The people responsible were Battle Group South. 

Special thanks to the guys that I photographed, especially the sinister looking guy in black. I have blanked his face to protect his privacy. 

There were the usual purveyors of militaria at the show and I wandered around, occasionally examining items or drifting back to the museum exhibits. I did not take too many pics that day for some reason. It could be that the crowds distracted me and I left after doing the rounds. However, there was a surprise in the parking lot!

That Dak and I were destined to meet again! 

The question is: what is the history of this aircraft? fortunately the history could be found at the Dakota Association of South Africa website. In a nutshell:

C/N 27099, Delivered to the USAAF on 11 January 1945.

Transferred to the RAF on lend-lease at RAF Nassau on 18 January 1945 as KN231.

Arrived in South Africa in May 1975 for the South African Air Force as 6850 (2) delivered August 1975.  Was to be donated to the Dakota Association of South Africa but was sold to private concern and displayed inside Caesar’s Palace Casino near Johannesburg International Airport in April 2000.

Sold once again to private concern and donated to the SA National Museum of Military History in Saxonwold Johannesburg in 2009, arrived Sunday 5 April 2009.

It was obvious that she would be a new exhibit, although I do question her arriving at one of the busier days at the museum. It was awhile before I was at the museum again, and the first place I went to was the only are large enough to house a Dakota. 

I must admit I did a lot of looking at this old lady because they are really becoming quite rare birds. 

Random Dakota Images

Who knows, maybe one day somebody will come along and buy her and she may fly again, at any rate, considering this old lady is now 72 years old she is a tribute to her builders and has a special place in the heart of all aircraft buffs. 

There is another Dak at Swartkops AFB that I grabbed 2 pics of… 

You ncan view more images of the SAAF Museum at Swartkops on allatsea.

What other aircraft does the War Museum have? 

The museum has a number of interesting aircraft, but they are not very easy to photograph in some areas (it is even harder now because of the no photography policy they unilaterally brought in).

Other Museum Aircraft.

My aircraft identification skills are not fantastic, but I can generally tell what they are but not what version they may be. I will slowly add data as I work towards finishing this post. Apart from the Dak there is a….

Hawker-Siddeley Buccaneer S.50 ‘422’

Dassault Mirage IIICZ

Aermacchi/Atlas Impala Mk II


Supermarine Spitfire F VIII

Hawker Hurricane IIc ‘5285’

De Havilland DH98, PR IX LR 480 “Lucky Lady”

Messerschmitt Bf109E3

Focke-Wulf Fw190A-6/R6

Messerschmitt Me262B-1a/U1 VH519

Messerschmitt Bf109F-2/Trop ‘31010

Hawker Hartebees Royal Aircraft factory SE5a

Aircraft Manufacturing Company DeH9


© DRW 2009-2017. Retropsectively created 23/05/2017.

Updated: 24/05/2017 — 12:48

James Hall Museum Of Transport

One of the better museums in Johannesburg is the James Hall  Museum of Transport in La Rochelle in Southern Johannesburg. It is the sort of place that is always worth visiting even if you have been there many times before. The museum was founded in 1964 by the late James “Jimmie” Hall and in conjunction with the Johannesburg City Council. The oldest motorcar on display is a 1900 Clement Panhard, but there are other items that are much older.

I have spent many hours there, meandering through the exhibits and I really enjoy seeing so many vehicles from my past. However, it is very difficult to present a balanced view of the museum because it has so many exhibits, and they are really a feast for the eyes. The museum consists of a number of exhibition spaces. Entry is at the doorway on the image above. This part of the museum does not really interest me because it is really about the days when the petrol engine was but a dream.

From this hall you move into the open courtyard area where many of the vehicles are stored or displayed. This is also where the majority of the traction engines are housed behind a fence. Many exhibits move around within the museum so some of my images show the exhibit where it was at the time and it may no longer be in that position at the time of writing or reading.

This is supposedly the largest collection of traction engine and steam powered vehicles in the country. However, I do not know how many of them can actually run. Many of the exhibits are related to transport in Johannesburg, so you will find the Christmas Bus, travelling Library and a number of ex-council vehicles in this space 

This is also where you can find the toilets and a small refreshment concession. The entrance to the next hall can be found in this courtyard and it leads into the hall where the majority of the exhibits are fire engines. 

This space leads into the blue tinted hall that houses the classic cars and motor cycles from many eras. It is a fascinating space and I remember many of those vehicles from my own childhood.

The door to the outside shed is to the right in this hall, and to the bus hall in the corner on the left of this image. The outside shed is where the agricultural machinery and steam engines are stored. I photographed the steam engines many years ago and their history may be found at old Steam Locomotives in South Africa (4 pages)

You get to the last exhibition space through the motor vehicle space and this hall is used to exhibit buses from various places in three lines. It also has the last tram that ran in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, the nature of the hall precludes effective photography because it is a very narrow space.

The exit to the museum is through this hall (image below)


That is the museum in a nutshell.  Do not take my word for it though, it is an awesome museum and well worth a visit. The museum does not charge for entry but a donation is always helpful, and always check the opening times so that you are not disappointed.

Many years ago the Transvaal Branch of the World Ship Society was given an area to exhibit nauticalia in when they held an open day. There are almost no aircraft or ship related exhibits. All the images in this post were taken at the museum over 4 different visits. 

© DRW 2017. 03/04/2017

Updated: 11/04/2017 — 06:56

The Science Museum

The Science Museum in South Kensington is probably one of the most innovative and interesting museums that I have ever visited. It is the sort of place that has something for everybody, and it is probably one of the best places to take children to when they need to explore.  I have visited it twice (2016 and 2017) and would visit it again if ever I get the chance. It is that sort of place! 

The Science Museum

The Science Museum

To cover everything in this blogpost would be impossible, there is just so much to see. Founded in 1857 from the collection of the Royal Society of Arts and surplus items from the Great Exhibition as well as a collection of machinery that originated from contents of the Patent Office Museum. (,_London). There are over 300000 objects in the collection, many of which are very rare and of historical importance.

Over 450 000 children visit the museum every year, which ranks it very highly in museum popularity. 

My first visit in 2016 was a short one, I literally ran out of time and I had really wanted to return at some point but my finances precluded a day trip just to see the museum, unless I was in London for another reason.  

I had heard great things about this museum too. and they are all true; it is an amazing place, although I did find the Munchkins crowded me out. However, they were having a blast and I hope that someday they will become great scientists instead of bankers and accountants or “something in the city.” 

Again there was just too much to see and I did not see a third of it. But, there were a lot of exhibits that tied into my interests. (I will be adding many more images to this gallery below at a later date)


Now who says Science is not fun? Oh, and by the way, the basement has a really interesting exhibition in it called “The Secret Life of the Home”, and it was amazing.

My 2017 trip was really to see the flight gallery. I had missed it in 2016, and from what I had read it held a number of interesting aviation artefacts.


Unfortunately the flight exhibition is in a very dark environment so pics were almost impossible to get, I was disappointed in that, but it just means a revisit is required.

From there I explored another area that I had missed, and it was really about communications and computing. 

At some point I will caption the images above, I do not have all of my Science Museum information with me so it will happen when I return to the UK. In the meantime I shall leave you with this image.

© DRW 2016-2017 Created 24/03/2017

Updated: 06/04/2017 — 06:21

Photo Essay: Tanks in the wild

When I got my new camera last year I needed to test drive (test fire?) it, and I grabbed some of my tank collection and headed out into the wild. Some of the results were really great. 

World War One battlefields were incredibly muddy and the early rhomboid shaped tanks battled with the terrain. They were more psychological weapons than anything else.

The real live example I photographed in Bovington Tank Museum in 2013. This is called a “Heavy Tank Mk V “Male””. It had a crew of 8 with a top speed of 7.4 kph. This particular vehicle took part in the battle of Amiens in August 1918, and was about as good as this particular style of tank was. It was armed with 2×6 pound (57mm) guns and 2 MG’s. 

I do have a soft spot for the M3 Stuart (aka “Honey”) this little one got somewhat off the beaten track and is waiting for nightfall so that it can move out. It did not want to meet up with the Tiger that  was hiding in the garden. This green Tiger one I picked up in Hong Kong in 2011. It is motorised in spite of it’s small size. 

and this Matilda was also en route to somewhere, although it really was more in use in the Western Desert as opposed to the local mud patch next to the river.

It may not have been the greatest tank around but they were good looking.  They even have one at Bovington.

You have to be very careful on some days that you do not bump into a T55 MBT hiding in the undergrowth. If this one looks familiar it is because it is. This model features the T55 that was in the James Bond movie: Golden Eye.

or even a T34 for that matter, although she may be quite handy against that Tiger I mentioned a bit earlier.

Of course some tracked vehicles try to outdo others, and this PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzer  would probably have a field day shelling Cheltenham or maybe Gloucester.

Fortunately it did not have any ammunition, and at that small scale the shell would have stung quite badly.

Since I took these pics in February last year, my tank collection has grown considerably, and at some point I will take them outside again, I now have 3 Tigers and that could prove to be quite an uneven battle for the Honey. Unfortunately since taking these images I have not been able to find my T55 so I expect it has gone to the big tank graveyard in the sky. On the other hand, I was able to take some more pics of more of my tank collection.

That M4A3 Sherman was just itching to slug it out with a Tiger, and I am going to put my money on the Tiger.

My M2 Grant MK1 also got an airing today, although it tried to avoid bumping into anything larger that it was.

What they didn’t know was that there were 3 Tigers heading in their direction.

The grey Tiger is radio controlled and it even has a recoil action when you “fire” the gun. When things dry out a bit I am going to take it out and try it on this muddy terrain.

This Leopard 1 also got an airing. But there was trouble looming behind it. I seem to think it is a T55, but it is unfortunately not marked.

Until next time when battle will recommence.

Update 04/04/2017:

Cats seem to understand tanks, especially homemade ones.

© DRW 2017. Created 05/02/2017 

Updated: 04/04/2017 — 07:18

Photo Essay: Bubble Cars and Micro Cars

The definition of a “Bubble Car” is quite a difficult one because it is really about what makes a car a bubble car (did you understand that? I certainly didn’t). Realistically it is about a small car that was cheap to run, cheap to buy and small in size, often with three wheels. The most prevalent bubble cars were made in Germany, and strangely enough by companies more associated with building aircraft. They certainly turn heads when the pass, although they are becoming increasingly rare.

This essay will feature a few groupings of bubble cars and small cars (micro cars). The first being the James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg. The images I took at the museum are not great because it is not an easy place to photograph and at times my camera’s were not exactly state of the art.

BMW Isetta

BMW Isetta

BMW Isetta


Messerschmitt (exploded view)

I often wonder whether BMW ever regret producing the BMW Isetta? Available as a 3 wheel and a 4 wheeled version it is probably the best known of the bubble cars and its shape really defines what a bubble car is. 

They also have two other micro cars on display:


Still trying to identify this one., It is not however a BMW with personalised plates. Odds are it is a variation of the Vespa 400 but I cannot be sure.

When I visited the museum in March 2017 I was hoping to get new images of the two vehicles above, but both were no longer there. 

One afternoon, on my way home with friends were drew level with two cars with trailers on which there was a Messerschmitt and an Isetta. I was a passenger in our car which is why I was able to take pics.


BMW Isetta

BMW Isetta

From these images you can gauge how big (or small) these vehicles are in relation to the tow cars. It was a really odd thing to see on our roads and I never did work out where they are going to or coming from.

At the Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival I encountered two example of the Heinkel Trojan which gave me a opportunity to photograph this oddity.

Heinkel Trojan 1963

Heinkel Trojan

BMW Isetta (1959)

BMW Isetta (1959)

Of course there is another “honorable mention” that I need to make which is also at James Hall, and it is more of an “orangemobile”. I believe these were built from a Mini chassis and were used to promote the Outspan citrus board. Six of these were originally  commissioned by Outspan from a company Brian Waite Enterprise Ltd. based at Bodium in East Sussex, and they were built between 1972 and 1974, and were used on advertising campaigns both in the UK and Europe. (

There is one really unique vehicle to the UK that I want to include here because they are really very quirky. South Africans probably saw their first one in the “Mr Bean” TV series, and I saw my first one in Southampton in 2013. To be frank: I was amused. I am only familiar with the Reliant Regal, Reliant Robin and the Reliant Rialto, and I have not quite figured out how to identify them apart unless I can read a name off the back. I could not do that with the red one I am afraid although I believe it too is a Rialto.

Reliant Regal

Reliant Rialto SE

The Italians were responsible for a number of interesting small cars, Fiat in particular had a very iconic vehicle in the Fiat 500. My red example is in a casino in Fourways in South Africa and has a lot of parking tickets!

Fiat 500 at Montecasino

Fiat 500 at Montecasino

 and the white vehicle I spotted in Lymington.

I somehow do not think I am finished with bubble cars and micro cars yet, the attraction of a small car for town and short distance driving is strong, and an effective small electric car would really change the face of our overcrowded cities.

I saw this little one in London and  given how hard it is to find parking in London I am surprised I never saw more.  

And of course James Hall Transport Museum has this small electric vehicle on display that never seemed to enter production.  

Unfortunately there will always be the big ego types who really like their oversized 4×4’s and they just never get the fact that fossil fuels are bad news in the long run, and scaling down really does make sense. But then I have never understood the whole big car thing myself; after all you are talking about somebody who fell in love with the Mini when he was a boy and that was what he wanted when he grew up, although I kind of like the bubble cars, they have a charm all of their own.

That concludes my brief photo essay. Hopefully one day I will be able to expand it just a bit more, after all, you never know what may come driving down the road.

© DRW 2016-2017 Created 27/08/2016. Some images taken at the James Hall Museum of Transport. Two new images added 29/03/2017

Updated: 30/03/2017 — 05:16

Welland Steam and Country Rally (Odds and Sods)

Having come this far you are probably asking yourself “Isn’t it enough already?”

I have bad news. There is even more. In this section I am going to add some of those odd objects and uncategorised vehicles that I saw that caught my eye. Some are not even vehicles!

[ First Page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods ]

Enuff said! Bring on the images!

Yes it is steam powered

Yes it is steam powered

The part that goes "Parp"

The part that goes “Parp”


[ First Page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods ]

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 31/07/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:06

Welland Steam and Country Rally (Traction Engines)

 [ First Page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods ]

For me the drawcard of a steam rally are items that use steam as a means of propulsion or to do stuff with. Diesel just does not have that same pulling ability that steam does, and a perfect example was the steam shovel. Close by was a similar diesel powered shovel and more people were watching the steam powered version even though they were both doing the same thing. 

I am fortunate that I do have the catalogue so may be able to Identify some of the machines in my pics, however the pics taken in the arena are quite dark because of the heavy cloud cover that was developing. 

The highlight of the traction engines was definitely the Showman’s Engines. I was amazed at how big they were, most that I had seen previously had all been miniatures. This was the first time I had seen full sized versions.

Most of these machines were already blinding to the eyes, but the shining continued all the time.

The dynamo/generator/alternator is mounted on a shroud protruding over the smokebox door, and even that was spotless.

The agricultural sector was also well represented with ploughing engines in action, these too are huge machines, and even they are spotlessly clean as can be seen by this Fowler ploughing engine. 

There were a number of traction engine cranes at the fair, and I find them fascinating because of their sheer size and the ability to lift things. I have however not seem one of them in action (much to my dismay).

The steam powered trucks and lorries have also always been a favourite of mine, there is something about that transition between traction engine and truck that I find fascinating. There were quite a few on display too, so choosing pics is difficult.

What I did find quite impressive was this Burrell Road Locomotive trundling along with it’s load consisting of a boiler. You did not want to stand in it’s way.

Overall though there were a lot of engines, and trying to show each one is impossible, because there were potentially 72 full sized machines, 34 miniatures as well as 22 showmen’s engines, and I doubt whether I saw half of them.

And when all was said and done,

and they had lined up,

one by one.

With a mighty roar,

and spray of steam,

their whistles farewell did scream.

Final line up (1500x636)

Final line up (1500×636)

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McLaren 6" showmans engine "Goliath"

McLaren 6″ showmans engine “Goliath”

Fowler "Lord Doverdale" (1917)

Fowler “Lord Doverdale” (1917)

Ruston Proctor 6" scale

Ruston Proctor 6″ scale

Marshall No 28922.  “Alderman”

Wm Foster & Co. "Pride of Freystrop"

Wm Foster & Co.

“Pride of Freystrop”

Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. "Velfrey Queen"

Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies.

“Velfrey Queen”

The Burrell "Herbert's Galloping Horses on tour"

The Burrell “Herbert’s Galloping Horses on tour”

Garrett No 34085


McLaren 1332 "Gigantic"

McLaren 1332 “Gigantic”

Garrett 4" model "Muriel"

Garrett 4″ model “Muriel”

Burrell Road Locomotive "Duke of Kent"

Burrell Road Locomotive

“Duke of Kent”

Aveling & Porter 10072 "Achilles"

Aveling & Porter 10072


Burrell 3" "Gladwys"

Burrell 3″ “Gladwys”

Garrett 6" "Claire"

Garrett 6″ “Claire”

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 31/07/2016. Bad poetry by DR Walker.

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:07

Welland Steam and Country Rally (Cars and Trucks)

 [ First Page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods

In this section I will deal mainly with Vintage cars and trucks. There were a lot of both and it never ceases to amaze me how many vintage vehicles there are on the roads in the UK, and how many used to be quite common on the roads in South Africa.  It is difficult to decide which to include and which to exclude though because they are all really a record of the past and their owners do lavish a lot of time and effort on them. I am relying heavily on the programme to ID most of these vehicles. Vintage commercial vehicles may be found after the car images.

Vintage and Classic Cars.

Citroen DS29 saloon

Citroen DS29 saloon

Vanden Plas Princess 1300

Vanden Plas Princess 1300 (1970)

A pair of Zodiacs

A pair of Zodiacs

Steam powered Lykamobile

Steam powered Lykamobile

1931 Jowett Shooting Brake

1931 Jowett Shooting Brake

Austin 7 Ruby Saloon (1935)

Austin 7 Ruby Saloon (1935)

De Dion Bouton Type AM open drive (1906)

De Dion Bouton Type AM (1906)

Morgan 3 wheeler Aero (1927)

Morgan 3 wheeler Aero (1927)

Berkeley T60 3 wheeler (1960)

Berkeley T60 3 wheeler (1960)

BMW Isetta (1959)

BMW Isetta (1959)

Vauxhall Viva (1966)

Vauxhall Viva (1966)

Riley 1 RME Saloon (1952)

Riley 1½ litre RME Saloon (1952)

Ford Zodiac

Ford Zodiac (1964)

Ford Capri 3000 (1971)

Ford Capri 3000 (1971)

Ford Escort 1200 (1974)

Ford Escort 1200 (1974)

Morris Minor 100 Traveller 1968

Morris Minor 100 Traveller (1968)

Austin 7 Special Sports. (1936)

Austin 7 Special Sports. (1936)

Chev Nomad Estate (1957)

Chev Nomad Estate (1957)

VW Beetle (1973)

VW Beetle (1973)

Ford Cortina 1500 (1966)

Ford Cortina 1500 (1966)

[ First Page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods

Vintage and Classic Commercial Vehicles.

Bedford Dormobile 1958

Bedford Dormobile 1958

Ford Thames Trader (1964)

Ford Thames Trader (1964)

Austin FGK 100 Dropside van 1966

Austin FGK 100 Dropside van (1966)

Bedford TK Flatbed truck (1976)

Bedford TK Flatbed truck (1976)

Austin A35 Van (1967)

Austin A35 Van (1967)

Ford Transit Dropside Van (1970)

Ford Transit Dropside Van (1970)

Bullnose Bedford (1955)

Bullnose Bedford (1955)

Ford F1 Pickup Truck (1951)

Ford F1 Pickup Truck (1951)

Volvo Plaxton Supreme Coach (1979)

Volvo Plaxton Supreme Coach (1979)

Bedford CA Van (1969)

Bedford CA Van (1969)

Bedford O Type Tipper (1947)

Bedford O Type Tipper (1947)

ERF Flatbed Truck (1971)

ERF Flatbed Truck (1971)

ERF Showman's Box Van (1945)

ERF Showman’s Box Van (1945)

Scammell Ballast Box Tractor (1962)

Scammell Ballast Box Tractor (1962)

Foden DG6/15 Flatbed Truck (1946)

Foden DG6/15 Flatbed Truck (1946)

Scammell Explorer Recovery Truck (1955)

Scammell Explorer Recovery Truck (1955)

Scammell Mechanical Horse Artic (1936)

Scammell Mechanical Horse Artic (1936)

Commer Karrier Dustcart (1974)

Commer Karrier Dustcart (1974)

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 31/07/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:07

Welland Steam and Country Rally (Military Vehicles)

[ First page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods

The Military Vehicles really interested me because of my own time in the military and of course a general interest in things military. As mentioned, most of the equipment on display was of American origin, with a smattering of other nationals equipment.

The tracked vehicles really stole the show, and one vehicle in particular was really impressive. I had never seen (or heard of) a M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer before, but be rest assured I know about them now! 

This vehicle would show its paces in the arena a bit later and it was astounding! Capable of 80 km/h they could probably run rings around most tanks on level ground. The 76mm was not the perfect weapon, but in the hands of a skilled crew could cause havoc. 

Tank number 2 was not American, but rather a PzKpfw 38(t) from 1943, originally built by Skoda of Czechoslovakia. This vehicle is currently under preservation and this was probably the first time it has been under it’s own power in 60 years.  

She was not much to see in the arena though, and I suspect the Hellcat would have run rings around it.

The next tracked vehicle of interest was what I think is an LVT (Landing Vehicle tracked), also known as an “Amtrak”. She too was fast, and really churned up the grass behind her.

The other interesting tracked vehicle my guide identifies as an Alvis 432, and it is a British Army AFV

Of course there were two American half tracks on the move and they too were quick on their feet, wheels and tracks…  My personal favourite was there too, with its quad 50 cal Brownings.

I had seen this beauty before at the GWR military themed day in April

On display was a Daimler Dingo Armoured Scout Car. Surprisingly small it was incredibly agile and an extremely popular vehicle.

It is however quite strange in that the transmission included a preselector gearbox and that gave five speeds in both directions, it was also fitted with a four-wheel steering system and had a tight turning circle of 7.0 m. Personally I find it confusing as to which end is the front (the image above shows the rear of the vehicle).

The closest equivalent at the fair was probably the ubiquitous Jeep of which there were many variants on display. My personal favourite mounted a 50 cal Browning, but then you can cure many things with a 50 cal. 

Standing out amongst the drab was an SAS Land Rover long range desert patrol vehicle from 1968. Known as “Pinkies” for their Mountbatten Pink camo, this particular vehicle saw service in Oman in with the SAS from 1969-1974.

Now compare that to this overloaded mountain of kit on wheels.

I missed the information sheet for this one, but the entry number lists it as Land Rover Dinkie from 1986.  Judging by the amount of kit it is festooned with it is probably a modern equivalent of the Pinkie. Somewhere in there is the driver and passenger.

There was another nice vehicle on display that I really liked, but unfortunately I am unable to identify it as I cannot see it’s entrant number 

Number 96 was an Austin Tourer from 1929, and I suspect this must have been used as a military runabout inside a base. I can’t quite picture it in the heat of battle. It is however a wonderful little vehicle.

As mentioned before, there were a lot of Jeeps on display, and this fitted in very well with my interest in trains. 

The vehicle carrying the drain pipe originated in Sweden and is a Volvo TGB IIII, and the drainpipe with its elevating mechanism is seen in the stowed position, there is even a cutout for the weapon in the windscreen.

The weapon is a 90mm recoilless rifle, although I doubt whether this is the the real thing and is probably a replica.  I hope the whole package was more reliable than the 106mm recoilless rifles we had in the SADF that were mounted on Jeeps. 

Number 97 is a GMC 353, also known as a “Deuce and a half”.

There are many variations of this truck, and a number were on display at the fair. Workhorses like these are what kept the Allies supplied in the Second World War, and many would be very useful in the post war economies of Europe and America. 

The oldie below with the twin Bren mount is a Humber 1 ton cargo pickup, and was originally an ex RME signals repair truck.  

In the background is a flatnose Bedford which I also encountered in the South African Defence Force in 1 SAI in Bloemfontein.

That more or less covers the more memorable vehicles in the military equipment line up, although I am going to add many more into the Random Pics gallery below. Where I can identify a vehicle I will add in the description.  According to the programme there were theoretically 113 military vehicles there. No wonder I came away with so many pics.

[ First page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods ]

Random Images.

Bullnose Bedford RL (1966)

Dodge WC38 (1940)

Dodge WC38 (1940)

VW Kubelwagen

VW TYP82 (1943)

Dodge WC52 (1942)

Dodge WC52 (1942)

Norton Combination 1939

Norton Combination 1939

Thorneycroft Nubian 1944

Thorneycroft Nubian 1944

Auto Union Munga (1964)

Auto Union Munga (1964)



Chevrolet G506 Tipper

Chevrolet G506 Tipper

Scammell Explorer (1953)

Scammell Explorer (1953)

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Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:08
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