Friday 31 July 2015

David Fletcher's Tank Museum Tank Chats on TouTube

In pursuit of my current interwar interest I have just come across these.

The Tank Museum have published a set of short films about some of the vehicles in the collection, presented by David Fletcher MBE, and titled Tank Chats. These are available on YouTube (below).

I have set up a new page on the Interwar Tank Development blog to post these in a more permanent way.

The ones of particular interwar interest are:

#2 Carden Loyd

#3 Vickers Medium Tank MkII*

#4 Vickers Armstrong Type E

#5 Lanchester Armoured Car

Others in the series are

#1 The A13 Cruiser

#6 Vickers Light Mark VI B

#7 Mark II

An ideal way to use up a few spare minutes

Saturday 25 July 2015

Friday 24 July 2015

Update on Interwar Tank Development blog

Breamish have kindly digitised the reamaining photographs from the second Vickers Armstrong Lts d album and sent them to me. I have addes these in a small number of new pots on the Tank Development blog. They include a couple of photos of the A1E1 under construction, plus the Vickers 16 tonners, more Vickers Mediums, the 18 pdr gun transporter and the Armstrong Siddeley Dragon.

The blog can be found here.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Airfix magazine 1979 - interwar articles by Noel Ayliff-Jones

I am indebted to Charles, who while contacting me about something else pointed me to a series of articles in Airfix magazine in the second half of 1979.

Covering British Army vehicles between the wars, they were written by Noel Ayliff-Jones.

There were five articles in the series:
  1. Early mechanised manoeuvres (June 1979)
  2. AFV markings between the wars (July 1979)
  3. Tank recovery in the 1930s (August 1979)
  4. Infantry vehicles of the 1930s (September 1979)
  5. Artillery vehicles between the wars (November 1979)
While the articles themselves are excellent, they are particularly notable for the excellent photographs used to illustrate them. Picture research is credited to David List.

I am posting the fourth article (infantry vehicles) below, and I have added a new page to the Interwar Tank Development blog with all the articles, as they are a very good introduction with excellent photographs.

Infantry vehicles of the 1930s

Noel Ayliff-Jones looks at British trucks and infantry carriers of the 1930s
Airfix magazine September 1979

Monday 20 July 2015

Bellona Rubber Buildings take 2

David has sent me this photo showing the base of the buildings, marked "Bellona" and with a code number.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Bellona Rubber Buildings

Yes - Bellona not Triang Countryside
Yes - rubber not vac form plastic.

With thanks to DavidP for the photograph of these recent acquisitions of his.

Some are marked with reference numbers - small house H4 front left, bunker M4 in thhe middle, with larger  house H3 and ruined version HD3 behind it on the right. The haystack is in the same style but with no reference number or Bellona branding at the back.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Back to Beamish

I have been back to Beamish today to go through the second album and list all the captions. I have now added these captions and all the interwar photos to the new blog. I have also put a labels gadget early on the page as this is the main means of searching, rather than browsing, the blog.

The new photographs include Carden Loyd Mk VIs of various types, the double half track, an extensive collection of trailers, the Tractor Truck and its variants, Dragons and Light Dragons, bridging, and tilting trials for the Vickers Medium.

Hopefully plenty more of interest. This is all the interwar photos, except some which have not been digitised as yet, possibly because they were too big for the scanner.

These photographs include:
18 pdr tarnsporter of 1922
18 pdr transporter Mk II
Armstrong Siddeley Dragon
Independent Tank - 2 photographs
16 Ton Tank nos 1 & 2
Vickers Medium - 2 photographs
Colonel Breyer D of A (Directorate of Artillery?)
A number of other photos of Mediums Mk i and II.

There are also around 20 photographs of WWII or just post war subjects - 13 of variants of the Valentine, the Tetrarch, Harry Hopkins and several variants of the Alecto. I won't put these on the new blog as they are not interwar but I will look for some other way of making them available.

Next job is to start adding text to posts and methodically looking at the labelling.

There have been more than 6,000 page views on the blog in its first seven days so it looks as if it is proving useful.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Blog Launch - Interwar Tank Development

I am pleased to be able to launch the new Interwar Tank Development blog.

I have put all the photographs from the first Vickers Armstrong Ltd works album held by Beamish Museum in posts with the original captions from the album. In time I intend to add text to all the posts.

Next up will be posting the photos from the second album, but I need to go back to Beamish to sheck the album for the captions and any other information.

The blog also has pages on reference sources and media - this includes links to relevant newsreel clips and an interesting audio archive interview at the IWM.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Exciting times

Well the exciting news is that I came home to a DVD containing the photographs from the two Vickers Armstrong albums held by Beamish Museum.

My first impression was the quality of the photographs. There are also some "action" shots from the trials at Wool in February 1925 and February 1927, and from the Canberley demonstration to Dominion Premiers on Novemeber 13th 1926.

Some Pathe footage of this event can be viewed on YouTube:

Other impressions were how much they were giving half tracks a real go, and there are some very interesting photographs including bridging equipment. I can't  remember seeing any of these photographs in print before.

So what next? I think I will set up a new blog for the photographs and encourage knowledgeable people to make comments which can be added to the posts.

This may take some work; my immediate need is to make sure I have all the original captions from the books, which I don't at the moment. I hope to spread a few interesting photographs around here and on suitable forums. I am quite keen on this so I expect to nake substantial progress quickly - if you remember how fast the Georland blog was done I have a similar commitment to this project.

Once I have a reasonable amount of material on line I will go live and then continue to add to it over time. I hope there will be a substantial amount of information made accessible soon.