Wednesday, 1 April 2015

MOT 2015

This year's MOT has not gone without cost and hassle 

What's missing from this picture is the injector pump which has had to go off for refurbishment as the seals were leaking and that means diesel is getting out into the engine bay which I am sure you can agree is not a good thing 

 But in doing it it was noted that the tensioner pulley for the fan belt was seized and that means a new one so that's off as well, a nice and simple job of removing the single bolt that holds it in and it wasn't even seized or anything and came off really easily

It was also noted that the bearing in the timing plate cover was rumbling and it would be a major cost and hassle if that failed and sent parts of the engine crashing into each other so that's been replaced as well 

Luckily all the other bits that were exposed during the exercise look to be in good condition and will be able to be reused along with a new set of seals and a nice new gasket to keep it all sealed and clean

Thursday, 12 March 2015

What Katy Did Next

Do you read Total Off Road ?

If you do we (Katy and me) would love to know what you thought of the article

If you don't, but are interested and want to get a copy to allow you to read the whole 6 page article with many "excellent" photographs here is a link to the publishers website 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rwanda again

Just a few days ago I posted

I got a reply, and after an email chat this is the summary I was sent

I saw your blog by accident whilst researching some facts about the tour of duty we did.
I was with the Infantry Unit (2 PWRR) that supported 23PFA during the deployment. I remember they had several field Ambulances with them.

We also had some 4 tonne Bedford's which were left behind and given to the local authorities. I think some vehicles were returned home afterwards either by airfreight or via boats, but cannot be sure. I suspect yours would have been returned as it was an Ambulance. 
Those dates are certainly correct for the deployment for that tour. The vehicles were likely allocated to 23 PFA from a pool on permanent 'Standby' for such Operations at the time (21 yrs ago, how time flies)

We were all in 5 Airborne Brigade at the time and went on very short notice, with summer leave cancelled and straight after 7 months in N Ireland !! It was one of those tours that wasn't really public knowledge, although the circumstances of what had happened were.

We didn't mind though as we were doing our job, and thrived on it.

For the first few weeks, The Ambulances were used in various locations, going out from our patrol bases at Cyangugu (close to the Burundi border) and Kigali (The capital) on daily convoys to various refugee camps, where aid stations were set up and many thousands of people treated. We also went to Zaire (Now The DR of Congo) several times.

Aid stations were set up daily for the first few weeks, going to the more rural locations where the medics did their bit for 3-6 hours before we packed up and returned to our base. After about a month, we only went to about 3 big refugee camps each day, each with thousands of people in. A convoy of about 6 vehicles to each camp.
I'm sure your vehicle had helped many thousands of people during that tour. They were often treated inside the ambulances. I saw some remarkable field surgery myself, and although there in an Infantry role (Protecting the medics etc etc) we were allowed to get hands on and help the medics with most things. The medics were all brilliant, as were the Royal Engineers who rebuilt schools, bridges etc etc ... 
What was the military registration number of your vehicle? I'll have a look through my photos as you never know I may have a pic !!! I'll dig them out and have a look.
I hope that gives you a slight insight into what we did out there. An interesting tour to say the least !!

It did give quite a bit of insight .. wonderful think this world wide web and I thank Justin for his input

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Did Katy go to Rwanda?

When I bought Katy there were a couple of the eBay pictures that leapt out

The ones that were obviously from Africa, but a question arises below as to whether this was her first time on "The Dark Continent"

As readers of this blog will be aware it's not just this post conversion history that I've been researching, but also her Military history and I've been able to confirm that she was used as an actual ambulance in Croatia

Since then I have been looking into another event on her history card which says from 29th July 1994 to 29th November 1994 she was allocated to 23 PARA FIELD AMBULANCE

So what is this

I have determined that 23 PARACHUTE FIELD AMBULANCE RAMC did humanitarian work in Rwanda in 1994 in OPERATION GABRIEL in what sounds like an awful situation. It is recorded here and with a fuller write up

in that write-up it is noted that
On 30 July, after only 5 days preparation in Aldershot, the advance elements of the contingent, arrived at Kigali airport on the outskirts of the capital.
and later
Op GABRIEL lasted until November 1994, after which it was withdrawn
The dates of that action ties up well with the date of Katy's allocation to that unit. It would be wonderful if she was involved there as well.

Just like Croatia the actual events seem horrible, but to know that Katy was a lifesaver makes it even more important that she's on the road and that in places like this humble blog there is continued recognition of the humanitarian works our Armed forces have done

If anyone reading this has any actual information please leave a comment or use the contact form on the right if you would prefer to make a personal rather than a public comment

Sunday, 1 February 2015

From Green to White and back to Green and Green and Pink and White

Sometimes you have to just stand back and take a look

That was the best way to look at Katy this morning as the winter weather has not been kind

The trouble is the quality of her paintwork, it's matt, and flaky and is a perfect home for the slimiest of algae

So out with the pressure washer and up on the roof (no point in starting at the bottom is there) and from there on inch by inch i washed the green slime off.

You would think that's where the white comes in and it does for a few minutes, but then the really poor state of the paintwork comes in to play and the layers below start appearing as sections of white are literally blasted off to reveal a multitude of layers beneath.

Dark NATO Green in places
Light NATO undercoat where that also flakes off
White where we've reached some of the UN layer
Pink where some form of modern undercoat was used as some form of barrier paint

It's all going to have to come off some time for a proper respray

Friday, 23 January 2015

Thanks to all the readers

I just spotted in the traffic log for this site

Page Views all time history 44,000

I hope people find it useful and interesting


Friday, 26 December 2014

Ice Cold in Cardiff

OK we'll it's not really, but it is time for my annual round up, but this year I quite admit that it's been a bit boring

The reason - simply work a change in the ownership of the company I work for, and changes in responsibilities meant that I really needed to focus on that for a while so plans got put on hold

Incredibly this meant that I have spare parts here ready to be fitted since November 2012 and I still don't have them out of their boxes

OK so what have we done ..

Actually there has been little maintenance because of the lack of use, but i was not happy with the brakes even though they passed and MOT and therefore in February, with Help from Steve I changed the brake adjuster on one of the rear wheels

I took out the fridge I had fitted in June and isolated the electrics that were causing me problems

In July we dressed up and also dressed Katy up for the SWLRC Road run. I like the idea of putting these markings back on when she has a respray even if just ghosted in. Also that month we managed to get away for a week and had nice views through the new skylight and a nice time camping at Chatsworth House campsite, and visiting the house where we met a kindred spirit

Since then I've fitted some bonnet security in September before using her to visit the 2014 Hidden Earth Caving Conference where we managed to cause quite some chaos

Since then in early December I managed to meet up with an active service Pulse ambulance in the Brecon Beacons

For Christmas I had some more Land Rover information and amongst them was another copy of a picture that I have seen before, but this time in colour.

In the book  Modern Military Land Rovers: In Colour, 1971-1994 by James Taylor & Bob Morrison there is a copy of a picture that I had only seen in Black and white as reported in January 2013 this time it is clearly printed and it it possible to see a number of details not visible in the B&W copy

Photograph from Modern Military Land Rovers: In Colour, 
but also in modern Military Land Rovers, 
Credited to 2 different photographers whom I have tried to make contact with. 
If it is your's please get in touch as I would like to use it here

From this I can now be sure that Katy had a window on the drivers side and that the panel that has been riveted on that side is clearly a new panel added during the conversion to  a camper as the camper window is a lot smaller than the original window would have been

So finally summary. Not much of a successful year, in terms of adventures, however plans are being made for more fun next year

And the Ice Cold in Alex reference 

I had not seen it for many years, but  this classic British WWII film was on again over Christmas

I had not realised that the ambulance in that Film is called Katy They apparently mounted a body off an Austin K2/Y ( Officially "Ambulance 4x2) and stuck it on a Canadian Military Pattern 4x4 chassis so it would be more capable during filming in the sandy conditions. These Austin Ambulances were known as Katies which is fairly obvious reading the K2/Y definition

Nice to know the name has some heritage as an ambulance. Harry Andrews claims in that film "Katy weighs two tons!" whereas the actual weight of the K2 exceeded three tons. Nice to know ours is a bit lighter

If you want to see the actual Ambulance used in that film it's in the hands of the Ambulance Heritage Society

As this is a Land Rover Blog this screen-grab I have found from the film shows a classic continuity error that a Series I Land Rover is parked up in the closing few seconds of the film. In the foreground is Anthony Quayle - a Lancastrian of Manx Heritage playing a German posing as a South African ...

If you want to see the Land Rover in moving pictures look at the last 15 seconds of this (about 7:13) HERE

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