Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cardiff 2013

The Pencoed car show having been washed out from the field it was in too often has resulted in a change of location to the Cardiff City Football Club Car park

Good for the road cars, but I#m not so sure that Land Rovers look so good on tarmac

Here's Katy in the Line up

And another view showing we are really at the football ground


We went to open up Katy for the year and had a really nasty shock

The roof was black with mould all around the skylight I fitted last year :-(

After some rapid removal of the mould we were left with the view below. The insulation was sopping wet so all around the skylight it I took it out as well

Something to note was that there were 2 ceilings, the original Ambulance ceiling which can be seen on the left below, covered in grab adhesive, and the "tidy" roof as you can see from the section that is still up

Up above the original ceiling I found the original air vent. I don't know why that space wasn't used 

After a lot of hard work including an awful lot of sealant and filler to block every possible space it now looks like this. We are trying to decide whether to varnish it and leave it wood colour or whether to paint it white

It's been a learning - when drilling holes don't apply twice as much sealant as you think you need, apply four times as much 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Katy in Uniform

Some time ago I wrote about finding pictures of Katy in a book called Land Rover Military Portfolio by Bob Morrison. On page 90 and 91 there is an article reprinted from a Land Rover Owner International magazine in October 1992 (where it was pages 38-9 if you have an old copy and want to look).

More recently I found one of the pictures in a colour form in Modern Military Land Rovers: In Colour, 1971-1994 by James Taylor and Bob Morrison

I have had recent correspondence with the Photographer (Laurie Manton) and I am extremely pleased to say that I now have permission to share these pictures on-line... So here they are...

This first picture shows Katy side by side with one of the 101's she was replacing. The 101's were excellent vehicles, but starting to show their age

What is clear in this picture is the bonnet mounted spare and the fact that the bull bars are original and with blue lights fitted to them. The UN lettering is clear on the front doors

In this rear view you can see a number of features, but they are better seen in the colour version  below.

In this you can see through the rear rood and also through the window on the drivers side that has been removed. The cable on the front window is leading to the radio aerial (the medical commander had insisted all ambulances were FFR - Fitted For Radio)

Once again UN lettering on the rear doors and also the red crosses on the sides and rear.

I clearly thank Laurie for his kind permission to share these pictures here on my blog. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Katy's NSN

On the Katy information page (click here or on the word Katy above) it has for the last 3 years said

"NSN 2310998937291 (I don't know what this means)"

Today that changes as I had some information from a contact on the UK Olympus e-group website
I can answer your query as to what a NSN is. It's a Nato Stock Number. 
I worked in military electronics for most of my career and every single item of equipment,component and consumable item (eg fuel/lubricants ) used by any Nato service and many NATO supported services has to be codified with a 13 digit NSN. 
This gives a common logistic system so that all NATO and associated forces can work together and provide support and maintenance for each other.
Katy's NSN would normally be written as 2310-99-893-7291. 
2310 indicates she is a "Passenger Motor Vehicle". If she was a motor cycle or bicycle it would be 2340. 99 indicates she was made in the UK.
The remaining seven digits are the unique code for this particular model/variant allocated by the UK Codification Authority.
We had a whole department that had to check every component we used to see if it already had a NSN and if not arrange a new number from the UKCA and also arrange codification for every sub assembly and equipment we designed. Every item used by Nato forces from soldiers boot laces to aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons has a NSN.
Thanks Peter

The page has now been updated... 

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 get the magazine, 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
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