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THE FERRYMEAD POST AND TELEGRAPH HISTORICAL SOC.
VEHICLE FLEET

By the very nature of work on the outside telephone network it was necessary to have adequate transport to and from the worksite for line and cable staff also the various tools and equipment needed. To this end the Post & Telegraph Dept./ Post Office had a fairly extensive motor vehicle fleet maintained by their own well equipped workshops.
Post World War 2 there was a national shortage of suitable transport. For some years it was necessary to use leased army trucks that had become surplus after the end of the war. They were not really suitable for line and cable work, being cumbersome, uneconomical and without ladder racks etc.

The slogan then was buy British made 1945/1950 and so the British Bedford brand of vehicle was extensively purchased mostly cab and chassis of all sizes from small vans to the larger flat deck type. This at the same time created work for P O workshops, motor body builders, blacksmiths, painters, auto electricians and motor mechanics etc. They turned out a quality product. Along with Bedfords some Ford V8 cab/chassis had come to hand and these were also fitted out to P O requirements, some became fault trucks, others, winch trucks to replace the old worn-out Thornycroft winch truck that had seen better times. The winch vehicles were used for erecting poles and pulling large lead covered cables into underground ducts. Note, at this stage all pole holes were dug by hand.
Not sure but seem to remember that these Fords had been sourced from Canada or were ex lease lend vehicles. Thanks to the foresight of one of our founding Society members, Dave Hansen, we now have three ex Post Office line trucks at Ferrymead able to go on display if required and at the same time maintain and construct the Parks internal telephone system.

As well as keeping the telephone lines in good order these vehicles need their own maintenance from time to time, fortunately Peter Whitlow a Society member who in his younger days worked on these trucks in the P O workshops is able to use his skill to get the at times non starter to fire up.
Because of costs all three trucks are now confined to Ferrymead Park, their C.O.F and registration have expired.

 

double_cab
L8 Double Cab

1951 BEDFORD DOUBLE CAB P.O. No 2092 L8 OLB
Photo No. 2

This vehicle could carry up to 5 men in the cab. Used on the larger type of line work. Most country stations had one of these vehicles.
In 1964 it was sold to the Ellesmere country Council and used as a fire tender until 1982 when it was procured by our Society but without the large water tank and pumps. Cab and chassis only. Post Office work shops fitted a spare deck that was available and changed the colour from red back to grey.

 

winch truck
1947 Ford V8 Winch Truck

1948 FORD V8 WINCH TRUCK P.O. No. 1194 L9 Photo No. 1

This vehicle was initially used by the C&M branch but was subsequently modified and used by the motor workshops as their breakdown recovery vehicle when more modern C&M vehicles came to hand.
Obtained by P&T Soc. April 1984

 

winch_truck
63 BEDFORD Line Truck

1963 BEDFORD J MODEL P.O No.5569 L4
Photo No. 3

L4 Bedford, this vehicle could carry 3 men. Completely covered over deck with tool and gear lockers inside and out. Was used on line work when some ladder work was required as well as house wiring, new connections etc. Obtained by P&T Society Dec. 1980 Ex Sockburn line depot.

TLA .13/7/07

 
 
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