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Vintage MT

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Brian Freeth


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Welcome to the Goose


Yours truly
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Main road on the Goose


Taken in the out back 
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Beetle 5
(all RAF Vehicles are called Beetles)


Beetle 5 outside the
RAF hanger
Visitors line up
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Some servicing bodies Towing Vulcan into hanger I was pushing XM610 out of the hanger
when the covers over the heating duct collapsed, 
not wanting to be a dead hero I was off the
tug and gone I did not hang around !

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Tipped and ready for off Sunday morning on the
Autobahn in Belgium
heading for Antwerpen
Waiting at Tilbury to
load for Laarbruch via
Rotterdam. I think my
running mate was a
Cpl Hackney
Mark 4 Hippo parked
outside the Seamans
mission in Antwerpen
for a couple of days
before shipping back
to Tilbury - 1966

I spent 2 1/2 years on the M.T section at Bruggen between 1954 and 1957 driving Volkswagon Beetles, Magirus, Faun Tankers and Ford coaches .

In my time there covered all sorts of tasks from delivering mail collected from Munchengladbach to taking pregnant wives to RAF Wegburg, always in the windiest and wettest nights. I remember one scary trip where the lady just made it to the door of the hospital before giving birth to a bouncing baby boy. Also driving the leave coach down to the local station and taking the children to school at 2nd Taff Headquarters they were right little horrors trying to burn holes in the roof with cig lighters we had to have an SP in the coach to keep control including the girls coach. The shopping trip down to Roermond on a Saturday morning was always good, and some good nights out there with the lads.

The worst time, being detached to the RAF Reg (THE ROCK APES) for a few Months as they had run out of drivers I think there were six of us. We had to tow their Bofor guns with very old Thornycroft's around the airfield. They even expected us to have clean hat badges creases in our trousers not the normal turnout for M.T driver as at the same time I was on refueling duties and stinking of Avtag.

We did have a good trip to Tordntoff on the Baltic they shot at drogue's towed by an aircraft with their Bofor guns, they never hit a target the whole time we were there however the sun shone and we swam in the sea and got sunburnt.

Have att. a few pics, trips out and farewell party for our boss Flt Lt Bates, I think he was the first MT Officer at RAF Bruggen, a lot of the drivers had been at Bruggen from it first opening


Geordie Johnstone
S.A.C rtd

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084 SAC Rod Matthews MTDH sent in this collection of snaps taken at Cardington, Ternhill and Weston on the Green in the late 50's.


Refuelling a Provost trainer with
an 800 gallon QL Bedford at
Ternhill, Shropshire.
1958 - On detachment to
Weston on the Green.
One ballon was there to train
paratroopers, they were sent to
800ft and made to jump out.


1958 - Cardington
Donk, Digger, Rod, Lofty.
1958 - Weston on the Green
MTDH Digger Dash on the left
The man in the middle was the
best Chef I ever met in the service
his food was wonderful.
The man on the right I believe
came from Glasgow.
Stood in front of my old Austin 12
(1937) which took me thousands of
miles while in the service.


1958 - Weston on the Green
On the way to Cardington where
they operated a hydrogen plant.
We would swap an empty trailer
for a recharged one to take back.
A large group of us MTDH drivers were posted to Cardington to learn how to hang an Atom Bomb under 3 balloons, I thought it was a bit over the top just to get rid of 3 balloons!!
An MTD at Ternhill whose name
escapes me,
it was over 50 years ago,
I believe he came from Chesire.
Late '58
Myself with Cardington
airship hanger in the background.
Myself and a civilian driver at Ternhill. There were as many civilian drivers there as there were servicemen, all gentlemen.
Bedford coach in the background.


Summer 1959
Posted to Bristol University Air
Squadron at Filton.
This picture was taken at Valley
whilst on a 6 week detachment.
Summer 1959
My staff car and me at
Valley, Anglesey.
1963 to 1972
This is how I ended up in the U.S.A.
Driving for the
Trailways bus company.

Mike Short and Doug Worton in Blackpool whilst on MT Course at RAF Weeton January 1952. Later both went to RAF Waterbeach.

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Brian Whitaker sent these pictures from his archives.


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Neaf MT Flt Exercise Homeleman 1963


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Refueling Flt Members
Christmas 1962


Exercise Kig Rock Germany (I think)
1966 or 1967


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Troodos recovery 1964-5


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 Lorry driver of the year 1966-7


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 Square Bashing Cardington 1958


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Royal Tournament vehicle handling teams 1969

Mike Short sent these pictures from his collection.


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Waterbeach MT section fitters Waterbeach Doug,
S type Bedford

Waterbeach - East Anglian Flood 1953 Hastings delivering sandbags
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MTMS, MTDS AND MTDMS Waterbeach early 50s

MTDMS RAF Waterbeach Leaning on the crane
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Pheonix Bowsers Doug Warden. With an old friend,
an air excercise time


950 GAL Bedford QL Bowsers

Ron Curant sent in these pictures from his late Father's album.

My late father Corporal Jack Curant ( a driver in civvy St.) started his WW11 service at Padgate then on to Weeton for extensive driving courses, then to Cosford and finally to 25 MU Hartlebury.

During his time I believe he drove just about every type of vehicle used by the R.A.F. including Queen Mary's. He was just a day at sea from Liverpool when Victory in Europe was declared. He spent approximately the next 9 months in charge of convoys ferrying bombs from Southern Italy to Klagenfurt in Germany.

Corporal Jack Curant
(far right)


Convoys ferrying bombs from
Southern Italy (Bari) to Klagenfurt in Germany


Fond Memories of Swanton Morley 1954/55
Ron Curant

The MT staff accommodation at RAF Swanton Morley was restricted to a wooden hut behind the cookhouse. H Blocks were mainly for cadets on Air Signalling Courses, who passed out as Sargents but were not allowed to use authority on Swanton Morley camp.


H. Block
RAF Swanton Morley
RAF Swanton Morley


CO's Vanguard


3 ton S type Bedford Troop Carrier


Demob Party, Pub East Dereham, opposite the Cinema


Taken Spring/Summer 1954 or 1955

NCO's at that time W/O Harraway, Sgt Oakham, Cpl Gibson. Corporal??? Featured Alan Bellwood, Bert Wilson, Gerry Head, Johnnie Ellis, Johnnnie Croston, Sid Colley, Ray Garnham, Paddy Hackett, Terry Page, Pete Wratten, Jock Mc Geogh, ???? Price, ????Talbot, Larry ??? Myself and Civilian Drivers Joe Stapleton and Scottie, ??? Page and Ken Smith.


David Welsh sent in this collection from his time in Holland with 317 MT.


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Eindhoven Vehicle Park 54/55

Back row SAC Pritchard, LAC Bethell, ?, Lac Jock Burns (Shetland), ?,
Middle ?, Me, Geordie Chambers, Geordie Hall (Easington Co Durham)

Front Bob Jones (DR), ?, LAC Ellis, Geordie ?, ?, ?

317 mt sq moving from RAF Uetersen ( Hamburg) to RAF Eindhoven ( Holland ) march '54

L to R P/O Pountain, Cpl Frank ?, Taff Hughes, ?, Geordie Hall, Me, Lofty ?
Back row Mac ?, Tony Allen

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Lofty from Bexhill with his
QM, Eindhoven vehicle park


Me and Frank


Geordies are useful lads when you need to
change a wheel


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River Schelde at
Antwerp docks
It was cold we had to put braziers not brassieres under the water cooled wagons all night for three nights
Photo G Harding (see Syd Fox)
Mac ? from Guildford
and myself
Photo Gil. Harding

John Jebb sent in these two.

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