Workshop Wednesday – Trucks, trucks, trucks

Here’s what we’ve been up to in the Shopland Collection Workshops this week…

Pete has made a start on the Bedford MW, seen here with the door on to test fitment.



In an effort to keep the place tidy, we’ve stacked essential clutter inside the QL Tipper truck so we can work on it (it’s a big beast and takes up a lot of space!). The wheels all need to come off for the brakes to be worked on and tyres changed, the first of which is seen here.

Mark has been working on fitting a new fuel filter into the AEC Matador Timber Tractor. This required some adjustment to the mounting holes. The lift pump was also blocked and preventing fuel getting through, so this was removed for cleaning out.

Meanwhile, the now-fully functional dash panel on the Bedford QL truck is fitted in place, it’s marvellous to see everything light up as it should! As a bonus, the driver’s side windscreen wiper still works!


Out in the yard, with the QL Tipper now having vacated its hiding place, this Crossley tractor unit was dragged through for storage pending restoration. Not a quick job!



Meanwhile, Jason has been busy working on the the Staghound Armoured Car. The welding on the hull has been completed, cracks filled and bent bits straightened and replaced. They are currently waiting on good weather to blast and paint the hull.


Make Do Monday – Leek and Potato Soup

During the rationing years a lot of meals consisted of soups, which were a good way to make use of vegetables grown in the garden. Lindsay of Gordano Home front has got this lovely war time recipe to share with us.



1 pint of vegetable stock or water

2 medium sized leeks

6oz potato cut into small cubes

Salt and pepper


1. In a large pot, bring the stock to the boil and add the leeks and potatoes.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover with a lid and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

3. Mash the soup to a consistency that you like.

4. Cut a slice of bread and enjoy!


Workshop Wednesday – Let There Be Lights!

Rich’s hard work has paid off and the QL truck now has a working lighting circuit!

There’s a few small jobs left to do, then the dash panel can be bolted back in. The truck’s paint needs a tidy when the weather warms up, and the ripped canvas will soon be repaired.

Not content with just one QL… Look at what we found in the yard!

This tipper truck is currently a non-runner. The aim is for this to operate alongside the Matador Timber Tractor to demonstrate ex-military vehicles in private ownership after the war.

Speaking of Matadors, this sorry looking chassis had to be moved out of the way. It’s one that was used as a recovery vehicle by a firm in Rochdale, and by the looks of the tree that was growing through the chassis, had been laid up for a while. One of the springs has been cut off at some point, giving it a lopsided look.

Mark and I had been clearing the ‘transit bay’ space, left vacant now that the (multicoloured) forklift is back in action, as the QL is somewhat bigger. Jon and James managed to manoeuvre the truck into the space using the forklift. It was a tight fit!



Make Do Monday – How to sew on a patch

Now, I don’t know about you but I am pretty good at keeping my clothes in one piece. One of the Workshop Wednesday crew has however got a few rips in their work trousers so I thought I would show you how to sew on a patch in this Make Do Monday post!

I did this job on my sewing machine simply because it is a bit faster and easier, if you prefer to sew by hand it is pretty much the same procedure. Apart from a sewing machine and your broken item of clothing, you will need:

IMG_8486Some pins, a pair of scissors, a thread in a matching colour and a patch in the same kind of material as your item of clothing. In my case I’ve got a scrap piece of denim to go with the pair of jeans that I’m mending.

IMG_8488Make sure that the piece you are patching with is a bit larger than the hole. This will prevent the rip from getting even bigger.

IMG_8489Start by sewing a zigzag all around the patch piece to make sure it won’t fray when the jeans are being washed.

IMG_8491Pin the Patch under the hole on the inside of the trousers since this is quite a small rip. If you’ve got a large hole on the knee for example it might be better to put the patch on the outside of the trousers to make them last longer.

IMG_8493This is what it looks like on the inside, make sure the hole is completely covered.

IMG_8494Sew all around the hole with a straight stitch to keep it in place and then change to zigzag and cover all of the hole with stitches. This is what it looks like on the inside and below is the final result, no more draughts!


Workshop Wednesday – If in doubt… add flames

Another productive Workshop Wednesday!

Rich battled on with the QL truck’s new wiring loom, with a nice wiring diagram, lights rigged up in the cab and plenty of solder and new colour coded cabling.

This pic shows Rich ‘looming’ over Corwin (sorry…. it was late)


Mike was busy greasing up the various bolts on the 4.5″ gun ready for the accessories to be bolted back on.

Meanwhile James tackled the stuck spade brake handle… by adding flames.

Mark was tasked with taking apart the lift pump on the Matador Timber Tractor. This vehicle has a habit of refusing to rev up occasionally. As regular readers may remember, the Tractor broke down at DFVS 2014 with a crack in the fuel filter housing. The filter has been replaced but doesn’t seem to be doing a great job, as evidenced by the build-up on the lift pump gauze.


… So a new, heftier, filter is required. Apparently modern diesel fuel has a tendency to ‘break down’ if not used which may explain the sediment in the fuel.

While this was going on I (badly) used a grinder, punch and drill to get rid of a snapped bolt on the Bonser forklift and make an almost-round hole, before sort-of tapping a new thread and mostly-screwing a new bolt in. This hopefully means the engine cowling won’t rattle against the cab so much. It’s still too cold to paint, so we’ll have to live with a multicoloured forklift for the time being.



Make do Monday – Fruity potato cakes

Lindsay has got another lovely recipe for you to try at home, again very little sugar but the marmalade gives the cakes both sweetness and a lot of flavour.


4 oz cooked potatoes

2 oz plain flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 oz Margarine

1 oz sugar

1 tablespoon of marmalade

1 oz dried fruit


1. Mash the cooked potatoes in a bowl ( do not add any milk)

2. Add the flour, baking powder and dried fruit to the potatoes.

3. Cream the margarine marmalade and sugar in a separate big bowl.

4. Add the cooked potatoes mix to the creamed mixture.

5. Once mixed turn out onto a floured surface and make about ten flattened round cakes .


6. Heat a heavy frying pan / griddle  and cook for two minutes on each side. Once both sides have browned cook for a further 5 minutes.

7. Dust with sugar and mixed spices.


They are lovely to eat whilst still warm!

Workshop Wednesday – Tidy Gun and QL Wiring

The 4.5″ Gun has been a feature of the workshop for some time, as the full restoration rumbles on. Every component needs to be freed off, cleaned up, repaired and refitted as appropriate. This Wednesday we took the opportunity to clean the general gubbins off the gun and give it a brush down – the gratuitous coating of filler on the jeep tub had covered most things in the general area when it was ground off.


James grabbed a few bits and bobs lying around and cobbled together a makeshift workbench for the gun components while Mark freed off one of the ‘spade’ locks (The spade-shaped pieces which dig into the ground to hold the gun steady)

IMG_8163 IMG_8165

Parts destined for the Staghound project were identified and boxed up ready to be taken to the vehicle when the time comes.


In the running shed, Rich (assisted by Mike) is still beavering away on the QL. Now the manifold gasket is replaced, attention has turned to the somewhat tired wiring loom.

The old wiring is coming out, and a new loom with more reliable components made up. This is quite a big job, and working in the gloom of the cab is not ideal!

Mike was using the parts washer to clean out the sump for the ‘Little Lady’ Jeep engine, which has now been sent off to be rebuilt!

A very satisfying Wednesday!

Make Do Monday – Honey cakes

Over the weekend Lindsay from Gordano homefront baked this recipe for Honey cakes which is a nice and easy wartime inspired recipe, consisting of only one teaspoon of sugar!


1 teaspoon of sugar
2.5  ounces of margarine
2 teaspoons of honey
6oz self raising flour
1 level teaspoon of cinnamon



1. Beat sugar and margarine until a soft cream consistency.

2.Sieve flour and cinnamon then add to mixture.


3.Mix with a wooden spoon until it binds together, then knead with your fingers until you have a soft dough. It might not bind together straight away but keep kneading it.

4. Roll the soft dough into 16 even pieces and place them on a lightly greased baking tray, flatten them slightly and put them in a moderately hot oven to bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

5. Let the cakes cool down while you boil the kettle, what a lovely afternoon treat!