The Bedford Enthusiasts Club
"The New club for Owners and Enthusiasts of Bedford's..... and other historic commercial vehicles with GM/Bedford company connection
Bedfords that are still out there
Working for a living.
Working Bedfords In the United Arab Emirates
TL Still working hauling scrap cars
A 1953 Bedford A5 recovery truck LSU 414, owned by John Myall of Bassingbourn, Cambs. It was new to Logsdons Garage, Royston & never registered as it was legal at the time to run on trade plates. Later passing to John & registered LSU 414, it continues to be used in the family bus and coach business C G Myall & Son for the recovery of buses & coaches. It is seen in attached photo towing another Bedford ex Barfordian YNT Duple service bus DBY 969Y from Fowlers, Holbeach Drove in August 2013.
Myalls also have ex Southwark Council Bedford TL WGY 706Y which when refurbished will take over towing duties from the A type. WGY 706Y was used by Southwark to recover refuse lorries.
Pictures by Courtesy of John Wakefield.
This vehicle is owned by Roy Mccarthy Coaches of Macclesfield, Who were established by my father Roy McCarthy in 1971.
The company's first vehicle was a ten year old Bedford SB3 Duple super vega 41
seater.The first of many Bedfords to be purchased by the company and the reason for my keen interest in Bedfords ever since. This first coach in the fleet was unusual at the time, being petrol powered, but was in such good condition that Roy could not resist it.
Roy was familiar and appreciative of the reliability of the 300 petrol engine, as he had worked for many years for Fred Lomas Coaches of Macclesfield, who ran an all petrol engine fleet until they purchased a new diesel Duple vega major bodied Bedford val in 1967,following with a new plaxton bodied SB5 in 1970, with which Roy enterered the Blackpool Coach Rally, where he came second in the Coach driver of the year competition, at this rally.
Roy Mccarthy Coaches expanded and bought many second hand full sized coaches, also secondhand and new minibuses over the years.
It was on the 3rd March,(Roy's birthday), 1986 that we collected C307 UFP,
Our first new full size coach, i.e. the Bedford YNT Plaxton Paramount MK2.This Bedford YNT; is powered by a 500/8.2ltr turbo diesel, 6 speed zf S6-65 gearbox and bedford single speed rear axle, it has zf integral power steering, uprated front springs and anti roll bars back and front .
As was customary at the time it was put straight into Roy McCarthy's garage and recieved 2 to 3 coats of silver paint to the under side before emabarking on its first passenger carrying duty.I still have its first purchase check sheet from Plaxtons.
The vehicle, being our fleet's flagship vehicle, was put to work on front line duties of tours, day trips, private hire and occasional school services as required.
UFP, as it is affectionally known by the staff and drivers at Roy McCarthy Coaches, has proved very reliable, I cannot recall ever having to tow UFP back to the depot.
As you can imagine over 28 years of service and many miles, we have carried out many repairs and refurbishments. The engine has been replaced by a fully in-house overhauled unit, the gearbox has had attention to the rear bearing,the rear axle has remained untouched. .The troublesome twin plate clutch was converted to a single plate diaphram cover assembly,the accelerator rod assembly was converted to a part cable system to overcome surge.new outer front wheel bearings fitted and many sets of brake linnings etc.
The complete exhaust system has been replaced by a bespoke stainless steel system
As for the body it has had various refurbishment over the years and was treated to a complete repanel,
including new stainless steel stretch panels and repaint in april 2012.
In all 28 years UFP has only had one new windscreen fitted
Over the years the upholstry has been retrimmed twice the last time in 2006.
Nowadays UFP is in semi retirement, but when we are busy our old faithful and relaible UFP is used just the same as all the other vehicles in the fleet.Interestingly and again reaffirming its realiability,
when one of our modern vehicles has an electronic fault, which is proving to be common, UFP comes to the rescue, always starting first time!
As the company's current Managing director,I have told my two sons, Danny and Max, who are the third generation of the company, that 'When UFP goes that's When I go, if I go first I wish to be transported on my last trip in the boot of my faithful Bedford workhorse, UFP'.
p.s.I dont intend going just yet.
Andy Mc Carthy.
Jon Beech Recovery's Bedfords
One of Jons MJ's equipped with a crane and hydraulic legs as well as the famous 12 tonne
Affectionatly known as 'Kylie' she is seen here recovering a 270K state of the art Unimog
bogged down which when recovered left a hole 5ft deep! thats how bad the ground conditions
The Bedford with its staggered track, bar grip tyres and 'Analogue' technology had no problems.
Jons AWD/TL lifting a burned out stobart unit onto a trailer
The truck is an unusual spec:- 6x4
Cummins power - Eaton 4 over 4 gearbox -
Rockwell double drive axles, diff locks and inter axle diff lock -
30 tonne metre crane
Boughton hydraulic winch, - rear spade.
This list goes on and on ……..but what a machine!
Another of Jon's MJ's seen here in carnival mode
'Kylie' using a dumper as an anchor winching out a mixer truck that fell off the road
Our Patron the Rt Hon Rob Flello MP driving one of Jons MJ's at Eastnor Castle
with 'The 'Pride of Longton' 6x6 TM in the background
Someone recently said to Jon 'Your trucks are rather old' Jons reply was
'If you can find me anything better for the job I will buy them'.
"Wilma" Bedford YMQS with Plaxton Paramount 3200 body dating from 1986. Operated by M Pearson of Chesterfield. Seen here in Cambridge March 2014.
We at Autohome operate two MJs on recovery work. Used for off road recovery, winching and collecting stolen vehicles from remote locations. We have found over the years that no other vehicles match the MJ. And they are simple to maintain and parts readily available
Vehicle 1 Bedford MJ winch truck fitted with winch and lorry loader crane and drop side body
Vehicle 2 Bedford MJ recovery truck fitted with 6 tonne winch and 6 Ton pedestal crane.
Very much a part of our fleet and 'still working'.
Two more Ex Military Bedfords working,
this time for Circus Fantasia seen in Cambridge.
The TM doing duty as a generator truck
The left hand drive MJ below right is also with
Pictures by courtesy of Richard Haughey
Another Circus Bedford, believed to be an MJ under the TL cab (unless you know different!)
Stop me and Buy one! This CA Ice Cream/ Teas van is
Often around Waterloo Station and sometimes near the Cable Car at the Royal Victoria Dock in London
More photos from our Archivist, MR BG, Richard Haughey.
Barbara McPhilips 1983 TL 860 with Oakley side loading Horsebox.
"We use her mostly during the summer months to take us to horse driving events in Wales & parts of Yorkshire & many trips to Ainsdale beach ".
This TK is still at work, based in Cambridgeshire.
New to Hampshire fire service as a "chuck van" the older photo shows when it was owned by the Norfolk Civil Protection Volunteers in 2003
With thanks to our Archive officer Richard Haughey for many of the pictures on this page