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We now have 13 paid up members of the club so far. My holiday in Barbados is looking a possibility if I can increase the subs to £200 each. Seriously though thank you for the positive response.
Enclosed in this issue you should find an up to date owner's list, allow I got mine' from Warwick and Russ, wanted and for sale sheet, date option and booking sheet for weekend camp/get together.
Whilst out for a pub lunch a little while ago I came across a pub on the edge of the New Forest with two paddock size fields attached to the car park. The landlady has offered free use of these paddocks to us providing we use the pub facilities and make a small donation to the pub charity. The paddocks back onto an area of the Forrest known as Canada common. Unfortunately vehicles are not allowed onto the Common but the tracks and roads close to should give plenty of chance for an interesting 'convoy drive'. Perhaps if enough of us can attend then maybe the most Ferrets in a single get together, 'BUSINESS' as pointed out by Neil Bush, for a long time. The location of the pub at Canada is hopefully close enough for most of us to attend but I realise distance-cost is likely to make it difficult for some of you. Anyone who wishes to attend without their Ferret is more than welcome and prior free accommodation to the weekend in my caravan at Chandlers Ford is available. I recently went to see 6 Ferrets, which appeared at an dealer/collector. The asking price was £1000 for a liaison and £1200 for a turreted version. Evidently these Ferrets were prepared some years ago for an export order rebuilt engines, serviced and kited out with only 20 miles on the dock after this work was done. The order fell through and for some reason the Ferrets spent the next 15-20 years sat outside exposed to the elements. Their present condition is to say the least very sad. I had hoped to find them in much better condition as I want a second Ferret to do up over the next couple of years but these were to far gone for me. AIl the engines appeared seized, wings, bins were rusted out completely and hatch, and engine covers were also seized. The normal duck pond was to be found inside most of them, with seat, battery boxes missing. Why when someone had gone to all trouble of rebuilding these Ferrets. they couldn't have gone a stage further and thrown a cover over them. On a lighter note it looks like Colin Cook, Derek Gardener, and Herbie Trinder will have their Ferrets on the road this summer. All of these Ferrets are MK 1/2's. Andy Deacon's MK 2/3 is now ready to show, and is looking very good. Andy has spent a lot time and effort over the last 8-9 months in rebuilding his Ferret in my garage, and has drunk a considerable amount of my bear in the process, but the end result is well worth it. One of our members, Ralph Daniel, is a deputy head at a local school and this will be the second year that Ralph has invited us to take our Ferrets to the school summer fair. Last year Ralph, Warwick, and I took our Ferrets, and this year we hope Andy will take his also. The tank museum also sent a long a Saladin last year, which meant it drove about 120 miles round trip for about a 3 hour display for the kids at the school. A good evening was had by all. Good Public Relations with the children and parents were gained for us. Also the P.T.A who ran the event insisted on paying £10 each towards petrol costs, so we had a free drive on a glorious summers evening and we are looking forward to doing the same thing this year.
4 Star alternative
Please find the attached leaflet, which has details of an alternative feed for Ferrets. I take it that the manufacturers are claiming that this dry feed is suitable as a replacement for 4 star petrol. It is specifically designed for Ferrets but I think it is probable that re-jetting of the carburettor is going to be necessary as this new fuel appears to be slightly thicker than standard 4 star. The suggested price is awkward to compare to present prices on 4 star as this new product is going to be sold by kilos rather than litres. It appears the government bas not realised that this fuel is available, as first indicators are that it is only subject to standard rate VAT It might be strange to drive your Ferret to your local pet store to fill up but what the heck it all adds to the enjoyment of Ferret ownership.
Food For Thought
Cooking was close to everyone's heart and in armoured vehicles it was not always easy and so many ingenious ideas were tried. Apart from the boiling vessel (BV) which is one of the greatest military inventions many other methods were discovered to heat up food and while l was serving with 19 Field Regiment in Germany the OP crews (Observation Post) found two very novel methods.
It's a little known fact that the exhaust pipe of a 432 is just slightly larger in diameter than a tin of compo. If the vehicle is static running and you drop a tin down the pipe it will bobble around inside and heat up. Then all you need to do is step on the accelerator and the tin will fly out all nice and hot! (As well as being a good way to cook food it can also double as a game with various vehicles seeing how far they can eject a tin of chicken in brown sauce!)
The second method involved laying various tins under the engine decks of a Ferret whilst moving from one location to another and they presto,' a hot meal on arrival. This method is fine as long as you remember that you have put the tins in the engine compartment.
One poor crew were parked up near my CP one-day when orders came in and they forgot the tins. A short while later they were still preparing things when a muffled explosion reminded them that dinner was ready. The tins of steak and kidney exploded all over the engine and burnt on to everything leaving a nasty mess to clean up and a smell that followed them for days!
Acknowledgement to 'Tracklink' number 45 January 1999
How I got Mine!
Many years ago I had this Dinky, many, many years ago that is! well some years ago, about ten of them, I got a hankering for a Ferret, but they were too expensive and quite hard to find.
The idea was put on the very back burner, but simmered on in the subconscious.
About three years ago I noticed that Ferrets were now affordable and not too hard to find, so it was badger the misses time. Then a friend, I forget who, but probably Ralph Daniel or Herbie, put me in touch with Nick Mead up at Tanks-a-Lot. An afternoon playing on his vehicles was arranged, and silver crossed palms. Well the Rapier launcher was OK, the Abbot yippee great fun, but the real reason for the visit was the Ferrets, We all left saying we needed one. This "need" is distinct from "want", we "needed" one.
A little bit of searching was done, and a suitable example was found at Pounds yard in Portsmouth, after the deal was done, £1,800 changed ownership, and 00 DC 89 a Mk 2/3 was delivered to my back garden. Herbie then came down over successive weekends to fix the minor glitches needed to put it on the road. The generator box had been hacked out, this took about 8 hrs of rewiring to sort out. The next problem was the starter motor clutch had gone. The best advice we could get was "engine out! no way!" we struggled for a few hours trying to get it out through the engine bay, then we sussed it could be done through the fighting compartment. The job is about two hours and a book of blue words.
My reasoning that a Ferret is small enough to use around town and even go shopping, silenced the sceptics among my family and friends with the integral run to Tesco's. So that's proven a Ferret does make a good town run around! Since that day the only problem encountered has been a knackered fuel pump, replaced in a day, with sadly, another snickered fuel pump. So I fitted an electric pump in two hours, which gives me another ten mph, so either the old pump wasn't getting enough fuel in, or the electric pump gets more than enough! Herbie and Ralph both now have ferrets, and we picked up some spare ones, again from Pounds, so if anyone is looking for a restoration project on a runner, give me a call. I also have access to covered farm storage near Romsey at £5.00 p.w. inc. storeroom, power, goodwill and a big field to play in.
HOW I GOT MINE
I have had my Ferret for two seasons now. luckily without any major mechanical breakdown! When we were looking to buy a Ferret instead of going for one which needed a lot of work we decided to spend a little bit more money and buy one that was up together and ready to drive and show.
It's been great fun getting cold wet and deafened but I still love it! The funniest experience so far must have been whilst l was stopped in the middle of the local main road waiting to make a right turn on a-glorious warm sunny day when it started to rain. I couldn't understand what was happening until my son who was commanding started to shout. It turned out that some of the local lads in a car had pulled up right behind us in my blind spot and they had some water pistols and were giving my son a good soaking!
One problem with the Ferret that has always worried me is the matter of transmission wind-up. I have always been very careful to match the tyres on each side but as all my driving is on-road it is always a nagging worry on a long journey. The previous owner did once mention about running in 2 wheel drive after making some enquiries it seems perfectly reasonable and safe. It will cut down on tyre wear. Reduce rolling resistance (maybe better fuel consumption? ) and do away with the worry. Maybe someone out there has tried it? I would be very interested to hear from you, but anyway, at the moment I have decided to give it a try and will report back with my findings. The other problem I have been experiencing is with the Larkspur intercom it's been cutting out at times and also when it rains, damp seems to be getting in and causing funny noises. Wanting to keep the radio set-up original, I have purchased a "ramcall" 100' intercom unit which some of-you have seen on display at some of the shows. This allows me to use the later Clansman headsets which are much better and safer with the boom mic's. I hope everybody has a successful coming season, maybe it will be a little bit drier this summer, it seems as though it rained nearly event or show that we went to!
Russ Sherwood (. Ferret Mk. l )
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