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Restoring a Scorpion - the saga.
   (Ver 3)

 

From Richard in England comes the following article regarding his purchase and subsequent love hate relationship with what he thought was going to be an easy project.

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Scorpion diaries - June 2001


Introduction

It all started about five years ago. I met a man at a steam rally who knew a man who had a Ferret and two weeks later I had bought it. Apart from a Dinky toy I had never seen a Ferret, and I was not really looking for one, but these things happen. I joined the MVT, met some nice people and gradually became more knowledgeable and confident. It sort of gets into your blood.

Recently however, I have felt the need for something different. Helen is growing up and beginning to want to ride the vehicles, and the logistical challenge of getting us, the 9x9 and all the camping gear together and to a rally is increasing. So, what should I do?

I have always preferred British post war machinery, mainly because I am British and post war. It always seems that these are the vehicles that are most at risk, and that in twenty years there will still be Jeeps but very few Series Landrovers. With that in mind, I set about assessing what the possibilities were. I began by listing my skills, and those of my friends who could be called on to help. My skills did not take long to list. I am an average self taught mechanic. I can do the more common things, and understand the theory of vehicles. I can spray, provided that the finished product is viewed at forty miles an hour in the dark, and I can use a pop rivet gun. Welding is beyond me, as are gearboxes. My friends are much more talented. Andy is ex REME and knows how vehicles work. He understands radio, so much so that he can make my eyes glaze over, but above all he remains completely unfazed by any problems that arise. He is also a very good Ferret commander. Harry is an ex Navy engineering officer who has also had twenty five years experience as a vehicle mechanic. He can do everything, even gearboxes. It seems that my role in such company is to make the tea.

So - that helped. I have space at home to keep things, although a shed would be useful. Anne is happy with the hobby, provided that it does not become an obsession. Helen enjoys rallies and has made friends with other children in the club. The family therefore will accept the inevitable oily fingers that go with a new vehicle.

My big problem however, is that despite Andy and Harry's calm and level headed approach to life, and Anne's sensible attitude, I am a dreamer. Not only that I am a naive optimist and sail along on the basis that in general, things work out. I also have an overwhelming urge to get something big. This is not a rational thing, it is something that defies logic and in a Zen like state, it just is. It has to be obeyed. At rallies I look at big stuff, anything with armour or six wheels or both. I thought that a Saladin would be good, maybe a Saracen ACV. Lots of wheels and metal. Could be a Fox on the basis of a serious turret and a long gun.

It turned out to be a Scorpion. Big turret, big gun, lots of wheels and tracks. Most of my fantasies fulfilled. There is a definite feeling when you are sat up on top, with a gun pointing forwards from your waist and the engine just throbbing below you. This says more about me than I would like, but there you are.

This is a diary of the project. I have no idea at this stage what we have in store or what the future will hold. I know it will be a slog, and that I will get fed up with it on occasions. Having said that, I am sure that we will overcome this, and by next June it will be a happy band at Weymouth.



The Aquisition

So, the deal was done and the thing is in half a country away. There are about two hundred and fifty miles between us. The initial look showed that it was fairly complete. The outside was about ninety per cent complete. The turret periscopes were there, the hull was straight, with no cracks or bends, and there was nothing obviously missing or broken. The bins were straight, although the big one across the back of the turret was missing, as was the driver's periscope. Lots of the little brackets for the pioneer tools were missing. Odd that, I presumed they had been removed prior to painting the hull, but it may be more sinister. The tracks look tatty, but they always seem to. The road wheels are not bad, they do not leak and the rubbers are good. The sprockets are a bit hooked, they will need looking at, but otherwise the running gear is sound.

She started first time after a jump lead was connected and some fuel put in and once the engine had settled down, drove well. The silencer is blown, the main brakes do not work so there will be challenges ahead. I have a driver's manual and just about every book on CVR(T) that I can lay my hands on. All that remains is to get it down.

That sorted itself out in the end. A low loader was arranged through a friend of a friend and after about a month of prodding and gentle reminders, she arrived. I had hoped to get it near home and just scoot down the lane, but the gas board were digging up the village and the lorry could not turn around. It looked as if we would have to unload on the main road until a neighbour gave us the use of his field to off load, which meant that I had a bit of a chance to practice. So, with a crowd of interested villagers watcging, I turned on the ignition switch, gave it half choke, hit the starter button and nothing happened. The batteries were known to be a problem, and they should have been disconnected for the journey but this had been overlooked. I had to go home and get the Ferret and the interstarter lead. Once connected, she fired first time. So, off with the hand brake, into gear, stop engine when I realise I am still in reverse. Handbrake on, into neutral, reconnect the Ferret, restart. I am building up a sweat now and the audience are restless. Anyway, all running, let it warm up and off the trailer we go. What a feeling! It sort of clicks and bangs its way along and when I give it a couple more gears really moves. It is at this point that I discover that she will not turn left. Right is not a problem, but no matter how I tug at the lever, there is no left. I try a few right circles, and it is fun. I find I can get her left if I reverse and turn right. Then there is a shrieking howl from the front somewhere. It sounds scary, but does not seem to affect anything. We decide to head for home quickly before anything else fails.

The neighbour whose field it is in has really become involved and with a yellow jacket on, stops the traffic on the main road while I make a dash across it. There is a left turn involved, so I back up and go right.

This tank driving does not seem so bad. One you get used to the noise and the layout of the pedals, it all seems easy. Then there is a sharp left turn into another field. The left turn is worrying me. I stopped and waited while Harry opened the gate, and then to my horror the thing started rolling down hill towards Harry's motorbike. I tried to pull on the handbrake but it would not engage. I could see seven tons rolling over an almost brand new bike, and started screaming at Harry. To his credit, he saw the danger and reacted instantly. After that the three point turn and trip in through the gate was child's play.

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Safely in the field.


The next week was spent cleaning the vehicle out. It was absolutely filthy, full of mud and water so armed with a bucket of Flash and disinfectant I started scrubbing. It became apparent that there are no holes in the hull other than in the engine bay, so I decided to drive it up the field and point the nose down. The batteries were flat, so I charged them up and Anne and I set off in a series of lazy right hand circles. Anne was not keen on the side slopes, but otherwise the trip was uneventful. Having got it pointing in the right direction, it cut out and would not start again. The batteries came out again. I also found the turret batteries under four inches of water, so they were charged as well.
I let out about ten gallons of water, bailed out another four with a yogurt pot, and removed two buckets of England from the floor and ammunition holders. The floor is white now, rather than brown, and I removed the three inch plant that was growing behind the commander's seat.

I had a shock when I reconnected the turret batteries. Really, right up my leg, as both the seats in the turret were live now. Twenty four volts is not enough to kill, but applied through a seat base it would make me talk if captured. The hull batteries were too weak to start it again, so they must be replaced as a matter of urgency.



Getting into it.

My first task was to let the dog see the rabbit, and take off some armour. I borrowed an engine crane, and with some rope and a complete disregard for Health and Safety, levered the whole thing off. It really does make a difference, if you compare it to the Ferret, it is like a palace. An oily and muddy one admittedly, but you can see most of the bits you are after. It is all looking good. The list of jobs seems endless. I have taken the main distribution box off, and dismantled it to free the master battery switch. It now works, so the first job is a success. Unfortunately, that is where the success has ended. Despite new batteries, she still will not start. Harry and I have been through every possible combination of wiring, traced it, jumped it, bypassed it, and she is stubbornly refusing to move. The starter motor is off now, and I will take it to a local chap who strips and reconditions them and get a professional diagnosis. If it is not the starter motor, it must be the distribution box. I am racking my brains trying to work out whether I did something wrong. I do not think so, but I cannot be sure. Until the starter problem is resolved, I am continuing the cleaning and painting. I have bought a tin of ex MOD silver paint, and I am at it like a demon.



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Engine deck off.


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Doesn't it look different?


Reality sets in, time to do some research and scrounging.

I have had it a month now and it is time to re-assess the project. It has not been as straightforward as I had hoped, and I am not as far forward as I had planned. Having bought a moving vehicle, it is depressing to find that it does not move now. I think that just being able to fire it up when things are not going well is a comfort, otherwise it is just seven tons of dead metal. However, as I said earlier, I am an optimist and I am sure that we will trace this fault. I am not making much progress with the brakes and steering, as I cannot source the repair kits. The problem seems to be that the system works on mineral oil, and it has had brake fluid put in. This has eaten the rubbers in the master cylinders. I rang Girling and a really helpful chap there tried to find out the part numbers, but could not. Apparently the MOD order the spares by number and do not indicate what vehicle these parts fit. I have approached Alvis, and they have promised to ring back. Harry and I are going to the Tank Museum tomorrow and get some photocopies of the EMERS they hold. I have spoken to the Curator of the workshop and he is happy for me to climb over their Scorpion, provided I leave my spanners at the door. In general, I am surprised at how helpful everyone has been so far. It have not found out the information, but at least people are trying. My targets for this month, after the starter, are to get the brakes and steering sorted, and to try to get the intercom fit. I know that Witham Specialist Vehicles have them, and at Stoneleigh last January were doing a show discount. So I am off to Stoneleigh at the end of the month to see whether I can get them cheap. They also had a brand new driver’s seat for £10 reduced from £100 - that would be the icing on the cake.

We did the tank museum, a really interesting day. Martin could not have been more helpful, and let us climb around and take photographs. It seems that mine is really complete, and all I need to look for is the radio fit, a gunner's sight, and the guards around the breech mechanism. Apart from looking at the two Scorpions, we had a look at a couple of others, including the second Streaker and the prototype Scorpion. I was surprised how similar the Scorpion was to the prototype, although Martin explained that once the gearbox and engine layout has been decided, there is little room for maneuver and the rest just follows. As he had a part in designing Scorpion, I am sure that he was just making it sound easy. We also watched the display in the arena, and this was spectacular. To see a Chieftain thundering at you in a cloud of dust is truly amazing. There was also a 432 and a Sherman, together with a couple of Ferrets and a tracked Rapier. The support vehicles for the Rapier were giving rides all afternoon, but we did not have a go. We did sit in the Chieftain, I was commander and Harry sat in the gunners seat. Compared to the Scorpion the Chieftain turret is enormous, but completely crammed with electronics and switches. The commander's seat is very comfortable - although if it was bouncing around over rough ground it might be less so. I would not fancy the gunner's job, as you cannot see out and you seem lost in the bowels of the vehicle. Still, it made an interesting comparison.

The drudgery.

Back home in the field, the grass is growing up through the tracks. I had removed the starter motor and taken it to Trevor who fixes these things for a living. He thought it was a problem with the pinion, and when we looked at it he was right. All that it turned out to be was a lack of lubrication, and the felt pad that surrounds the pinion had dried out. We removed the core plug, oiled the pad and put a new plug in and tested it. Everything worked as it should, so after tea one evening I fitted it. Anne and Helen came down for the official fire up, and she went on the button. That made me happy. Since then I have fired it up a few times just to hear it run and to warm everything through. I think that it needs a good service as it is running a little rough, but there are no unusual noises, so that is good news. The silencer has a huge hole in it and will have to be replaced if we are to get the engine running sweetly. That apart it has all been painting and cleaning. I bought a couple of tins of white bilge paint at the local surplus store, and have painted the driving compartment floor. This paint should work, as I doubt that there is much difference between the floor of the Scorpion and the bilge of a destroyer. Putting the paint on was not easy, as you cannot sit in the compartment and paint as well. It is also one of those paints that seems to attract every bit of muck and insect life in the area. The first coat seems to have taken, although it is a bit odd to see a white floor in an armoured vehicle. It is accurate, I have checked, but still odd.

I have also had a look in the side lockers for the first time. More mud. I took out two dustpans full from one and half from the other. I reckon that the thing is getting lighter by the day now. It is all washed out, and I am starting on the wheels and suspension now. It really needs some pressure washing, but it is still too far from the house. I cannot see how I will be able to spray the undersides without removing the wheels and tracks, so I had better brace myself for that. My targets now focus on the brakes and intercom. I have stripped the turret floor, but the basket rollers seem to have rusted up. They are being soaked in WD 40, but I am not sure that it is helping. Without the floor, the basket skips on the rollers, with the floor I cannot get access to the rollers. Another Scorpion paradox. I will start the floor painting, but it promises to be a difficult job. I will have to watch the fumes.

I am off to Stoneleigh next weekend, it has a reputation for armour and I have met someone who will take a Streaker there. I saw it at Stoneleigh in January and it was immaculate. I have some way to go, but I will look for advice and tips. He had a similar problem with the starter motor, so we have swapped notes on that. He has also warned me against removing the alternator. I will also hit the dealers for bargains.

Stoneleigh was interesting. Going outside your own area is always interesting and you see vehicles you have never seen before. Particularly interesting was a superb Saladin, one of my dream machines. I managed to get a few things, but not the comms. I did get a huge earth spike for a fiver. Anne does not understand the need for this, even though I explained the safety aspect of refuelling.
Is it just me, or do others find the small things at stalls fascinating. I managed an axe, a rear light lens, a vehicle document wallet and a huge box that contains just about every bulb you could need. I also bought three padlocks, but getting a spare key cut will probably cost more than the lock.

A good week. Trevor at Girling came up with the brake part numbers and we refurbished all three master cylinders. The main brake cylinder was seized solid and the rubbers had rotted. The others had been bodged with insulation tape. None the less, Harry's expertise meant that everything went back properly and the main brakes work now. However, she still will not turn left. Close examination showed that the pads were soaked in oil from the horrible mix at the bottom of the hull. They were taken out, burned off and cleaned. Back in the vehicle the thing still does not turn left. As far as I can tell the caliper is leaking and this is contaminating the pads and disk. Back to Trevor for the kit number. I had fun driving it around the field. I managed to get it in fourth and she moves. Looking forward to getting it on the road. I replaced a rear light unit but no soon as I had done that, the one on the other side packed up. I still have no brake lights, probably the switch still not working, so the struggle continues. I am worried that I might have damaged the clutch, as I reversed in too high a gear up hill, and it started slipping.

Reality check.

The mood swings continue as well. This week I have ranged from elation to despair, but have settled out at borderline depressed. I suppose that it is frustration more than anything else. At the moment it seems like one problem after another and a continual round of paying out. It is generally at this stage that the articles say how this is the challenge of a hobby like ours, but to be honest this is not how I feel. I really wanted the steering and brakes to work, and to be faced with more work is a pain. I suppose that it is not too bad and that I cannot expect too much. A pain none the less. I put some petrol in it and drove it around the field again. I managed to turn without gouging up the grass and the clutch did not seem to have suffered yesterday. I have learned a driving rule, do not try to move in a high gear.
So, I have had it here two months now and it is time to take stock. My first aim was to make it a reliable starter and stopper. I also wanted to assess how much was missing,and start on the cleaning and painting. I have achieved some of that, the starter motor is fixed, and she starts on the button each time. I have not replaced the silencer yet, although I hope to by the end of the month. I have main brakes and the driver's compartment is painted, although the floor still needs a second coat. The steering is almost fixed and the master switch for the electrical system is working.

As a bonus, I have some life in the lighting circuit. The main switch is sticky but with some jiggling it works. The brake light switch is not working at all and the indicator switch seems to have a life of its own. I have replaced one of the rear lights and have found a convoy light for fitting later. The others need cleaning up at least, perhaps replacing, as they are all quite rusty inside. I will see how it goes later. I have assembled some of the external fittings, and these need painting up. The main thing I have done, however, is to get it clean. I would not have believed how much mud a Scorpion could hold, and how much Flash it would take to clean it. It is better now, although taking the rear light off yesterday loosened another half pound.

What next? The steering, obviously, and the silencer. I hope to change the engine and gearbox oils and then refit the driver's compartment. I will replace the brake light switch, and examine the lighting switch and indicators. That should do for the next month.


More drama.

It has not been a bad month really. The weather has been marginal which makes the working on it difficult and rather frustrating. However, there were a couple of good days and I made some progress. I managed to replace the brake light switch thanks to a very nice lady from Kostall who went out of her way to help. The indicator is a little more difficult and so far has been elusive. The light switch is also difficult, although it looks and acts exactly the same as the Land Rover type, the ignition switch is built into the middle of it. Andy reckons that if we are stuck we can adapt one of the earlier Land Rover switches. Harry and I had a go at getting the lights to work and nearly had a disaster. We were sitting having a cup of tea when Harry noticed that there was smoke coming from the driver’s compartment. A mad dash found that the cause of the problem was a shorting plug in the top of the distribution box. We do not know why it shorted, but the power of 28 volts is awesome. Looking in the manual, it seems that it is the Radiac lead. Given that I will be unlikely to use it, I will tie it out of the way and see what happens.

I have met another couple of chaps who are into CVR(T) and who know what they are doing. Talking to them makes me realise that I might have bitten off more than I can chew, but they do not seem to have any problems. Martin has one of the prototype Streakers and as he lives very close to my mother in law, I hope to see it shortly. He came down to see the Scorpion and has pointed out that the sprockets and carriers are worn out. The list lengthens.

On the positive side, the exhaust has been fitted and it sounds beautiful. Much noisier than I thought, and very loud when you compare it to the Ferret. In fact the whole thing at tick over is noisy, the gearbox whines and clunks, the exhaust barks and when it moves, the tracks make a real clatter. I doubt whether I could sneak up on any one with it.

Steering is still a problem, she will turn left but not right. The pads look soaked with oil although I cannot see where it is coming from. Martin says to burn them off with petrol, so I will try that. I went to see Martin’s Streaker the other day - superb. Everything is there and it all works. Much easier to drive than the Scorpion so something to aim for.

I am off to a militaria fair at Malvern soon, armed with a list and a wad of cash. I do not know what the spares availability is, it does not seem good when you talk to the dealers but then I suppose that they would say that wouldn’t they?

Progress.

Malvern was very good. I managed to get a few bits and pieces, and most importantly a track clamp. I say most importantly, as I hope never to use it, but if it has to be then it is there.

Martin managed to find a couple of bits and pieces which will make it look good. I now have all the bins and most of the outside stowage. The seats are beyond repair, but I think that with a paint job she will look good. The weather has turned for the winter now and I have sheeted her up. I will paint some stuff as and when I can, but it is time for stores acquisition between now and next June.

The aim is for her to make her debut at a parade in Weymouth next June. That is six months away, but you know how time flies. The parade itself is a superb event, organised by the British Legion to commemorate the embarkation of troops from the area for D - Day. The local council lends its support and ensures that there is plenty to do. We have been going with the Ferret for a few years now, and I am looking forward to taking the Scorpion. Over the past few years there have been various rumours about how long the parade will continue as the D Day veterans are becoming older and frailer, but the British Legion seems keen to carry on as a general veterans week. I have noticed that there are more attendees from the Korean war and also the end of empire campaigns that took place as I grew up. The chief guest this year will be Simon Weston who was badly burned during the Falklands conflict. Given that this is nearly twenty years ago, I hope that it will continue as long as it is well supported.

The usual form is that the vehicles are grouped together on the sea front on the Saturday and on the Sunday they follow the parade along the front. I have to say that I have never seen anything like it. The crowds line the route three or four deep and cheer like mad. It is just like pictures of the liberation of Paris. I feel a bit disconcerted by this, as all I have done is paint a tank. None the less, you do not get the opportunity to drive a tank through the middle of town with the council’s blessing very often so it has to be done.

Crumby weather makes for good research.

It is now mid March. The six months I had has now dwindled to three and nothing has moved. The weather has been pretty dire, we are in the way of every bit of rain that comes off the Western Approaches and it seems to coincide with my days off. I plan to build a shed for the tank next year so that at least I can work in comparative comfort.

I have researched the history of the vehicle and now know that she entered service in August 1973 with the Life Guards and remained there until the early 1980’s when she had a base overhaul. After that she went to 4th Royal Tank Regiment and then through a couple of Territorial Army units to being demobbed in 1995. I removed one of the smoke grenade boxes on the turret and found the original “Chinese Eye” marking from her time in 4 RTR, so I have decided to show her during her time in 4 RTR.

As part of this I have been busy looking into the history of the Regiment. The Chinese Eye is a fascinating story. In 1918 a Mr Eu Yew Tong Sen OBE, a member of the Federal Council of Malaya presented the British Government with a Mark V tank. He stipulated that the Land Ship should have its own eyes giving effect to the Chinese idea of having their boats and junks painted with two eyes because “No got eyes, how can see? No can see how can savee? No can savee how can chop chop?” His wishes were complied with and the tank in question was issued to D Battalion RTC. In commemoration of this generous gift it has been the practice in 4 RTR to paint the eyes on all fighting vehicles since that time. The Chinese Eye was officially adopted as the Battalion sign by 4th Battalion RTC in May 1923.

The Tank Museum Library at Bovington held a copy of the Regimental Standing orders and customs from which this description is taken. The standing orders also showed how the vehicles were named. Contrary to some of the jeeps that I have seen, the names are not decided by the crew or driver but are laid down by the regiment, depending on squadron and function. Unfortunately I cannot find out which name mine held, but I have managed to obtain a photo form the Tank Museum of a 4 RTR Scorpion named Dipper, so that is her name. Dipper is a spare name allocated to C squadron which is the reconnaissance squadron. There are 4 troops within the squadron as well as the squadron HQ, all with exotic names. Dipper is the name of a small bird and traces its roots to C Coy, 4th Battalion RTC which were named after animals.

It was a fascinating search. 4 RTR no longer exists, but was amalgamated into 1 RTR in April 1993. I spoke to a colonel from 1 RTR who provided me with a template for the eyes, and confirmed that Dipper would be a correct name to use. Looking on the web showed that the eyes are still in use. I found a picture on the web of a Sabre with the eyes on the side of the new bins.

Anyway, it passed a few evenings and adds to the project. I am concerned to get it right, not in an anorak way, but really out of respect for those that actually used them. I don’t much care whether someone comes up at a rally to point out that the bolts on the wing mirror bracket should be countersunk not hex headed, but I would not like an ex soldier to say that I had got the markings wrong.

Apart from that, I have painted the new bins and registered her for the road. Martin will come down to help me fit the sprockets and carriers. I have fitted the intercom and some of the turret electrics, and all the lights work. I now need to apply for my track driving test.

May 2002 - Tracked Vehicle Licence.

Only a month to go before Weymouth. I have fixed the steering pads, although I had to replace them. I did try to burn the contamination from them, but one exploded and left a great chunk out of it. Martin and Dave came down and not only did we replace the sprockets, but Dave gave her a quick blow over. I have to say that she looks stunning. The unit markings are not there yet but otherwise she looks like a proper tank. I have registered her, and arranged transport for the weekend. My tracked test was due at the end of May, but has been postponed until the Thursday before we leave on the Friday. No pressure there then!

Getting the test was not easy. Our local licensing office decided that the Scorpion was not an “appropriate vehicle” to conduct the test. Now call me stupid, but if I am to drive it on the road I would have thought that it was better to test me in that than some other work around that might not be much like a Scorpion. Some of the local club have taken the test in Snow Cats, which drive much like a car, but there is an argument that they do not actually steer by means of the tracks. They have a series of hydraulic arms that bend the two units and this turns them. The Marines who use them are of the opinion that they can be driven on a car licence, but it is all too difficult for the DVLA.

So, I have to take the test in another county and use Martin’s Streaker. This has the advantage of slightly more visibility than the Scorpion as it has no gun barrel and the driver sits slightly higher. I can use the old Alvis test track to drive around which will save having to play with the traffic. I am also told that the local office is more used to dealing with this as they test all the Alvis drivers.

June 2002 - Licence success!

I now have a tracked vehicle licence. It was not an easy day. I met Martin at the track but we could not get on it as there were some tests going on. I was relying on getting some practise in before the test. Anyway, I managed to get something done for about an hour before the test, but as it approached, the Streaker started missing and popping. There was nothing we could do about this, so off we went. The lady who came to examine me was very nice. Initially she had been told that it was a tractor test, but when she got over the shock of eight tons of armour she seemed OK with it. I was told to drive around a bit as if it were a road, so off I went.

The first problem was that every time I put my foot on the throttle, the engine died. It required a very sensitive foot, but the problem was made worse by the fact that the clutch is centrifugal. No revs means no drive. Once she was in gear and revving, the engine seemed fine and she did not falter at tickover, so it only meant being very careful on starting and pulling off. I did a few reverses into some parking spaces, a few three point turns and a trot round the industrial estate. Martin helped me by explaining to the examiner the limitations of the vehicle in terms of speed and braking, when I left the indicator on too long she was okay about it. I am sure that she would have noticed. The scariest bit was the emergency stop. I went blasting around the track and fully expected to see her for miles as she was wearing a fluorescent tabard. Unfortunately she just popped up out of nowhere (how’s that for camouflage?) and stood in the road with her hand up. I hit everything, including taking my hands off the tillers to brace myself against the driver’s sight. The whole vehicle stood on its nose and stopped and she calmly walked off. I sat for a minute or so, too petrified to move and far too tense, it seems that some tanks have very impressive braking ability . Was she teaching me a lesson? The rest of the test passed without incident, although the turns and reverses were getting more difficult as the engine got hotter. At the end, I hopped out and we ran though the road signs. I have been driving for thirty years, but still got one wrong! Despite all that I passed, and she leant on the front armour to write the ticket.

After she went, I did a lap of honour and then came home to get ready for Weymouth. That however is a different story and one that I will continue later.

Part 2

 

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