Page 2.   Shelvoke & Drewry Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Autumn 2018.

SNAPSHOTS FROM THE LIFE OF GJD 121 N
           
           
 
It’s hardly possible to believe that five of the six photos on this page are of the same chassis and cab.

Above is an earlier version of one of several TN’s that SD developed for BP to transport central heating oil in central London. Kaleidoscope of Shelvoke & Drewry states that with its narrow 6’ 6” width the little tanker could go virtually wherever a taxi could. Built in 1974 GJD121N will have been very similar. I understand that SD had a difficult task in reducing he engine noise in the cab to make the tankers acceptable to BP. The driving pattern was very different from the frequent stop start of a refuse collection vehicle. Photo courtesy of Ian Wyngarde.

This photo shows the tanker being used as a fuel bowser in the mid to late 1980’s by Cambridgeshire based Premier Travel coaches. Their coaches were parked some way from the company’s main garage and the little tanker transported diesel fuel to them.

We next find the tanker in a very sorry state and up for sale.

Michael Cooper from Maybole in Ayrshire, Scotland, purchased it and in 2008 it re-appears resplendent in the livery of the Burgh of Maybole with a replica Chelsea type body. Photo courtesy of Michael Cooper.

Later the vehicle passed into the hands of Peter Johnston of McCreath Taylor (N.I.) who are based in Lisburn. This photo shows the vehicle with additional sign writing when it became part of Peter’s growing fleet of preserved SD vehicles.

Now we see the vehicle in its latest guise as a tar tanker. Peter Johnston and his son, David, had taken over McCreath Taylor in 1999 and the company for the last 30 years has operated from their purpose-built premises in Lisburn.  They supply on hire: Scarab Sweepers, Hook Loaders, Skip Loaders, Pedestrian operated Sweepers and Refuse Collection Vehicles.

McCreath Taylor & Co. Ltd. was formed in 1906 in Glasgow and also operated in Dublin, Belfast and London.  The company established a depot in Belfast in 1925 and around that time became agents for Shelvoke & Drewry. They were also agents for S&D in Scotland. But the company were also tar importers and Peter Johnston has already restored a tar boiler from the early 1900’s.


Peter wanted the ex-BP tanker to reflect this part of the company’s history and he has truly done it in style. Once again James McAleer and others have done a magnificent restoration and in mid-August the vehicle had its first public outing.


 
The smartest SD cab ever?

 
The tanker even looks lovely from behind.The four aluminium coloured caps on the rear of the tank represent the heating elements that were a feature of this type of tar tanker. These heaters could only be used when the vehicle was stationary and used either oil or gas to heat the tar. The above three photos courtesy of Tommy Moore.


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