Page 2.   SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Summer 2022.

Gary’s Boys Part 2.

Gary Sugden in conversation with your Editor.

Malcolm Bates records that for the 1976 Commercial Vehicle Exhibition at Earls Court only three examples of the SPV range

were available.- the prototype Carmichael Type B Water Tender, a 4x4 chassis, and two 13.5 ton gross airfield crash tenders. [Bookazine page 89]

An early SPV Crash Tender (Not one of those mentioned above) Another Peter Jarman photo.

For the 1978 Commercial Vehicle Exhibition, now held at the NEC at Birmingham, there was a far more impressive display of seven vehicles were on show. In that year the ’P’ series of refuse collection vehicles had been launched with the Ogle designed all steel tilt cab , and for the SPV Division the PNL chassis formed the basis for the PNL City Truck with the width increased by 2 ins to 6’ 8”

The PNL City Truck

There was a 6x6, along with a CR 4x4 crash tender which was destined to go to Chubb to be equipped, an NYC 4x4 bodied as a water tanker, a WX type B water tender, a WY Firefighter chassis and an NYC Refueller unit for Air-BP. [Bookazine page 94]

The 1980 Commercial Vehicle Show appears to have been much more upbeat about the SPV Division. This Hi-loader aircraft supply vehicle was boldly emblazoned:- Shelvoke SPV – A new force in the British truck industry.” [Bookazine page 89]

Photo supplied by Nigel Kenworthy.

With great ingenuity Malcolm Bates used the Hi-loader as the hospitality suite at the Exhibition, where valued guests walked up a staircase to the extended scissor lift and had a top level viewing platform over the NEC.

This advert gives an idea of the range of SPV vehicles now available.

Oliver.                   Photo supplied by Joan Saunders.

Little Oliver, grandson of SD employees Jake & Joan Saunders, does his bit to advertise the brand.

At the very same time Commercial Motor Magazine (25th October 1980) were reporting :- BEFORE Shelvoke and Drewry can implement plans to axe 35 jobs at Letchworth (CM, October 11), the company is considering making a further 64 workers redundant which would reduce the workforce by about ten per cent. A spokesman for the company said that its success at the Motor Show could ease the burden, and that options are being looked at.”

What a contrast!

Now imagine that SPV chassis line under the control of Gary and staffed by ‘Gary’s Boys.’ The traditional refuse collector chassis had a wide range, but for Gary and his boys virtually every chassis was a new design that had to be mastered, drawings studied and decisions made. Perhaps it was the variety that welded them into such a good team. But in a very short time they became a force to be reckoned with.


A 4x4 chassis being assembled for Thames Water. Photo from the Corbyn Collection.

A major breakthrough came when it was realised that the ’P’ series Ogle cab could be adapted and extended to form a fire appliance cab. And a good looking fire appliance came into being far in advance of the early appliances with bodywork and cabs by Carmichael. So good indeed that the London Fire Brigade ordered 48 WX’s as Pump Escapes and 10 WY’s with hydraulic platforms. The bodywork was by Cheshire Fire Equipment (CFE)

Photo at Lullingstone Castle 8th July 2017.

Two preserved ex-London Fire Brigade WX’s Darren Perry photo.

They were great vehicle to drive,” said Gary, and the London firemen would agree, but by then we talked for long enough, but I was itching to learn more from Gary about his ‘Boys.

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