The Scammell Register
Dear Mr Hurst
Congratulations on saving a Scammell Super Major (as they were called in the early days)!
I was Heavy Vehicle Engineer at Scammell in its latter days and was involved in the early stages of the development of the rear-engine crashtenders in the late 1970s. However, my current interest is the technical history of Scammell I am writing for the Scammell Register. There are very few photographs of the chassis equipment about – to my embarrassment, I took none during the development and test. I spoke to Colin Nicklin at Carmichaels in case they had an archive, and he directed me to your website where I was pleased to see photos of the engine bay! Could I use one or two of these for my article – I know yours was Unipower-built, but the design was the same - and might you also have a picture of the PTO/gearbox area? By way of exchange, I thought you might be interested in the original vehicle spec sheet, a scan of which I attach.
I look forward to your response.
PS You mention the pneumatic throttle – the main reason for this was to facilitate the automatic change-over from automotive governor control (for road driving) to variable-speed governor control (for pumping) when the PTO was engaged.
The story of my ownership of the Carmichael Mark 12A
It had arrived, it was now time to play.
Before anything else I had to replace the batteries as it had been standing for a good while and the existing batteries would not take a charge. Peter recommended a motor factors in Guildford called SED.
Peter Edwards owns and runs 1st Defense Fire & Rescue Services Ltd which is based at Dunsfold Park, just south of Guildford. Dunsfold Park is where we kept our Carmichael Mark 12A and Bedford TM 6x6. Jez helped David and I with the restoration of both the Mark 12A and the TM.
SED supplied 4 large 12v truck batteries which I connected in parallel and series to provide the required 24v system. More on that later including the specs and wiring details.
This was all that was necessary to get the Mark 12A mobile and basically functional as a vehicle, but a lot more would be required to turn it back to a working fire engine / crash tender.
Shortly after delivery the Mark 12A was back on a low loader. David and I have been going to the War and Peace Show near Paddock Wood, which has become the War and Peace Revival at a different location, for a number of years. More on about our visits to the various War and Peace Show can be found within Events. I took the opportunity of exhibiting both the Carmichael Mark 12A and the Bedford TM. The Mark 12A was the first to travel. The low loader driver stopped off on the way and put £100 of diesel into each vehicle. Less than a third of a tank. It is a good job that neither of them do a lot of miles.
Mark 7 to Mark 12A and beyond
On other posts I introduced you Peter Mitrovitch’s photos. They are so informative that I was inspired to create this photo history of MOD fire engines. I will start it with a duplicate of the previous page as the header to this article.
From what I can see in the photos, I assume that the Mark ? designation is an MOD identifier as the manufactures shown in the photos include Bedford, Dennis, Simon, Carmichael, Scammell / Gloster Saro, Unipower, Thornycroft, and latterly Rosenbauer.
Carmichael Mark 12A and Bedford TM 6x6 purchase and arrival
A funny thing happened on my way home.
Travelling south on the A1 on Saturday the 12th May 2007, I was about to drive past the signpost to Honeypot Lane. Instead I turned off the A1. I had been to Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd before so knew where I was going. I have also been to L Jackson and Co at the Rocket Site, but not this time. "The Rocket Site", Misson near Bawtry, Doncaster is a former bloodhound missile site, which at one time was important to the defence of the Country.
I had worked for Grant Rail Ltd a couple of years earlier which involved visiting the HQ in Doncaster, which provided opportunity out of hours to visit both L Jackson and Co and Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd. Either during stay overs or when travelling there or back to home.
One email from 21 March 2005
Please can you send further information regarding the Volvo Mobile Incident Command Centre including an assessment of condition, and plate and test.
Ivan, The mobile command unit has now been sold. Thank you for your enquiry.
I was by now working for a different company, but remembered the locations.
Soon after turning off the A1 I arrived at the gates of Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd. Into the offices and a short conversation with the sale team, and I was out in the yard looking at all the vehicles and equipment for sale by tender or direct sale.
I was there for quite a while. There was a lot to look at, as I did not have any preconceived ideas of what I wanted to look at. Helicopter cabs, to tanks, to trucks, to torches. The sky was blue and the sun was out to play. I was not in a rush.
What has the Mark 12A been upto?
Not a service history of when the oil filter was changed, but more a list of significant postings and change of location / ownership.
An outline of the Mark12A service in the military and owners, or carers.