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1935 butcher's van from Dad's Army restored to former glory

Published 07/02/2016

The van has been restored to coincide with the release of the Dad's Army film
The van has been restored to coincide with the release of the Dad's Army film

The original butcher's van featured in the Dad's Army comedy series has been restored by a team of apprentices.

The 1935 Ford BB Box Van featured in the first colour episode of the series on September 11 1969 and went on to become a fixture of the show.

But although the two-ton vehicle - marked with the logo of Corporal Jones's family butchers - has undergone various cosmetic restorations over the years, it has only now been returned to its original state.

The project, undertaken by Ford apprentices in the same Dagenham building that it would have left more than 80 years ago, coincides with the release of the new Dad's Army film.

Stuart Wright, from the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford, Norfolk, where it will now be housed, said: "This vehicle has a special place in British entertainment history, and is enjoyed by the many visitors to the Dad's Army Museum.

"It's fantastic to see the van operational again and we hope it will capture the imagination of the younger visitors less familiar with Dad's Army, as well as triggering happy memories for the older generations."

The van doubled as a support vehicle for the Walmington-on-Sea branch of the Home Guard in the original series, which was filmed in Thetford.

The restoration included a full engine rebuild, replacement clutch, and new wiring looms.

Paul Neighbour, Ford Dagenham engine plant manager, said: "It has been wonderful to see the van back at Dagenham after all these years, and we're delighted that our apprentices have had the opportunity to get involved with getting such an iconic vehicle back on the road."

The Ford BB truck was among the first commercial vehicles produced at the Ford Dagenham site, which started production in 1931.

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