Ireland to Sweden 197? – Part 1

Unloading in Stockholm – PH.

I came across the above photo on a Facebook group posted by ex Kelly Freight driver Philip Hegarty, I think you’ll agree it is a belter of a photo. Tipping in Stockholm, Sweden. Just look at the others tipping on the other loading bays. Anyway it made me wonder and prompted me to ask the question of just how did you get your load of prime Irish meat all the way to Stockholm in the 1970’s, by this I mean what was the route bearing in mind most of the A74 was single carriageway and the M25 didn’t exist to help you round London and down to Dover like you would today. I don’t think it’s a silly question to ask, as in my 40 years on the planet, the M25 has been there as long as I can remember.

I asked the question and the reply from Philip was as follows; “We mostly went from Ireland to Dover /Zeebrugge up through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark another ferry to Sweden and over to Stockholm. Great times plenty of good places to eat along the way.”

Or another suggestion from a certain Roland Simey; “Earlier Philip, when we loaded out of Killybegs we used to go direct from Immingham to Gothenberg. Half load to Uppsala then onto Helsinki with the rest of the vacuum packed Lobsters. Then when empty, due to the loading restrictions in Sweden, back to Arhus DK to load back to UK or anywhere else!”

All sounds fair enough to me but then I wondered about the actual route, as I said a lack of motorways and dual carriageways back in the 70’s. So being the quizzical chap I am, I asked for a little more detail and this prompted a reply from the one and only Roland Simey, yes he of R Simey Refrigeration (Adastra). Roland is more than qualified to give us directions on any European route from Ireland, so sit back take the wheel and follow Rolands instructions; “From Stranraer , no Cairnryan yet, there were no bypasses until Gretna which was by then dual carriageway until Carlisle then M6 , M1 down to what is now J2 then crossing the North Circular , Holloway Road, Whitechapel, Commercial Road (A13), Blackwall tunnel to Greenwich, Welling in Kent then A2 with the new bypass to Medway before returning on to old A2, past the Gate cafe and through the inner circular in Canterbury, down in and through Dover to the docks, no Jubilee Way. Hope that helps.” ……and to help even more and to give you physical sight of the roads, the following images are taken from Rolands 1973 Bartholomew Road atlas. The first batch are Stranraer to Carlisle.

So now you have made it from Stranraer into England and Carlisle, we should all be able to make it to London, coming in on the M1. If you are then a little unsure as many drivers do try to stay out of London at all costs, here’s a page of the atlas for London. Once you are through and heading for Dover on the A2, get yourself through Canterbury town and then you will queuing for the boat before your kettle has boiled!

A big thank you to both Roland and Philip for their help down to Dover. If you need a few pointers on how to then get to Sweden from Calais, come back for part 2. In the mean time if you still haven’t worked out who Roland is…….

A Nearly New-by LP

The blog gains a few fans every week and more and more are asking if they can write a blog or I ask them if they want too. Either way it means we all get to enjoy a wider variety of trucking stories. This time around I asked my friend, Dominic Newby, of MB Roadstars fame, if he would write a few words about this “as-new” Mercedes-Benz LP 1626. Luckily for us Dom is happy to share his photos and a few words about this Danish beauty. I think it needs a retro frigo trailer behind it though, who agrees??

The LP 1626’s cubic cab is the very model of minimalist design; debuting in September 1963 at the IAA in the heavy duty category it’s huge windscreen, surfaces and right angled lines, the vehicle’s exterior is modern, even by today’s standards. The design allowed the driver to experience a new world: a comfortable entry, space behind the wheel, a magnificent panoramic view and a minimal sized engine tunnel. The LP’s tilting cab was immediately recognisable by doors drawn to the height of the bumper and the slightly raised roof was integrated in 1969.

“I was lucky enough to experience one of these beauties at the recent Stuttgart Retro-Classic. This LP is a dump truckconverted to a fire truck and is now in its third lease of life as a semi-trailer tractor unit, despite these different ‘lives’ it has hardly been used. The gears feel just as they did on day one, the V8 growls at the first rev and the frame and chassis are a million miles away from rust and bearing damage. It could have just rolled off the production line.

“After a lengthy restoration converting the old fire truck the finished article is simply stunning. The theme of the LP is Denmark; there is red and black patterned material on the rear wall and on the mattress, the engine tunnel is upholstered in red man-made leather and there is fur on the seats. The rear wall also contains a lampshade bought from a flea market, all of which lends character to the cab. On the exterior, fire engine red is combined with green along with a ‘Danmark’ illuminated sign on the roof. This LP is truly one of a kind and is exactly the type of lorry I would love to add to my collection – long live the true ‘retro classics’!

Photo Challenge – Kentvale

Photo detectives required.

This weekends challenge is to find a photo of Kentvale Transports Scania 113M Centurion.

By all accounts it looks like they only had it on English plates for less than a year as it shows as being exported 9-10 months after registration. This being the case it probably explains why there are so few photos of it. Do you have a photo of the Kentvale Centurion please? If you do email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk and earn yourself a TB sticker.

The Centurion List – Update

Richard P and myself are nearly there with the full list of Centurions. We have had a lot of help from various people recently so thank you all very much. There has been another flurry in the last few days, again you know who you are. Having had this mini flurry, some of this blog may have been superseded already, but I’ll carry on in the hope you can give even more info, so I may generalise a little so as not to repeat things.

J15 EAS – this reg was used on 100 when new but above has been put onto a 113. Now we know SEAS also had 001, which was originally H100 SCA and still had the same reg once converted to the rigid it now is. The above looks a little tired so probably a few years old. So what number Centurion is the above please?

Kelly Trucks. Proving a little tricky to pin point both trucks. Kelly’s had two trucks that we think were both demo’s at some point and both did an aid run to Bulgaria. Can anyone add any further info to the Kelly Trucks Centurions as Mr Kelly himself can’t remember! They used both J606 UOE and also J291 EOP on aid runs, may be the same one? They also used H100 SCA for a run too.

We still don’t know what number J515 JKN was. This was owned by MJ Sewell along with 027 which you can just see to the left. We cant find any other evidence of this reg, so it may have been something else before. Looking at the spec it could have been one of the Robson Road Haulage 5. Can anyone help with this one?

Mr Peckham. A gloriously understated flying machine I’m sure. A 143 500, pictured here with reg number J422 LGA. A cracking truck that we believe met a very sad ending. But looking at the photo we think it must have been 2nd hand when Mr Peckham took it on. What number is it please?

The Millar Transport saga as we have nicknamed it. We know Millers had 5 Centurions (we think!) and we have all 5 against various Centurion numbers, but as sure as we are, if anyone can categorically tell us what reg numbers were which Centurions that would be great:

040 – LDZ 1140

076 – MDZ 3140

079 – MDZ 6140

081 – MDZ 1140

083 – MDZ 2140???

If anyone can confirm the above that would be great. Even an ex Millar driver got himself confused with reg numbers and Centurion numbers!

What ever happened to the most photo non Centurion, the promo truck that was H376 DNK?

Finally, we still have no info at all on; 036, 037, 039, 043 and 054.

If you have any good quality photos that you took, please email copies to me; ben@truckblog.co.uk then I will be able to credit you in the book. We are always after more photos no matter what quality, so again feel free to email or share them on the Scania Centurion Facebook page. The more photos and quality info the better.

Thank you on before of Richard and myself (Ben Sheldrake).

Kepstowe Freight – Help (& Photos)

For Mat Ireland:

Need some sleuth work! Maybe one for the blog? I am trying to find out what magazine/newspaper this came from. I have tried Googling all sorts but to no avail, does anyone recognise the stars after the date perhaps? John Gaskell, if the same reporter, passed away in 2008 and wrote for the telegraph, other than that it appears to be a character in Holby city which doesn’t help ha ha!

Retro Truck Show 2019 Vlog

Oh happy sunny days, when we could stay outside without drowning, when we could stand about all evening, enjoying a cool beer and a good yarn with other like minded folk, bring back the summer! The Retro Truck Show at Gaydon is still one of, if not the best Truck Show in the UK. This year was especially good, as I was able to take a beast of truck, in a convoy, with a V8 burbling away and smoke pouring out the stacks!

Myself in the 143 450 Streamline, James from HC Wilson in the 141 and Matt Ireland in the F16. Now there’s a convoy for the truck pervert! Although its not particularly good quality but the photo below is a sight for retro eyes, coming up the M40, probably how the M40 used to be with the Irish running between boats. I know we were spotted by a few, as there were various comments on social media over the show weekend about how people had seen such a great sight back on the UK motorways!

Anyway, my photo talents are sketchy at the best of times, but you can see the rest of my photos by clicking HERE – If this doesn’t float your boat, then have a watch of Matt’s little video of the weekend. Starting off with some convoy action from the drive up. A great afternoon and what a lucky bunch we are to have friends who will let us borrow these fine motors of yester-year. Just for the record I did realise that i am not one of those that gets fed up with the V8 growling through the open sun roof, even in the rain showers. Thanks again to all involved in a top weekend, you know who you are, thanks to Darren and his team for putting on another great show and thanks to all those who came with trucks. In my opinion the widest variety this year of different makes and models. If you have not been to the Retro show before, get yourselves along next year, or get yourself booked in with your retro motor. If you think yours isn’t up to standard or isn’t shiny enough, it really isn’t that kind of show. Those in, shall we say, “working” condition or those needing a little Tcut here and there get just as much attention as the show is full of enthusiasts.

Cuba Good’un

Hey Ben. Here is another instalment. Having started the trip in Cuba where there was a fuel crisis due to dealings with Venezuela, there wasn’t much traffic on the roads. As we all know or should know, the United States of America have put a lot of sanctions on Cuba, leaving the people with very little and their government doesn’t help. I came across this Liaz while walking the streets of Havana. Notice how clean it is and the tanks are immaculate. No mean feat when you live in a country that still uses ration books for food. Clearly the driver has a lot of pride in what he does. I have also attached for you one of the local buses in Santiago de Cuba and for the old car enthusiast who read your blog a very iconic photo of Havana. 

From Joey McCarty

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