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Bedford TL 6-wheel tipper


The next major vehicle project that WITPG proposes to undertake is the renovation of an ex-military Bedford TL 6-wheel tipper, registration number C137 VOY, which had been donated to the Group by contractors Angus MacDonald Plant Hire (known locally as ‘Furan’).  When the firm purchased the Bedford TL, second-hand, it was suggested that it was a very rare model – one of only two operational TLs in Britain. 

After working on various contracts throughout the island, the engine eventually blew and it stood outside Angus MacDonald’s garage in Back, Lewis, for some time (where it is shown in the photograph).  Currently it is lying in Upper Coll, Lewis, though local contractors Duncan Mackay & Sons have kindly offered temporary storage for it at their yard in Parkend near Stornoway, where it will be taken in due course.

The Bedford TL outside Macdonald’s Garage

Recognising its rarity and the importance of securing the survival of the Bedford TL in this country, the Western Isles Transport Preservation Group is proposing to carry out substantial renovation work to the vehicle, which it is estimated may cost up to £40,000.  The Group are currently drawing up a Heritage Lottery funding application for this purpose and will also be looking at other initiatives to help support this worthwhile project.

Since these photographs were taken, the vehicle has unfortunately depreciated significantly, and it is becoming increasingly important that we now arrest this decline as soon as possible and bring the lorry back to full working order so that this rare Bedford can continue to be enjoyed by plant and transport enthusiasts.

The red Bedford TL 3-axle is shown here at work on the new sports running track in Stornoway in 1996.

The proposed work will include: replacing the engine; reconditioning the gearbox; providing a new brakes system; fitting a new cab; obtaining a replacement tipping box; and purchasing a set of 10 new tyres.

If anyone has further information on this vehicle (C137 VOY), or indeed on any other surviving Bedford TLs, we would be very happy to hear from you.  Equally, if you are able to support the project in any capacity, please get in touch by emailing us at:

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