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Dagenham Ford engine apprentices restore historic Dad's Army van

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Apprentices from Ford's Dagenham diesel engine plant have restored Corporal Jones's van from the Dad's Army TV series.

Now owned by the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford, Norfolk, the van made its screen debut on September 11 1969 in the first colour episode.

This month it appears in the big-screen version of Dad’s Army with stars including Sir Tom Courtenay, Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sir Michael Gambon. 

Dagenham-based Ford apprentices, under the command of Ford’s heritage vehicle technicians, helped repair the running gear of Jack Jones’s van - in the same building at Dagenham that it would have left the plant, more than 80 years ago.

The Ford BB truck was among the first commercial vehicles produced at the Ford Dagenham site, which started production in 1931.  The mechanical repairs were carried out in one of Dagenham’s original buildings, which remains in use today as Ford’s heritage workshop.

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.”



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