Cromer body and repair centre’s latest job - re-spraying a ground-to-air missile
Pranged your Vauxhall Corsa? Time for your Nissan Micra's MoT? Need a surface-to-air missile re-sprayed?
A Cromer vehicle repair business has proved it can tackle the lot.
Experts at Boyer's Body and Service Centre have just completed the firm's weirdest job to date - giving a Cold War Bloodhound Mark Two missile a makeover.
The weapon, once trained on Britain's skies ready to launch in the event of nuclear attack, has been sharing a workshop at the Hall Road business with a resident robin.
Over the Christmas and New Year period it has been prepared and primed by panel beater Mike Hughes, and painted in its original white by business owner Matthew Boyer.
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Mr Boyer, 29, was buying milk in Cromer's Morrisons' petrol station a couple of years ago when he got chatting to the sales assistant, who happened to be a volunteer at the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead.
That conversation eventually led to a head-turning journey through north Norfolk late last year as the missile and its launcher, which are displayed outside the museum, made their way on the back of a low-loader along country roads to Boyer's.
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'We do a lot of restoration of classic cars but this is the most unusual job we've taken on so far. It's been exciting - good for the morale of the team,' said Mr Boyer.
Beth Condie, curator and manager at the Neatishead museum, said the previously matt-green missile had been looking weatherbeaten and some of its paintwork had been flaking. It would be back on display for visitors to see in the summer.
'I think it looks magnificent. We're really looking forward to seeing it back in situ,' she added.
Mark two Bloodhounds were in service between 1964 and 1991 at RAF bases including West Raynham, in Norfolk, and Wattisham, Suffolk. They were controlled from the Cold War room at RAF Neatishead which forms part of the museum.
'These missiles were the last defence. If our aircraft were not effective against an enemy attack, then they would have been launched,' said Miss Condie.
Once at Boyer's, the Bloodhound's two Rolls Royce engines, its four rockets, fins, wings and its four boost mortars - which were each filled with concrete and weighed half a tonne apiece - were stripped by Mr Hughes.
He then sandblasted and prepared it for painting by Mr Bower who chose Christmas Day for the work because: 'I could guarantee I wouldn't be disturbed.'
'It looks fantastic,' Mr Bower added. 'I never worry about a job until I'm into it - we haven't been beaten yet.'