Don’t Panic! Jones’s Van goes in for a service

Clive Dunn in Dad's Army. Pictured: Screenshot from 'The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones', wh

Clive Dunn in Dad's Army. Pictured: Screenshot from 'The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones', which features the flint cottages of Nether Row in Thetford. - Credit: Supplied

As a makeshift personnel carrier for Walmington-on-Sea's Home Guard, it suffered from its fair share of bangs and scrapes - not to mention the odd accidental bayonetting.

Jack Jones' butchers van from Dads Army is owned by the Dads Army Museum in Thetford and essential

Jack Jones' butchers van from Dads Army is owned by the Dads Army Museum in Thetford and essential viewing for those following the Dad's Army trail. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

So it was perhaps high time that Corporal Jones's van finally went in for a service.

The truck, now an exhibit at the Dad's Army Museum, in Thetford, has been taken to the Ford plant at Dagenham, east London, where it was made 80 years ago.

It follows a long year of public engagements for the 1935 two-ton Ford BB Box Van, as well as another starring role, in the forthcoming Dad's Army film adaptation, due out next year.

When the film's producers returned the van to its Norfolk home, it was found to have a number of faults, including a broken head gasket and water leaks.

Jones' Van undergoing repairs in Dagenham

Jones' Van undergoing repairs in Dagenham - Credit: Archant

Ford engineers came out to the look at the van in September and agreed to take it to its Heritage Workshop in Dagenham for a full repair, free of charge. The van was collected on November 2, but when engineers took a closer look at the engine, they found a string of issues.

Far from being doomed, however, the vehicle is being brought back to life by engineers Ivan Bartholomeusz and Colin Gray.

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They have dismantled the engine, gearbox and running gear for an overhaul which will have it good as new.

Volunteers from the museum made a trip to visit the van last week.

Stuart Wilson, volunteer, said: 'The last time it was driven was during the production of the new film and it came back with a water leak.

'We think the leak was already there, so it wasn't their fault, but it meant it needed some work doing.'

Mr Wilson added: 'Ford have been brilliant, and very generous with their help.'

It is hoped that the works will be completed in time for the release of the new Dad's Army Film at the beginning of February.

Are you involved in a restoration project? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk