Vehicle Recovery Videos, mainly from the Eighties and Nineties

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The Bushy Spur in SW20 1987
a very Lucky Escape!

This vehicle had skidded and gone through the railings. The only thing that saved the driver was a lamppost, that stopped the truck. A few foot each way and it would have been a fatal accident.

For the recovery I was sceptical we could winch it from the slip road, but we tried.

In the end we had to shut the spur and quickly winch it back onto the slip road.



Royal Mail Roll Over above M25
air cushions retrieval on bridge 

This Royal Mail lorry fell over on top of Junction 11 above the M25 at Chertsey in 1993.

Clearly there were real security considerations and so the vehicle had to be unloaded and the mail protected, before we could use the air cushions to start the vehicle lift.

Normal winching to finally roll the vehicle upright (once above 45 degrees) was not possible, because of the width of the bridge. Instead two recovery vehicle were used, one at each end and timber was used as a stop.


Four fire bombed vehicles
from Allders store in 1988

These four Allders Department Store delivery vehicles, were allegedly set on fire in an attack by Animal Welfare Extremist in 1988

National Rescue Group was called along with Langley Vale Recovery to take the vehicles to NRG's Brooklands storage compound for forensic analysis.

Although at the time the blame was put on Animal Welfare Extremist, I never found out if there were any prosecutions. Whoever was responsible they did many thousands of pounds worth of damage.



Norbiton Bridge Kingston 1988
Air Bag a Lorry after it hits bridge

This recovery was from Norbiton Bridge Kingston (near Reggie Perrin 1st house) and took place in February 1988.

The artic loaded with meat had hit the bridge and gone over making the first job to winch it off the bridge uprights.

Then we had to winch it through the tunnel, before we could even think about up getting it up on its wheels again. As always our Ford Transcontinental made light work of the long winch

It was however such a long job my wife had to bring fish and chips out for the crew and police, but in the end it came up smoothly.




Misc. Brooklands Museum items
from the Eighties.

In the mid eighties, National Rescue carried out hundreds of tasks around Brooklands Museum.

This video shows just a few of them from the period 85-88.


A3 Wandsworth one way 1988
A night time Air Bag Job

This job came in the early hours of the morning, in 1988. It was a trailer and artic (loaded with fruit) on its side blocking the A3 in the Wandsworth one way system in London.

We used Air Bags to lift the vehicle pass the point of over balance, but the load was not constrained in any way and so it just stayed on the ground. We decided to remove the curtain side and then just winch the vehicle up, using a winch at either end.

It was then transported to NRG's Brooklands depot, where its owners collected it with another tractor unit. We used 'Milly Tant' our AEC Militant to load the tractor on to the trailer, for the journey home



A3 Kingston By-pass 1989
Two Heavies

Vehicle Recovery of two heavies after an Accident on the A3 in 1989.

After disconnecting prop shafts etc, they are towed down to Robin Hood before turning and heading to Brooklands NRG depot.

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Walton 1989 
Winching across the Thames

In 1989 we were asked to help get a pipe across the River Thames next to Walton Bridge. I think it was a gas pipe, but I am happy to be corrected on that.

We winched it across the Thames using the Brooklands Belle and the once it was clear of its cradle lowered it onto the river bed.

It is such an unusual use of a recovery vehicle, I thought I would post it for all 'Recovery Vehicle Fans' out there.


A283 Sussex 1988 
Tesco Lorry falls over

Back in 1988 in the early hours a fully loaded Tesco Artic and Trailer left the road, on the A283 (west of Stenying) in Sussex. National Rescue were called to recover it.

First it had to be empted and then 'low pressure' Air Bags were employed to lift past the critical roll angle. Then the main road was finally shut, to allow a safe roll over. Lastly, a short winched assisted exit from the field, allowed the road to be opened.

Note the incredible four wheel drive Bedford CF support vehicle. The Author would love to know, if it survives somewhere

Dorset 1989
Collecting a Bouncing Bomb

Sir Barnes Wallis who developed the bouncing bomb, tested them on Chesil Beach in Dorset.

In winter 1989 We were asked to Transport one the Royal Navy had just recovered from Chesil Beach, back to Brooklands Museum.

Before anyone says anything about shaky cameras, you try standing under a helicopter and hold a camera upright! 


Vehicle Recovery from the Thames 1984

Rescuing a car from in the water, in 1984. This vehicle was stolen and driven into the river, near Walton Surrey.

The occupants escaped, but the vehicle was a hazard to boating and had therefore to be rescued.

Well at least it was a lovely day, to sit on the bank waiting for the divers. 

AVRO Exhibition 1994

A little curiosity this from back in the days when the recovery industry was still about people rather than just surviving, as it is today

 It is just a few moments from Set up Day for the AVRO Exhibition in 1994. See how much you can recall about the event and see if you can recognise anyone

The Crossley Condor you will see is the only surviving Crossley Condor in the world. It started life as a double-deck bus in Portsmouth and is being off loaded, ready to go on display after being restored at NRG Brooklands.


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