JB/MR 47687 – OCP 108/AJF 940A

Imagine our surprise when this marvellous example appeared on one of the 2019 NEC displays, only for us to be told that it was a coachbuilt J/B! Investigation proved this to be the case too; it still carried its chassis plate and a scrabble about underneath left us in no doubt. After all these years of running the Register, this surfaces… despite being surrounded by exotic and expensive examples of the best, and often most complex, automotive engineering, the Everards Barrel Van was the star of our show…

By a very strange coincidence, a few nights after the show I was scrolling through the many photos saved on my iPad, only to find that I already possessed a photo of the very same van when in service with its original owners, Whitaker’s ‘Cock o’the North’ Brewery in Halifax! It clearly shows a, presumably original, registration number, OCP 108, which confirms the ‘early 1961’ age of the van. It also seems that it carried a sculpted cockerel – sitting on an aerial on its roof – but this may well have been just for the parade in which it was photographed.

The ‘barrel van’ was then used for a Wine Company as a promotional vehicle, finally ending its working days at Everards Brewery following the merger in 1968.

Having then been in storage for many years it was rediscovered, in need of repair. The vehicle volunteer group at the National Brewery Centre, where the van is usually on display except for occasional outings such as the NEC appearance, restored the engine and the bodywork.

A vinyl wrap film was chosen to complete the exterior. No easy job however, the complex curvature and the many fixtures and fittings on the surface made sure of that. The resulting ‘hand-painted’ feel… is indeed impressive.