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Remembered Today:

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pgardiner1418
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Those of you who know me will already know that, as well as working as a Guide I also have a “Thespian Bent”.

I have been a little “Off Colour” lately so during my confinement I have re designed my one-man show “An Interview With

Tommy Atkins” and have applied my industries to the same.

I attach a photographic reproduction for your perusal.

Paul.

post-1138-1250869252.jpg

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Hi,

really nice but shouldnt the stenceling on the Mills boxes be in black?

Andy

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Wainfleet & Andy,

Thanks for the comments. Andy I think it depends on the year, earlier crates had the white lettering later ones the black, I have also played a little with convention as the items are to be used on stage. White lettering will be a little clearer under theatre lighting.

Paul.

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Nice - who made the .303 ammo boxes? I ask because it looks very similar to the repro one my right foot is currently resting on!

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Wainfleet & Andy,

Thanks for the comments. Andy I think it depends on the year, earlier crates had the white lettering later ones the black, I have also played a little with convention as the items are to be used on stage. White lettering will be a little clearer under theatre lighting.

Paul.

Hi Paul,

i think you will find its the other way round, i think if you look at the specifications, earlier boxes had the stencelling in black with the No 36s being white. Your boxes are of the No 36 pattern. Agree with you re the lighting though.

Andy

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Rob,

I made the ammunition boxes, still trying to perfect those Dovetail Joints.

Andy,

Yes you are right, I went with the less complicated box coupled with the more visible lettering.

Thanks again for the comments.

Paul.

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Hi Paul

I saw your post and when you mentioned the thespian part, it made me think of a production that was on at the Hull Truck Theatre, last year. Something along these lines, it wasn't your production, was it?

I was sent away for a number of weeks through work and never got to see it.

DickW :P

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Dick,

Sorry no that was not me, I think “Private Peaceful” was performed as a one man show last year perhaps that is what you were thinking of. I mainly perform my show in schools though I have taken it to adult audiences with some success (but that’s not for me to say).

Paul.

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Paul

Don't think it was that which was on at HTT.

I think it was a something like 'A Walk through the Diary of my Grandfather', and Tommy Atkins was mentioned as the pseudonym for the writers Grandfather.

Being my thing, I jump at anything to do with WW1 at the theatre, I would have loved to have seen that one.

I'm a big fan of John Godber's work, we go as often as we can.

Just been watching the old series of Upstairs Downstairs over the last few weeks, that always gets a look in when on the Telly.

(Not for you to say..........ahh, I'm no critic)

Anyway, nice to meet you, Paul.

Dick Whitworth

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Rob,

I made the ammunition boxes, still trying to perfect those Dovetail Joints.

If I can help with pictures etc give me a shout, happy to help.

Cheers, Rob

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Congratulations on putting together some excellent props for your show. Having made about a dozen similar .303 boxes, I know how time consuming it is.

cheers

Chris Henschke

P.S. don't forget to shellac the labels!

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Thanks to all for taking the time to comment and offer advice.

Rob I would like to take you up on the offer of a couple of photos if it isn’t too much trouble.

Chris, time is something I have plenty of at the moment, so where is that paintbrush????

All the best,

Paul.

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Paul, Have you ever seen this type of joint? I have seen doevetailing and finger joints on .303 ammunition boxes but I wonder if you know this type of joint. Not one carpenter or cabinet maker I have spoken to has ever seen it before or knows what it is called!

Chris Henschke

post-671-1250953038.jpg

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Chris,

Never seen anything like it, however when I was just starting out in life I worked in the timber industry and was sent, after training, to a small wood yard the company had acquired up in rural Cumbria, the story was that in earlier times the yard had a small joinery shop and coffin makers attached to it that was converted to ammunition box manufacture on the outbreak of war. Perhaps the joint in question was a regional variation on the dovetail that would be virtually unknown outside the local area but suited the purpose.

That’s the best I can come up with,

Paul.

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I have only seen it on boxes that have been used by the Colonial Ammunition Company Ltd in Australia. Relatively common here - all the ones I have seen with this joint have the with wooden cleats on the side for rope handles and the simpler closing plate (see photo attached) instead of the brass 'T' toggle.

cheers,

Chris Henschke

post-671-1250959955.jpg

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Chris,

You may have answered your own question there when you refer to the “Colonial Ammunition Company”. As part of my training I was sent on a weekly course at the Liverpool Technical School to study Timber Technology, one of the lessons related to differing joints used when dealing with “Hard” and “Soft” wood. Some of the Tropical Hardwoods were more prone to splitting than say European Redwood and so required different jointing and construction methods.

Perhaps the jointing in your box reflects the timber type used in construction, it is interesting that you only encounter the joint in “Colonial Ammunition Company Ltd” boxes.

Paul.

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Chris,

Looks like a basic finger joint with the top few joints being dovetail - might be a company "signature"

Grant

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Lewis Gun looks great! Any details on it?

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Thanks to all for taking the time to comment and offer advice.

Rob I would like to take you up on the offer of a couple of photos if it isn’t too much trouble.

Chris, time is something I have plenty of at the moment, so where is that paintbrush????

All the best,

Paul.

Sorry, been away a few days and forgot - PM me what you want photographs of and i'll get them e-mailed off to you.

Cheers, Rob

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O.W.S.

It is one of the ones sold a year or two ago by World Wide Arms, the condition is as good as any I have seen. I have been told by a member of the Forum that it was probably manufactured in March or April of 1917.

Paul.

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Rob,

Thanks for the offer, it’s mainly a photo of the dovetail joints and one of the string/key arrangement used in the closing of the lid.

Paul.

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Hi Paul

You might remember me from when I worked at Thiepval. I miss the sound of your B5s crunching along the path ! I thought I'd post a photo of my No 5 Grenade crate, which is totally original, note the colour of the lettering !

pict0216.jpg

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Uncle Bill,

Due to me being “Out of Sorts” of late my B5s have been silent, in fact August 2008 was the last tour I took out (fingers crossed for November).

Thanks for the input and photograph, I have long suspected that as the war got underway and the pressure of supply began to bite then “anything went” as long as it was within reason and when you take into account the hundreds of small joinery firms up and down the country knocking these thing out it would be a miracle if any sort of continuity was achieved in the first few months though perhaps things settled down later on.

Is your box just wood with a coat of shellac and a stencil? Could you possibly post a picture of the whole crate?

Thanks again,

Paul.

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Hi Paul

Hope you're better now. Here are some more photos of my No 5 crate. I also have various ration crates if you're interested. The crate is not in great condition, as you say it has been 'painted' black, there is no trace of any label, but you can see where the spacer pegs were.

pict0217.jpg

pict0218.jpg

pict0219.jpg

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