THE ORIGINAL butcher’s van featured in the Dad’s Army comedy series has been restored by a team of apprentices.
The 1935 Ford BB Box Van featured in the first colour episode of the series on September 11 1969 and went on to become a fixture of the show.
But although the two-ton vehicle - marked with the logo of Corporal Jones’s family butchers - has undergone cosmetic restorations over the years, it has only now been returned to its original state.
The project, undertaken by Ford apprentices in the same Dagenham building that it would have left more than 80 years ago, coincides with the release of the new Dad’s Army film which was filmed in Yorkshire.
Stuart Wright, from the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford, Norfolk, where it will now be housed, said: “This vehicle has a special place in British entertainment history, and is enjoyed by the many visitors to the Dad’s Army Museum.
“It’s fantastic to see the van operational again and we hope it will capture the imagination of the younger visitors less familiar with Dad’s Army, as well as triggering happy memories for the older generations.”
The van doubled as a support vehicle for the Walmington-on-Sea branch of the Home Guard in the original series, which was filmed in Thetford.
The restoration included a full engine rebuild, replacement clutch, and new wiring looms.
Paul Neighbour, Ford Dagenham engine plant manager, said: “It has been wonderful to see the van back at Dagenham after all these years.”
The Ford BB truck was among the first commercial vehicles produced at the site in 1931.