‘Now that the vehicle was a runner, John could begin to enjoy ownership’
Although four Ferrets were put through their paces on the Catterick ranges in Yorkshire earlier this year, I’ve chosen to focus on one for now – 33 BA 02, a Mk1 liaison vehicle. It has an unusual story connecting its past to its present in the form of a chance rendezvous at a railway station.
The event where these photos were taken was held over the May bank holiday weekend at a charity fundraiser event hosted by the North East Military Vehicle Club. The 1953 Mk1 Ferret pictured here was one of the many vehicles in attendance over the weekend. It is a very early, and very basic example, bearing chassis no 28, which means it was one of the very first production vehicles built. It is now owned by long-time military vehicle enthusiast John Stelling. John's fascination with vehicles began as a boy with a Dinky toy Austin Champ and as soon as he was able, bought a ‘real’ one. He still owns it. In the 1990s, following the SALT and SMART talks on international disarmament, Britain had to identify several vehicles to get rid of as part of bilateral agreements with other nations. In due course, a large-scale sale was held to dispose of some of the oldest military vehicles.