A night at the docks

 Following November’s Military Vehicle Market column in which Nigel Hay asked if anyone had information about several Sherman Grizzly tanks brought into the UK during the 1980s, reader Derek Gardner got in touch

I saw your request regarding the locations of the Portuguese Grizzlys that came in the 1980s but I think you are way under on the quantities. I was a member of the team that unloaded them in Southampton docks for Ian McGregor, a UK businessman involved in the classic military vehicle scene at the time.

 I got involved through the then Military Vehicle Conservation Group Solent Branch as one of the ‘hardcore’ members in the local area. The late Ian Miller, who was the life and soul of the group, got involved with the first delivery in late 1982. I was told there were three Grizzlys, one of which went to the D-Day Museum. 

Ian Miller and Chris Pearce were restoring the tank for the museum and I got drawn in at weekends and days off to help. When Ian and Chris were employed for the second delivery, they needed more help and I was asked to help unload, as I could just about drive one from playing with the D-Day museum vehicle.

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