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John Simpson’s Tilly Collection

Hello Richard

I have been looking at your website and found a photograph of my Standard Tilly at Beltring in 2005 in your military vehicle section. The writer asks for more details, but I could not find a name of who this is.

I attach a breakdown of its known history and a photograph of my collection which all went out together last summer for the first time. I own one of each type of Tilly as you can see.

The other Tilly in your feature is owned by Clive Sarjantson of Tunbridge Wells. His is the later and more plentiful UV Series.

Best regards

John Simpson

Organiser, Tilly Register

Standard Utility DC Series  -  KPU 237

Built 1942

Owner: John Simpson - Based: Lympne

This vehicle spent its wartime life from new at RAF Quedgeley, Maintenance Unit 7, in Gloucestershire. Sold as surplus in 1945, it passed to W.S.P. Alexander, a farmer in Great Dunmoe, Essex. In 1967, its farm life over, it was spotted for sale on a petrol station forecourt by Clive Sarjantson, then of Berkshire. After an extensive restoration it returned to the road in 1973. By this time it was based in Tunbridge Wells. During this period it took part in a London to Brighton run.

The next owner was the late Michael Mutch from Aberlady near Edinburgh. In 1974 it was displayed in his Myreton Motor Museum. From then until his death in 2001, the vehicle was based in Scotland, also spending a loan period with the Museum of Flight at East Fortune. During these years, this Tilly was taken on a tour of the Ardennes.

Sold at auction in November 2001 at Harrogate, the Tilly was bought by Jeff Simmonite of Bradford. It was soon agreed it would pass to the present owner at the end of the summer of 2002. Jeff had decided to concentrate on his then Austin Tilly restoration. In September 2002 the vehicle was collected and joined a collection of other Tillys, and is now one of seven vehicles owned and operated by the present owner.

KPU 237 is one of two known surviving DC Series Tillys in existence, and the only one on the road. Most surviving Standards are the later UV Series, with military grille, smaller doors and a completely different chassis.

A claim to fame is that it was the base vehicle photographed and measured up for the Airfix 1/72 scale model kit gracing many model aircraft dioramas all over the world today.