Vans

The van was more than just a way of getting to the gig - it was a place where you lived, ate, slept and probably many other things :-)

It was either borrowed, hired or on the HP, driven by a relative, friend or driver (usually a step up from the roadie position).

We can probably remember the wide range of vans that were used - Bedfords, Commers, Ford Thames, Transits, old ambulances and my all-time favourite, the J type. If you don't know the J type, its the sort of thing a baker used in the 50's.

Rumble Fat Band used a van that had previously been a mobile showcase for the goods that could could receive when collecting tokens off packets of tea. It was slow, juicy but had large windows so you could watch faster group vans passing you on the M6.  It was still signed "specially blended for the North".

The Mobile Unit used a handcart to get the gear to gigs at the Manchester City Social Club - then got use of a van, switching the name of the group to match the sign painted on the front - the Mobile Unit for the fledgling Roy Hall cash and Carry..

 

The Daltons van circa 1964

My first trio had a mustard coloured Bedford van with sliding doors like the ones in the pictures. With our roadie making four bodies someone always ended up sitting on the amps in the back . It used to struggle so much to climb uphill that we actually sometimes used to jump out and push it. Don't think you'd get away with that these days. That van lasted a couple of years until the Ford Transit.

David Peters - 3/11/10
 

My first trio had a mustard coloured Bedford van with sliding doors like the ones in the pictures. With our roadie making four bodies someone always ended up sitting on the amps in the back . It used to struggle so much to climb uphill that we actually sometimes used to jump out and push it. Don't think you'd get away with that these days. That van lasted a couple of years until the Ford Transit.

David Peters - 3/11/10

John Dixon of The SemiTones looks cool in the band's Bedford. Believe it or not, it was a chick puller in its day! 

JC Heavy and their van(bulance) 

 Younger musos will remember Thames,J2, Bedfords and the earlier transits.  But before them were the J types.
Would LOVE one now.  
Only remember seeing one group with one, how they got the gear in, I do not know.