400 Meals-an-hour Canteen
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Bedford 3-ton W.D. Chassis Form Basis of Fleet of Vehicles for Overseas Service
OWednesday of last week, Sahli= tern Mary Churchill, youngest daughter of the Prime Minister, performed a vehicle-naming ceremony on the Horse Guards Parade, London. The vehicle in question was a Church Army canteen and the name given to it was " The Second Front!' • It represents one of many presented to the Church Army by the British War Relief Society of America, and is shortly due to leave this countty, in company with seven others of a similar type, for service on the Western Front.
The chassis is a Bedford 3-ton W.D. model and is thus of a type which should be capable of standing up to the hardest possible usage. The somewhat drab exterior finish of. the body certainly belies its' interior appointment which, if strictly utilitarian, is most comprehensive in character.
On each side of the wide, central gangway, which is free of all obstructions, . are numerous drawers below counter level. Each tier is.kept in position, when the vehicle is travelling, by a single hinged-board running from top to bottom and overlapping one end of the drawers. This board is kept in the security position by a single bolt, the release of which frees the complete tier.
The serving hatch is arranged on the near side of the vehicle, a hinged flap forming the outside counter When the body side is raised. There are four water tanks with a total capacity of 120 gallons, and these are accommodated, in interconnected pairs, on each side of the gangway. The tanks are replenished from outside, small doors being let down to disclose the filling apertures. One set of tanks is fitted with a run-off tap and the other, which comes adjacent to the washing-up sink, is emptied by means of a hand-operated, semirotary, pump.
Tea and other hot drinks •are made and kept in Thermot-Urns, there being five of 5-gallons capacity and one of 3-gallons capacity. Meals may be kept warm, or water boiled, on Kitchenkook stoves, of which there are two. These stoves burn petrol .under pressure and are said to be most satisfactory.
In addition to the serving of hot drinks and meals, of which, we are told, no fewer than 400 per hour can be' supplied, a considerable quantity of goods, such as tooth brushes and paste,' razor blades, soap, combs and the like are carried, • The accommodation of a spare wheel, such as is used on vehicles of this type, presents something of a problem, but. this has been satisfactorily solved by providing a compartment in.. the forward end of the body on the near side. The door which encloses the wheel is hinged at the bottom and, when let down, serves as a ramp for letting the wheel down.
With the seven Bedford canteens will machine. Th
go a stores vehicle and a general-pur pose e farmer will function as a distribution centre for the canteens, its Luton-type body being, for the most part, without partitions or internal fittings. There are, however, two compartments forward, one on each side of the body, for carrying dry stores, cakes, water and milk. An interesting feature is the provision of a sleeping bunk in that portion of the body which is carried out over the cab roof. At floor level, hut still part of the " bedroom," is a small compartment in which the driver can sit and write and carry out his toilet arrangements. A hinged table, seat, wa.1.1 bowl, mirror and battery lighting form the equipment.
The spare wheel on this vehicle is
• carried in a similar manner to that adopted on the canteenbodies. J. C. Clark, Ltd., Greenside Road, Shepherd's Bush, London, was responsible for the body on this vehicle and Hartwells, Ltd., Banbury Road, Oxford, for the canteen 'nocly.