GPO Vehicles

Make Bedford
Model HA
Type 6 cwt Minor Van Type 5
Body Builder  
Use Utility
Registration Number MUR 617V
Fleet Number 530079 to 533580
Date of picture Various

In 1980's British Telecom Livery.
Note the repositioning of the external mirrors from the wings to the doors.
The mirrors on the wings of the earlier vehicles had a habit of falling off due to rust corrosion!

In late 1970's Post Office Telecommunications livery

In Early 1970's Post Office Telecommunications livery
Note the four fixings on the rear panel for advert boards - these were not fitted on later
vehicles, when the adverts were made of self adhesive PVC.

After an initial introduction, later vehicles had the engines de-tuned circa 1975.
This was to save fuel, but made the vehicle quite unresponsive, with little acceleration.

Early models were fitted with Crossply tyres and because of this, the tyre pressures at the front were 20lbs,
whilst at the rear they were 40lbs.
Drivers had to make sure that the rear tyres were fully pumped up, because loss of pressure of one rear tyre
could make the vehicle quite unstable.  Radial tyres were then fitted because of this problem.

This very early model has no provision for steps.  Provision was made for by means of a plastic box
which was fitted centrally, against the roof and went through the wire safety screen, just
above the drivers and passengers heads.
Close to the back door there was a covered chain fitted against the roof.
The steps would be pushed into the plastic box and the end, by the rear doors, supported by the chain.

Basic by todays standards.  The seats were solid, no back adjustment, but were surprisingly comfortable.
No carpet - just rubber matting and hardboard door trim.  Even the under dashboard parcel shelf was removed to cheapen the vehicle.

A New Design of Light Van
Taken from External Plant News - No. 24 April 1972

A revision of the interior design of the 6 cwt van was undertaken at the time of cessation of production of the Morris Minor.

The successor to the Minor could have been one of several makes of vehicle, and it is possible with competitive tendering for the make to change from one year's purchase to the next.  It was therefore thought prudent to design a standard racking system capable of being fitted to any of the eligible makes of light van.  Such a standardised system inevitably does not make the best use of a particular vehicle, but vans of this class are influenced by the saloon car version of the design and are generally too long and have more volume than is required for a vehicle carrying the sort of equipment and tools used by telecomms engineers.  What may look like wasted space behind standardised racking may in fact prevent the vehicle being overloaded.

The considerations affecting the design were:-

  1. To eliminate variants and to make the basic vehicle suitable for all duties without structural alterations.

  2. To make the vehicle readily adaptable for carrying unusual loads.

  3. To speed up loading and unloading.

  4. To eliminate the need for reaching into the body to lift loads.

  5. To enable kits to be changed to a spare vehicle quickly when the vehicle requires routine maintenance.

  6. To reduce the number of spare vehicles by standardisation.

  7. To reduce for taxation purposes the basic weight of the standard vehicle, which will be weighed without the bins.

  8. To reduce the amount of sub-contract work for the vehicle supplier.

  9. To enable the major part of the fittings, i.e. the bins, to be bought independently and to be issued separately.

  10. To enable the user to obtain bins as required from the local MT garage.

The successor to the Minor will be the Bedford HA to be issued shortly. The ladder rack is similar in design to that fitted to the last issue of Minors.  The method of tying the ladder is described in TD8 Memo No 33/71.  Inside, the petrol tank is visible behind the near side binning between the wheel arch and the rear door.  The bins are cantilevered from two simple frameworks made from aluminium angle.  The bulkhead, of wire mesh, bridges the two frames leaving a gap underneath enabling long objects to be carried.  The driver and passenger are protected by a sheet metal partition fitted immediately behind the seats.  The space between the partition and the bulkhead is accessible from the cab and may be used to store the toolbag and items regularly in use, so reducing the need to open up the back of the van.  The folding steps are carried under the roof as in the Minor van.

The final design of the bins is basically the same except for strengthening, removal of sharp corners and fitting of partitions in the small bin.

The groove at the top of the back of each bin engages the supporting framework above it and the bottom corner sits in the angle below.  A gravity catch engages the framework below the bin and prevents it from detaching itself during cornering.

Two bins fill each level of the framework.  Each bin is fitted close to the rear doors and slide along to the position near the bulkhead.  Removal is also effected close to the rear doors, preventing the adoption of awkward lifting postures.

By using a cantilever construction the floor of the van is left clear.  If more room is required the rear large bins may be detached and slid forwards underneath those remaining.  Any combination of bins may be used to give the best arrangement for a particular duty and it is possible to make other fittings to attach to the frames for specific needs.

The interior fully equipped with bins

View of two prototype bins

Another view of the interior showing the large storage space available when the bins are removed.


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Last revised: February 05, 2021