91 Wickham 3158 of 1943

A target trolley at Lydd outside the rail system sheds with mounted tank target – Bill Hyde collection

This target trolley was delivered new to Lydd military training camp in 1943. Before WW2, the targets would have been mounted on wagons, being towed by a loco (normally a Motor Rail) from a safe distance. Post WW2, the training camp commissioned D.Wickham & Co to build self propelled target trolleys for the ranges, these consisted of a J.A.Prestwich V-twin petrol engine, a centrifugal clutch, chain drive to one axle, ratchet brake, with wooden brake blocks, armour plating to protect the engine and other working parts and sprung buffers in case they bumped into each-other. large wooden silhouettes would be mounted on top, and shot at as they went in and out of view. In 1998, 2 trolleys were purchased, along with a larger amount of wagons, from the camp and went to the Bala Lake Railway where there was a plan to convert at least one into a track inspection vehicle, but this never got as far as the engine running. On the 15/10/2011, it arrived at Apedale. After setting all the adjustments up, multiple attempts to start it failed until it was discovered that the magneto leads were on the wrong way, once this was rectified the engine ran perfectly. The plan is to remove the engine and place it in the Wickham railcar, then a dead engine will be place in it for display in the museum that is under construction, and then a new live engine will, either go in it, or will go in the Wickham railcar, and the trolley can can have it’s old engine back.