am not sure why I have a fond attachment for this type of van, it
might be because, when I was a child, our postman known as 'Ginger',
used to drive one of these beasts, he would pass our house and I clearly
remember him driving by with the drivers sliding door 'fully open'.
He used to collect the post from the red post box on the corner of
our road, once we filled it with sticks and stones, and I think a
carrot- it seemed like a really good idea at the time.
also used to frequent the free festivals at Stonehenge in the 1970's,
one year I saw one of these vans, here the owner had converted the
inside to have the following: Bunk bed; cooker; storage cupboard,
sitting area etc. In retrospect I wish I had looked closer, as I now
can't see how he was able to fit so much into such a small space.
van is a 'J' Type Morris, ours is a JB Austin version made in 1957,
it previously sold Paraffin and brushes around the Kettering area
of Northants. Despite some bleak periods of regularly breaking down,
Tew 195 is presently the only van the company owns.
Broken fan belt and second flat on route to London.
It regularly travels from London to the Isle of Wight, via the A3.
It also jaunts to Birmingham when attending trade fairs at the NEC.
It also carouses around the London area delivering globes or gathering
have undertaken various changes in order to enable it to cope better
with 21st century traffic:
1500cc engine with an 1800cc engine (cost £70 from a brakers
yard in Suffolk). Replaced the 4 speed box for a 5 speed. Rewired
the electrics to include indicators. Jaguar servo fitted to the brakes.
Globe gear knob added.
rebushed inorder to enable the van to take unleaded petrol. Bumpers
made by 'Swales of Southwick' supplied, but sadly not fitted! Tow
bar and hidden roof rack installed. TEW 195 now runs on LPG (Iwema
kit from the Netherlands http://www.iwemalpg.com),
and I would recommend any small business following suit, as having
a road tax exempt company van which uses a greener fuel at half the
price of petrol, is a good way of offsetting the everyday costs of
running a business in this country.
Head removed in order to replace burnt out pistons.
defenders are recommended when driving, as the engine is to be found
inside the cab underneath a thin tin cowling.
Boiling up pistons in order to free them from con
I have often thought that had TEW 195
been a character in a children's book then it is more than likely
it would have been Ginger from Black Beauty, this is for the simple
reason that the van still works hard for its living, while other Classic
Commercials the same age are now mothballed in-between attending shows
etc. Tew is out and used in all weathers and carrying all manner of
loads. Consequently in the last year alone I have had to replace the
Diff and on another separate occasion a half shaft. But despite this
spares are very easy to find, repairs are easy to undertake so I would
recommend this van as a far better option to purchasing a new modern
commercial which will depreciate in value from the first day of ownership.
the van is often taken for two vehicles at the same time, this is
because it is sign written differently on either side slightly differently,
displaying the Isle of Wight address on one side and the London address
on the other.
is a J Type web site, here you will find out more about these well
designed classic commercials: www.jtypevan.com
Dr Bob at Fairford Classics is the man for spares,
his knowedge is fantastic and he can get me out of most of my holes
that I find myself in. He also supplies spares for other classics,
visit his web site http://www.fairford-classics.co.uk/
For gas conversion I would recomend Hugo at Iwema
has provided good back up.
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Greaves & Thomas, fine Globemakers,
a potted history.
Award winning Globemakers Greaves
& Thomas are a small company based in the United Kingdom, today
they make Historical Globes, Celestial Globes, Lunar Globes, Planetary
Globes, Facsimile Globes, Replica Globes, Themed Globes, Paper Folding
Globes, and Modern Day Globes. Arts Corespondent Jemmy Button looks
into their history.
In 1991 James Bissell-Thomas after several
years of research, published his first globe (Merzbach
& Falk's 1881 globe). The globe was well received,
especially because of the ageing techniques developed to lend the
globes a patina producing a convincing replica. James Bissell-Thomas
believes that this was achieved because of his Art School background,
his printing knowledge gained running his own publishing house in
the 1980's (Long Tail Prints) combined with his knowledge as an antiques
dealer. In 1991 the first globe joined an already existing eclectic
range of furnishing ideas which included Giant Tennis Rackets, Rivercraft
furniture, Hat Boxes etc. (most are still being made: www.gtstore.co.uk)
. It was because of James
Bissell-Thomas' interest in globes, that the decision was then made
to form a collection of globes, spanning cartographic history from
1492 to the present day.
At the time James' knowledge in globes
was poor, however a good friend at the Royal Geographical Society
pointed out that the following year (1992) would be not only be the
500 year anniversary of the European discovery of the New World, but
it would also be the anniversary of the earliest surviving terrestrial
globe ~ Martin Behaim's 'Erdapfel'. This globe today resides in the
Germanishes Museum in Germany, rightly described by Bissell-Thomas
as the 'Holy Grail' of all globes, not just because of its age, but
also because of the profusion of data inscribed on the globe, the
globe is best described as a medieval geographical census describing
the world beyond Europe, listing the origin of spices, metals, traditions,
peoples, animals, islands and religions etc. not only this but the
globe covered in beautiful illustrations by Glockendon.
Despite the globe being on an elaborate
stand, with extremely detailed artwork, Greaves & Thomas still
decided it would be wise to republish this fine relic. Appointments
were then made with the Germanisches Museum and flights were booked.
On arrival at the museum in September 1991, it transpired that the
Germanisch Museum had its own globe publishing interest and was not
interested in helping G&T achieve their goal. Consequently, they
were given a very limited time to study the original globe and reference
images they also commissioned from the Museum were later blocked and
never arrived. While many would have given up, Greaves & Thomas
decided that it would persevere, knowing that what ever they produced
would ultimately be compared to a rival globe that would have the
Museum's seal of approval. All possible data concerning the globe
was sourced and the finished result once again was well received,
and is today is considered one of the most important globes in their
In August 1992 when the Martin
Behaim Globe was completed, Bissell-Thomas proudly informed
the Germanish Museum that despite their reluctance to help, he had
succeeded in making their facsimile. Soon after this 3 overseas business
men arranged to come and see their Behaim Globe, at the time Greaves
& Thomas was trading from 2 small garages in a small muddy yard,
then even the two garages were not room enough, and a small 12' white
square marquee had been hurriedly erected in the yard as a temporary
measure. When the visitors arrived, they spent considerable time inspecting
the globe, and then had an impromptu board meeting by themselves in
the rain in the muddy yard, they re-entered, and announced that 2
of them were presidents of two globe companies, Rath Globes from Germany
and Cram Globes from the USA. They informed Greaves & Thomas that
they had been working with the Gemanishes Museum to produce their
facsimile version, however upon inspection of the globe, they stated
that they were keen to cease production of their own efforts and to
market the G &T globe. This they did, with considerable success
including selling one example to the Library of Congress in Washington
D.C. Not only this, but the Gemanishes Museum also ordered a globe
Greaves & Thomas have, on more than
one occasion, offered to make the Germanische Museum's version, which
would be one step closer to the original, but to date they have declined.
The Greaves & Thomas version can now be found in numerous museums
around the world.
From this point onwards, Greaves and Thomas
would only concentrate on globes, initially historical globes but
soon branching into themed globes: Holbein's
Terrestrial Globe; Shakespeare's
Celestial Globe and lastly the ludicrous Elvis
Presley Mars Globe is another example of the diversity
that can be achieved in globemaking, if one cares to explore the possibility
of producing something other than the norm.
Today alongside their Themed Globes, Historical
Replica Globes and their Modern Day Globes, Greaves & Thomas have
also added the spectacular 'Hermetic
to their Collection and this will soon be followed by a production
version of their amazing Invisible
Greaves & Thomas now also have now
formed an interesting collection of globes made in the last 300 years
by other globemakers, this 500 strong collection will soon be prominently
displayed in the Museum that they are presently preparing on the Isle
of Wight. This should be a Mecca for designers as it will show numerous
different versions of the same object. Not only this, but they will
be using the Sistine Chapel's ceiling as inspiration to make a stunning
celestial ceiling, and at the same time show one of the finest optical
illusions in the world.
A surprising aspect of Greaves & Thomas
is that they produce all their Globes in the UK. While numerous companies
in the UK now relocate their production to the far east, in order
to survive in today's cut throat market, G&T continue to produce
a quality product which is well received. Their workforce never more
than 5 craftpersons, and the globes they offer are limited by craft
instead of number, this is verified in the small numbers of certain
globes produced each year ( for example 2-6 Coronelli Globes per year
and 5-12 Behaim Iron Stand Versions per year) , consequently there
is always a waiting list for the larger more intricate globes that
Greaves & Thomas produce. The globes are made using recycled papers
and the wooden components for the elaborate stands are also made using
reclaimed / recycled timber. Consequently Greaves & Thomas globes
will never cost the Earth.
Jemmy Button, Arts Corespondent
VIEW THE G&T GLOBE COLLECTION CLICK HERE!