Milly is an AEC Militant Mk1 Breakdown Recovery Vehicle that was constructed between 14 December 1953 and 24th February 1954, as a six wheel drive general cargo truck for the British Army, with the army registration number 36BM73. Below left (A) is an indication of how she would have looked.
Spending most of her life in storage compounds, she had done very few miles when she was purchased by London Transport in October 1966, along with a second Army 4X6 Militant number 36BM12. Both vehicles were sent to Boughtons of Amersham to be bodied as Master Breakdown Tenders. The Cranes fitted were full power slewing and extending models PLS/A/10, rated at a very conservative 10 tons lift!
Milly spent the next fourteen years working for London Transport and is pictured (B) at work on the right. Based at Camberwell Garage, while her sister was based at Cricklewood. During September 1980 Milly was withdrawn from service due to a fractured chassis and sold to a collector in the Woolwich area in May 1981. Then in April 83, she was joined by her sister.
During 1983 Milly, was seen by Andy Lambert the founder (and at that time MD) of the National Rescue Group. He decided to purchase her, to operate from National Rescue's newly opened Brooklands Depot at Weybridge. After a coat of paint she was put straight to work on the
already notorious A3 Kingston By-pass and the soon to become notorious M25, attending and dealing with, some of the worst accidents of the time. She is pictured (C) below right, during this time.
Because Andy in his spare time was also a volunteer at Brooklands Museum, Milly was often used by BREAST (Brooklands Recovery Engineering And Salvage Team) an organisation he had set up with some workmates for difficult aircraft recoveries. Then during the Nineties when he left the Board of NRG, he purchased Milly and decided to loan her to the Museum.
Milly has stayed at the Museum continuously since, apart from a four month spell at Southend Airport dismantling the Viscount Aircraft - Stephen Piercey. On return to Brooklands, Milly was of course used to reassemble it.
Her duties at the Museum are varied and consist of (amongst other things), working on the Museum's collection of aircraft, winching huge pieces of concrete (left over from the war) out of the ground, carrying Bombs around the site and tree surgery.
Power is provided by an AEC 11.3 litre 6 cyl diesel engine (that's the same size as 10 Family Salon Cars) The engine will rev to 1900 with a maximum BHP of 160. The gearbox has ten forward speeds and two reverse, the steering being, (and needing), power assistance and the under-body fore and aft winch is conservatively rated at 30 tons. Four
hydraulic stiff legs hold the chassis steady for craning, which is through a full 360 degrees.