A month to save clas­sic cin­ema

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

The owner of the sole-sur­viv­ing Bed­ford mo­bile cin­ema is plan­ning to re­store its re­cently dis­cov­ered trailer – but has just a month to raise the funds.

Ben Moor­house dis­cov­ered the trailer that orig­i­nally ac­com­pa­nied his 1967 SB-based ve­hi­cle – nick­named ‘Au­drey’ rot­ting away on a farm. It’s the first time that any of the trail­ers have been seen since the late 1970s.

He’s now launched a crowd­fund­ing ap­peal to raise the £80,000 needed to re­store it, and has been given un­til 4pm on 26 Au­gust by the Crowd­fun­der web­site to hit the tar­get.

Ben says: ‘The plan is to re­store the ex­te­rior to ex­actly how it would’ve been in 1967, but the inside will use a mix­ture of pe­riod de­sign and mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, much like the cin­ema it­self. It’s a very ex­cit­ing chal­lenge, and I’ve sourced some of the very best sup­pli­ers to make sure this restora­tion is a huge suc­cess.’

The Bed­ford cin­ema – which was dis­cov­ered in 2005 and has made nu­mer­ous event and TV ap­pear­ances since its restora­tion – was one of seven used by the Min­istry of Tech­nol­ogy to pro­mote pro­duc­tion tech­niques to the na­tion’s engi­neer­ing firms. When the ve­hi­cles were de­com­mis­sioned in 1974, Lord McAlpine bought KJU 267E to help pro­mote the re­turn of the Fly­ing Scots­man to the UK, but af­ter that it was sep­a­rated from the trailer.

Ben ex­plains: ‘Lord McAlpine re­calls how he do­nated it to a project man­ager of his who was work­ing on a con­struc­tion site at the time, where it was used as an of­fice, but af­ter that the trail goes cold.

‘Out of the blue I had a phone call in 2015, and fol­low­ing a short trip down to Sus­sex one of the trail­ers had in­deed been found.

‘A quick look at the back con­firmed that the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber was the same as Au­drey’s – what were the chances?’

crowd­fun­der.co.uk/vin­tage-mo­bilecin­ema-trailer-restora­tion

Bed­ford-based mo­bile cin­ema was one of seven built for the Min­istry of Tech­nol­ogy in the late 1960s, all of which were had match­ing trail­ers.

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