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We found stolen Swallow Dorretti hidden in Walsall copse

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 06, 2014

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THE article on the Swallow Doretti in The Bugle (February 13 edition) took me back to 1955 when I was an apprentice motor mechanic at Acker Jarrett in Walsall.

The foreman came to me and said get the wrecker out we've had a call from the police to go to Helliwells.

The wrecker by the way was a 1940s Morris commercial that had seen service with 'Monty' in Africa and was complete with sand tyres, hood and side screens and perishing cold in the winter.

We duly arrived and met the police who guided us beyond the factory to a copse on the boundary. We fought our way through the undergrowth and discovered a partially complete Swallow Dorretti.

We recovered the vehicle back to base and the subsequent police investigation revealed that it had been stolen, hidden and was being added to with purloined parts.

It was presumably with the ultimate aim of finishing up with a complete car (remember the Johnny Cash song).

The incomplete car eventually went back to Helliwells where I assume it was finished and sold.

The motor trade in Walsall at that time had a myriad of dealers with a wide range of manufacturers, all of them having apprentices who attended Walsall Tech and were supported by a vibrant apprentices association.

The highlight of the year was the annual dinner where awards were presented to the best apprentices in their year, with the best overall receiving the Attwood Trophy.

John Edwards,

Warden House Farm,

Weston Heath,

Weston Under Redcastle,

Near Shrewsbury,

Shropshire, SY4 5XE.

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