Bee post results

A pleasant surprise from Gavin’s bee story was a couple of responses which added to our Alvis knowledge. Gavin had called his Grey Lady Sybil, reasonable enough as the registration is SYL 434. However a previous owner responded, called Sylvie who was unknown to Gavin. What we had not known is that Sylvie is the daughter of the well respected Alvis expert Alf Brown who operated for many years in London servicing cars – ” it was lovely to see my old Grey Lady on the website today SYL 434 now affectionately known as Sybil – of course it used to be known as Sylvie’s… I told my father it was mine as soon as I saw the registration.” Gavin of course had added a “b” to the name……

Sylvie also mentioned her brother Doug who has owned his Firely since 1962 – is this a record?

She added ” I am proud to have been his daughter even though my MG TD is mostly Alvis parts! You have probably guessed that he left Doug and me an Alvis each… so Doug has two. He bought me my MG in 1965 saying an Alvis was too big for a student nurse to drive around London so after he died, I had to chose whether to keep that or the Grey Lady. The MG won..


While we are being bombarded with statistics these days, the survival ones are the most interesting. How many members of the Alvis Owner Club do you think have been members for over fifty years? The answer is at the end of this post.


Manfred Fleischmann has confirmed that his Centenary Frankfurt exhibition  at Central Garage, Bad Homburg will open on May 13th, next Wednesday. He has sent some photos of the display which looks very professional, including detailed Alvis company history, such as:

Following the bee post Mike Dunn wrote “My father was Willie Dunn, the Alvis Chief Engineer for many years until 1959 when he retired. Alvis asked my father to return as they were missing his guidance and leadership as they needed to land the first production contract for 125 Stalwart high mobility load-carriers. In 1962 they asked me to take over from him as chief engineer for cars and fighting vehicles. My father was a life-long beekeeper and taught me a little of his craft.
In today’s Times newspaper there is a disturbing article about the disease Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV) which has spread over the last decade to most English and Welsh counties There is a possible link to the importing of too many queen honey bees.

William Marshall Dunn was born on August 12 1893 in Annan, Dumfries. He was apprenticed in the shipbuilding industry at J Milburn Ltd, Engineers and Iron Founders in Workington. Cumberland from 1908 to 1914 where he qualified as a Mechanical Engineer. During the war he worked as a marine engineer. He married Amy Margaret Nelson In 1918 and moved to Coventry in 1919 to work at Daimler Ltd (the British company).
He moved in 1922 to Alvis Car & Engineering Co Ltd (formerly T.G. John Ltd). He retired in 1962.
He died on 22 January 1969 in Coventry and was buried at Canley, Coventry.

This photo was taken from a brochure issued by the company around 1960 which gives a snapshot of the company’s history….

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Since the April 1970 AOC Bulletin proved to be a popular download, this May edition is equally interesting, previewing the joint Register and AOC 1970 Tour of Britain. Click on May 1970 Bulletin 200

Perhaps some Club members will be inspired to organise a joint event once again in 2021?


Tail piece..From our records there are over 50 AOC members who have 50 years or more of membership, from about 4200 members who joined between 1951 and 1970. Another 18 are known to be following the website but no longer members.

Author: alvisarchive

Driving Alvis cars since 1964 and the website since 2012

2 thoughts on “Bee post results”

  1. “Sylvie also mentioned her brother Doug who has owned his Firefly since 1962 – is this a record?”

    According to my records, until recently Doug tied with Hamish Grant, who also acquired ‘Thumper’, 10595, in 1962. Hamish was advertising Thumper for sale, and if it has now been sold then Doug is a record breaker.

    I might add that I well remember the late Alf Brown, who worked on my first Firefly in the early seventies.

  2. May 10 was the birthday of my late father Henk and now Sylvie writing about her father Alf.
    Such a coincidence calls for a reaction.
    Alf & Jessie Brown, I am proud to have known them and I have very fond memories of them.
    Especially their visits to my parents house in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Alf & Jessie, Henk & Agnes, they became lifelong friends.
    It all started in 1977 when my father had put his mind on finding an Alvis Speed 25 C&E Tourer.
    He visited several IAD’s and talked to a lot of AOC people, but the golden tip was never there.
    Until Alf Brown approached him and said: “I overheard your talks with other people from a distance and
    you don’t seem like a Dutch car trader, but a man with genuine love for Alvis. I might know a Speed 25 C&E Tourer for sale from an English family in York which hasn’t been touched or moved for at least 10 years. Are you interested?”
    Long story short: And so Alf Brown was instrumental to the start of our Alvis hobby which lasts until this very day. What a joy and enrichment it has been.
    Alf was a keen and witty man with golden hands and a magic touch. It seemed like he could X-Ray an Alvis and see which settings had to be adjusted.
    When Alf had worked on an Alvis, she ran like new. I have experienced it several times.
    Yes, Sylvie, you have every reason to be proud.

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