bp and Alvis Stalwarts

BP Alvis Stalwart

In our February 2022 bps news, we carried a request for any information about bp’s use of the six-wheeled, amphibious Alvis Stalwart.

One response we had referred to a Stalwart purchased by the BP Oil Spill Service Centre (OSSC) in Southampton. It seems it was used on training exercises but never operationally. Our correspondent remembered it later being transferred to BP Exploration. But was there another Stalwart being used by BP north of the border?

The initial enquiry had come from Mark Ellis, a former Royal Engineer in the British Army, who is the administrator for the Alvis HMLC 6×6 Stalwart group on Facebook. The group is gathering all the history it can find on these vehicles. We forwarded all the information we had to Mark and have kept in touch since.

Mark contacted the editor in March having recently been provided with a few boxes of ‘Alvis stuff’. Amongst the boxes was some research for a book called ‘Stout, Sturdy and Strong – the Alvis Stalwart story’ by John L Rue. With the research were a couple of letters from a Chris Richards of the Oil Spill Response Facility. The letters confirmed what we knew about the OSSC vehicle in Southampton but it also referred to an ‘Aberdeen/Dundee Stalwart’.

The letter states that the Aberdeen Stalwart ‘was operated by Alba International in Aberdeen. At the time, this company was contracted to BP to supply Oil Spill Response services to BP’s North Sea activities although the pollution equipment (including the Stalwart) was owned by BP. In about 1983, BP decided to set up its own Pollution base in Dundee, (OSRF – Oil Spill Response Facility) and most of the equipment, including the Stalwart, was transferred here. It remained there until about 1988, when it was bought by Briggs Marine Environmental Services, and was stored at their base in Burnt Island …where it has remained’.

PHOTO: Taken at the time of a trial of a Jackson net oil pollution boom, using foam to simulate oil on the water.

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