Visitors to this year’s PAWRS – the Plant & Waste Recycling Show – got the chance to take a trip down memory lane courtesy of specialist supplier to the waste and cleaning industries, Whale Tankers. Taking pride of place on the Whale Stand – N4 & N5 – was Genesis, the company’s first gully cleaner demonstrator that has recently been painstakingly restored to its former glory.
First exhibited at Eastbourne Institute of Public Health open air show in the summer of 1973, Whale’s demonstrator ‘Number 1’ once again looks resplendent some 37 years on, which is in part due to the paint finish that Whale and industry partners, PPG, have developed and applied to the newly-restored Genesis as she is now affectionately known. Pleased to be working with PPG – Whale having enjoyed a long association with one of the automotive industry’s leading paint specialists – Genesis is finished in a sophisticated Croma flair effect Twilight paint that creates an impression of the vehicle subtly changing colour based on varying light conditions and when viewed from different angles.
Still fitted to the original Ford D series 13 tonne gvw 4 x 2 chassis – itself restored to pristine condition – Whale’s first generation gully cleaner is once again fully operational, having been brought up to meet all current industry requirements. Indeed Genesis serves to demonstrate how successful the decision was for Whale Tankers to focus on the design and manufacture of vacuum tankers for the transportation of liquid waste back in the 1970s. In unison, it also symbolises Whale’s unique standing within the industry, as Genesis will now be used to support the company’s appearance at various trade roadshows and marketing and promotional events.
As Whale Tankers’ Managing Director, Mark Warmington enthused: “Whilst some may criticise investing in restoring such a vehicle in a time of recession, we took the view that Genesis presented us two major opportunities. Firstly it gave us the chance to demonstrate the quality of manufacture that has always gone into a Whale tanker, Genesis to this day having retained its original pressure vessel barrel body. Secondly, the restoration programme gave us a practical opportunity to get both experienced employees and apprentices involved, which proved to be a valuable training aid, as original features could be compared with how the product has been innovatively developed over recent decades. We now have in our armoury a GullyWhale that despite being 37-years young, is capable of functioning just as well as it did, if not better, than in its heyday. What’s more, we have invested a considerable amount in giving Genesis the renaissance she deserves by paying particular attention to the paint finish. The end result, as I’m sure that those see her in the flesh will appreciate, is truly stunning.”
Having been initially used on Whale’s demonstrator tour in its early years, the 1000-gallon capacity twin compartment tanker was sold in September 1976 for £3,500. Completely unaware of the vehicle’s significance, the tanker was ironically bought third hand by a Whale Tankers’ tenant farmer who then worked at what remains the company’s Ravenshaw site. Following a discussion with the farmer and Whale’s owners, it was sold back to the business for the princely sum of £100. Whale then proceeded to refurbish Genesis before laying her to rest on a trestle made of Birmingham tramlines from which the factory at Ravenshaw was first constructed in the early 1900’s. The rest as they say is history.