About my life

In The Beginning

Andy Lambert todayMy full name is Andrew Lambert (but to everyone I am Andy) and these days I live in Hampshire near Portsmouth, England. It is fair to say I have been successful in my life and 'made a name' for myself in several very diverse areas, including changing the UK Recovery Industry for the better and organising the recovery of most of the major exhibits at Brooklands Museum.

However, before I 'bore you to tears' with some of the achievements I am most proud of, here is a brief background to the start of my life. I was born back in 1946 and lived at 77a Replingham Road in an area of London called Southfields (to be exact 77a was a 3 storey apartment above the co-op for those that remember the area). I lived there until I was 22 and so did most of my growing up around the Battersea, Putney Wandsworth and Wimbledon areas.

Geoff and Andy Lambert I shared my formative years with my older brother Geoff, that's the two of us on his wedding day (I am on the right). My first School was Riversdale School in Southfields, then later I went to the brand new Elliott Comprehensive School, up on Putney Common. The Elliott was a ground breaking school with very modern thinking and teaching methods for the time. It also had an incredible range of equipment covering all the professions, but I am afraid it was so big it was easy to 'bunk off' which I am ashamed to say myself and a few mates did regularly! However, they must have done something right as all these years on I still regularly meet up with people from our year and in the main we all have done well for ourselves.

Peter at the Elliott One of my chums at school was a Peter Greenbaum who would later change his name to Peter Green and form Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. It is one of my greatest regrets that I never kept in touch with him and maybe been there for him during those difficult years. I also know that amongst our group many share the same shame. On a brighter note old Elliott pupils might like to know there is an extensive website that I manage about our old Elliott School and its many success (link in on Media page).

When I left school, I first worked for Decca in Queenstown Road, located in what was then the 'rough end' of Battersea. Known by the people who worked there as the 'Battersea Unit Nations' it was made up from every nationality you could imaging and showed me how to get along with people who are a little different to you. This was of course in the 'swinging sixties' and what an education that was for an impressionable young man, but I learnt a lot about electronics and even more about life, including how to fight people much bigger than you!

Andy Lambert at Decca in 1964My father was sadly killed ironically in a car accident during this time and so I had to do my growing up damn quickly. Fortunately I was amongst friends (a bunch of very tough Decca 'Rockers') and that no doubt is where I developed my love of fast modes of transport (as well as a taste for leggy blondes!) The picture shows me with some of the 'gang' I hung out with then (left to right) Christine and Colin, leaning on a BSA Goldstar. Derek, Myself and the lusty Penny, just some of the 'The Battersea Jets'. Sadly this was back in the days before ‘Social Media’ and so I have long since lost touch with them all, but I hope they had good, long lives and mostly stayed out of trouble!

Around that time, my good mate Don Freeman introduced my to the world of 'motor cycles' and my projected carrier in the world of electronics, started to move irrevocably towards the wonders of the combustion engine. 

It would take a few more years before motor vehicles became my life, but they did (although electronics would remain a hobby throughout). I stayed with electronics for a bit longer, joining Redifon (part of the Redifusion Group) at Wandsworth, around 1965. I then worked for DER at the Mitcham Depot and CES (Part of Philips) as a Mobile field engineer working on everything from TVs to Industrial Microwave Ovens.

In 1969 I got married to my first wife Barbara, we left home and moved to live down in Portscatho in Cornwall. Here I worked again as a TV repair man, in and around the Roseland area. It was a wonderful place to live and I even became a 'guest' Cornish-man, I still having some friends in this part of the world today. Employment however was very hard to find and after a cold and very wet winter we moved back to London. When we came back, we first rented a flat in Surbiton and I got a job at Surrey Typewriters. It was here I found I could sell things! I ended up virtually running what was then, the 'new' Electronic Calculator Division (setup ready for when the UK went Decimal in 1971). I also learnt a lot about 'surviving in a business world', from that greatest of salesman Trevor Dean.

Into Vehicle Recovery
forge Garage Poynings

Although the first part of my life (and then the last part of working life) were involved in some way with electronics, my 'true love' has always been vehicle recovery and all the remarkable people in the industry. I attended my first breakdown with Forge Garage of Poynings down in Sussex (with whom I was odd jobbing through my holiday), in the summer of 1965 and become hooked (no pun) on recovery vehicles. This is a picture of the first 'breakdown vehicle' I ever drove, well over fifty years ago (aged 19). No crane but lots of spare parts and a really large Tow Rope if all else failed. Since then I have driven everything from a Mk1 Land Rover, up to a Tank Transporter, towing almost everything including damaged, but still fully loaded petrol tankers (something that seriously sharpens your concentration!)

From that turning point on and after my day time job was finished, I spent every spare moment nights and weekends, as a 'part time' recovery driver. My speciality being working the Kingston Bypass, and if you knew the bypass when South Lane was still a crossroads, you will understand what it was like! Still I lived through it and sadly there were some that did not. I mainly 'part timed' for Windmill Coachworks,  then in East Molsey opposite the police station.

Next I joined Instant Service Garage, in that most famous of suburban roads - 'The Avenue Surbiton' (as featured in the BBC Good Life, although I never did get to meet Felicity Kendal). It was interesting 'fighting for work', in those days when only a few motorist belonged to one of the 'motoring clubs'. We spent hours listening to the Police Radio waiting for a 'shout' to come up and then it was a mad rush to bet all the other companies to the scene. 

Finally I joined Cambridge Coachworks, on the Cambridge Road Kingston. To start with I was an evening controller, However I was asked to join them full time around 1971 and became the manager. While the Coachworks side was expertly run by Wally Pells, the Coachworks could not survive without its trucks looking for work.

It was then that I decide to start a recovery company, this was National Rescue, firstly as a division of Cambridge Coachworks, although of course in the end it would swallow the Coachworks up. What followed, were probably the best years of my life. We did not have much money but I loved the work, even if it was 'non stop' 24Hrs a day. The incredible joy and camaraderie, of working with those recovery drivers and police officers I knew at that time, will remain with me forever.

They were all characters and I have not meet their like since. Nor do I expect to, because today our behaviour would be far from being 'politically correct’. If any of you read this: Jaws, Phil the Gypsy, Jim the Snake, Sunshine, Alan the Poet, Trio, Trigger, Stitch, Grisly, Chunky, Spot, and so, so many others - Thanks for all the fun we had. A note on that - just like the military service back then both Police and Recovery people rarely used someone’s real names, we all had a nicknames mine was ‘God’ and a few others I would prefer to forget and my brother was ‘Just Passing Geoff’ because he was always ‘just passing’ a few minutes after an accident had happened!

A POLACC (Police Accident)

If you have time, please read my Recollections of Vehicle Recovery (you will find a link on the Media Page), to get a feel for those incredible times. It seems imposable today to believe that such things actually happened then, but happen they did and you can see some of the photos to prove it. Trying to deal with Major Incidents with the equipment we had back then taught you to be resourceful and to make do with what was at hand. Something I suspect some of today’s highly trained and professional recovery operators may struggle to understand.

Our relationship with the other emergency services is one today’s operators can only dream about. We all worked together to get the job done and importantly the traffic flowing again. If that meant half a dozen fireman, a couple of ambulance operatives and all available Traf Pols helping us sling the goods back into a righted lorry, then it would happen. Rarely was there any of today "I cannot do that I have not been on the course" or "No not yet we have to do a risk assessment first". There was undoubtedly a pride in what we did and ability to keep the traffic flowing.

What people today may not understand is that in those days most Traffic Police stayed in that branch after their initial probation. They understood how vehicles worked and many became expert motorbike riders escorting anything from wide loads to royal cavalcades. Much of today’s vehicle safety came about because of the expert examinations they undertook after an incident. Today I still have many friends amongst them although sadly the numbers are thinning.

Our local Traffic Police Garage was TDV and it was housed in the old Cooper F1 building in Surbiton. Again if you want to read more about it you will find a link in the Media section to the TDV website (another one I created).

The Rabbit - Rabbit Hutch Kingston CB shopDuring the time at Cambridge Road Kingston not only did we start National Rescue, we also broke in to CB. To be part of the legalisation of CB in the UK, we converted an old wooden hut (on the front of the Coachworks) in to a Shop, and called it The Rabbit Rabbit Hutch. My handle was Captain Hook oddly enough and brother Geoff was Northern Lights (because of the huge light-bar (for the time) he had on his truck).

Into the world of computing

One of the hardest things about running a recovery operation, was the paperwork. Each day you could undertake a large number of lift and tows. Everything was done as quick as possible, but this meant the paperwork becomes a poor second and without invoicing what you had done you were not getting your deserved outcome. The second problem was all the clubs you worked for had different rate cards based on 'time on scene', 'distance travelled', 'the time of day' and 'the result of the call'.

I ended up writing a computer program for National Rescue's control room to do all the invoicing. before long word had spread about it and I soon found other recovery operators needed something like it themselves. I offered the code to AVRO magazine to publish, but soon after the article came out I realised that most operators did not the knowledge to rewrite the code for their set up.

So in 1985 myself and my wive's brother in law a genus called Ian Lane, started Motor Trade Software. A software company producing programs for the motor trade and vehicle recovery operators. We were first based in a wing of what was officially called the Brooklands Aero Club, but which everyone referred to as the Control Tower. I was MD of that company, until we sold it in 2002.

MTS Office in the Brooklands Control Tower

National Rescue's HQ at Brooklands, although always called The Control Tower this wonderful 'art deco' 1932 building was in fact the Brooklands Aero Club and became the birth place of Motor Trade Software.

MTS in Fareham

We moved to Fareham from Brooklands and eventually purchased this unit in the Segensworth estate, some amazing work was done here including developing a Tracking system we had manufactured near by in Fareham.

Prior to all this my only brother Geoff worked for BT as an engineer, but like me spent his spare time around the recovery scene. In 1982 he had joined me at National Rescue full time and when I left to expand Motor Trade Software in the nineties, he took over and run the National Rescue Group until he retired in 2008. His son Martin still runs it today although it is a little smaller now then in its heyday.

Part of the expansion I left NRG to undertake, was to launch a new company Mobile Tracking Systems Their main products were GPS based vehicle location devices and guess what? Their largest customer sector, was the UK's Recovery Industry and it was for their use we went on and developed Tracking and Data communication devices plus integration with the early Sat-Nav devices made by VDO. Most importantly it was here that we also developed the legend that is Turbo Dispatch.

The basic concept of Turbo Dispatch was that once someone had entered the details of a breakdown into a computer, there was no need for anyone to phone the job through. With Turbo you just pressed a button and it went over the Mobitex wireless network (and later the Internet) and popped up on the agent's computer. He in turn could assign it and then send the job details direct to the recovery vehicle's MTS data terminal. Once the job was cleared the vehicle could send a clear message and the Controller could send an invoice to the job originator, all done over the air in seconds!

Much has been written elsewhere about this and how we changed the recovery industry for the better, therefore I don't intend to dwell on it here. Suffice it to say that when I retired another company took over running it and the basic principle is still in use today (2022). If you have an interest in its details and the dishonesty, skulduggery and double dealing that took place getting it adopted as a industry standard, not to mention how a some large Motoring Organisations tried to squash us and steal it (remember I learnt how to fight in Battersea so they did not succeed) you can read all about it on my History of Vehicle Recovery website (link on the Media Page).

The two MTS companies, grow to provide the majority of software and hardware, that was used by the Recovery Industry. I was astonished (and proud) in 2001, when the AA calculated, that 93% of all vehicle recoveries, subcontracted by all the UK Motoring Organisations, were sent over the MTS data network! When I first drove a recovery vehicle back in 1965, I could never have guessed that I would be associated with vehicle recovery for the rest of my life. I also could not have guessed that at the end my active career (forty years later), 'The Good and the Great' of the industry would to my eternal pride, honour me and make me a Fellow of The Institute Of Vehicle Recovery.

The Ernest Smith Life Time Achievment AwardThat to me was the ultimate achievement and I would have been happy to stop there, but in 2006 The Institute sprung one of the biggest surprise of my life on me, when during the annual dinner I was awarded the incredible Ernest Smith Trophy. This lifetime achievement award, was given to me for the contributions my peers thought I had made to the recovery industry and in recognition of how MTS had dragged the industry in the the twenty first century. The trophy is a couple of foot long and so heavy, you need a full size flat bed to get it home.

When I finally retired in 2007 I thought it was all over and I could get away from Recovery Vehicles, but again I was honoured to be asked to become the fourth trustee in RISC UK (The Recovery Industry Support Charity), along with my old mates Brian Hagan, Tom Johnson and new friends Debbie Hewitt and the awesome Nikki King. After the sad death of Tom I was nominated to become Chairmen and I still hold that post today (2022)

Personal Life

My gorgeous wifeMy first marriage started in 1969 when I married Barbara a fellow 'Southfield er' and for awhile we moved to and lived at Portscatho in Cornwall amongst the many friends I had made in my teens when I used to spend long weekend down there, but in the end we moved back to rent a flat in Surbiton. Barbara produced for me one wonderful Daughter named Sandra in 1974. However, in 1982 she unexpectedly ended the marriage, probably like so many others marriages in the recovery industry, because of the pressure of work I was involved in building up a new company from scratch. 

My second wife the lovely Christine comes from the Sunbury area and went to Kenyngton Manor School. We become a couple during the summer of 1982 as a result of circumstance totally beyond our control, or at the time our desires (her Husband of just 5 months had run off with my Wife!). 

Surprisingly the amazing Christine not only eventually moved in with me, but she also agreed to help me bring up my young daughter Sandra. Then in 1984 she presented me with a second equally wonderful daughter named Caroline. Lets be clear the traumatic events of 1982 were hard at the time for both of us, but we have ended up having an wonderful, but unexpected second life together and as a bonus our Daughters have given us one Grandson and two Granddaughters 

Christine has done a little amateur modelling and her natural good looks and charm, complements one of my favourite hobbies - Photography. This has resulted in a total of four Glamour Calendars, some modelling pictures for a couple of lingerie catalogues including the prestiges Secrets in Lace! Some publishers considered my photography and Christine's looks works so well together she even ended up with her own pages and huge following on an American Glamour website for a short while, until we started to have problems with some 'over-keen' fans! Although I have always enjoyed glamour photograph, these days I am only allowed to use my wife as the model.

My incredible photogenic wife -Christine during her 'Am-Glam' period. This picture I took on location in Spain and it won for me an internet competition for Amateur Glamour Photographers in 1998.

Our daughters

Our two daughters on their wedding days Sandra at Glen Afric (where Wild at Heart was filmed) and Caroline on the step of the Brooklands Concorde I helped recover and where she was married.

Don't let Christine's looks fool you however, she is a competent business lady and home keeper. She became a Director with myself, in the MTS Group and then successfully managed the MTS Group with me (she might say despite me) until we finally sold that company and she retired. Next to the me her big love is our three grandchildren Amelia, Annabell and Finley as well as looking after any stray cat that drop in.

As already stated my own interest are varied, although they tend to be with mechanical or electronic things. I seem to be able to take nice photos and along with my glamour work I have a large collection of unusual pictures and some videos from my years in vehicle and aircraft recovery. Tragically back then I never really tried to capture items for posterity, but just for staff training. Of course today I very much regret not taking more, but at the time you do not think about how interesting those images would be in a the years to come. If pictures, or videos of some the recoveries events I have done interest you - like the one below showing some of National Rescue's assists in the seventies, you can see an assortment of them on my other websites.

Some of National Rescues Fleet in the Seventies

I have a love/hate interest in genealogy and during the times I am keen to learn I have researched my line back to Vikings that took over Normandy during the Nine hundreds. Later they came to England as mercenaries with William the Conqueror and my line settled around Carlton in the Yorkshire Dales. It was here the most famous Lambert Major General John Lambert was born. Commonly called the "Lord Lambert," he was for sometime Oliver Cromwell right hand and for awhile was second in command of the country. Sadly when Charles II returned to power he was sentenced to death and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Being a Lambert he of course escaped (bunked off) one of only a few people to do so, but was recaptured a few weeks later. The King however rescinded the death sentence and exiled him to Guernsey.

Castle Lambert today My direct descendant moved from Carlton to Athenry, in the county of Galway where they expanded, building many fine homes including Castle Lambert and Castle Ellen. Although Castle Ellen still exists and is being restored Castle Lambert has all but gone with only the bell tower remaining (see the image left), although the area surrounding it has now become the village of Castle Lambert.

As is so often the case with Ireland - politics caused my line great problems although it is recorded that the many Lambert property owners in the area were remembered as being fair to the Catholics and treated them well, my great, great, great grandfather moved to Dublin and there practiced Law. Then my Granddad brought our line back to England and lived in the East End.

Tracing my line back I also found out that my 22nd Grandfather was Edward the 1st, King of England and as his wife's father was Philip III of France that makes my 23rd Grandfather King of France, so I try not to mention that to much :-)

Getting back to my hobbies, although I started with pictures I also enjoy making videos originally with a SVHS Tape Camcorder and more recently Digital Video systems. I also operate a couple of Drones along with a number of GoPros and I often produce 360 degree videos and stills. All things electronic are of interest and after some twenty years as a SWL (Short Wave Listener), in 1972 I passed my Radio Amateurs License and still hold the call-sign G8HER.

First Radio Shack

My first Radio Shack in the Attic of Southfields aged about nine and unlicensed.

Second Radio Shack

In the seventies I passed my test, was Licensed and built this shack in a spare room.

Third Radio Shack

My eighties shack and computers are competing for space with Radios at Motspur Park.

Last Radio Shack

No longer a shack now an office in Riply and Radios have giving way to Visual Media.

Boating has formed a large part of my life as well, with most of my boats being moored in the Solent. It all started with a second hand row boat I purchased to explore the River Thames, but I soon got feed up of it not having an engine. Next I purchased a second hand Microplus which we painted to look the same as my Range Rover. That produced some great days away and brilliant holiday at Portscatho in Cornwall. Next was a Freeman Cruiser that I purchased from Eel Pie Island on the Thames and transported down to Haslar Lake in Gosport in 1979. This was a drying mooring up the creek and unbelievable now, I used to leave the dingy just laying on the roadside grass by the toilets (along with other peoples) and at weekends used it to row out to and in from the mooring. Can you imagine doing that today, it would be gone in minutes?

dirty girty the boatSome years later after my divorce and when we had got our mortgage down to a sensible level Christine and I purchased small speed boat, but that was not her 'cup of tea' and so I found a small Fairline cabin cruiser which we kept at the then brand new and nearly empty Port Solent! That whetted her appetite and soon I found second hand Sealine which I cheekily named 'Wet Dreams'! We used to sit inside it on our mooring and watch the disgusted looks from the Captains of the big yachts and the masked giggles of their wives a few steps behind them. This was the first of three more Sealines we owned, but in the end we found it cheaper to move down and live by the Solent than keep buying boats to cross it.

towing the boat

My first real boat painted to match my Range Rover tow vehicle on our way to Cornwall.

Bon Homme

My daughter Sandra on-board Bon Homme moored somewhere off the Isle of Wight.

Wet Dreams at Gosport

My daughter Caroline on-board 'Wet Dreams' moored at Camper Nicholsons Gosport .

Dirty Girty free to roam

Dirty Girty (allegedly my wife's nickname) making its way out of Portsmouth.

Brooklands MuseumBrooklands Recovery Engineering And Salvage Team

For nearly forty years, I have also been working as a volunteer for Brooklands Museum. Myself and a team of very special guys have been responsible for transporting in the early setting up years most of the museum's major exhibits. We named this group BREAST (Brooklands Recovery Engineering And Salvage Team) I have long since lost count, but the number of aircraft and other museum exhibits road transportations I have been involved with, it must have well exceeded a couple of hundred by now. This includes guided missiles, bombs, aircraft as big as the Viscount and as special as Concorde.

Over the years the team has been fluid with people coming and going and sadly quite a few passing on. Nowadays there are few new challenges as the Museum has largely stopped collecting so instead we help out with maintaining exhibits on the site

Capt. Gabe (Jock) Bryce OBEBrooklands' volunteers are a unique bunch of people and you never know just who you are working with on a project. On one occasion I was unloading the cockpit sections of a Valiant 'V Bomber'. Quietly watching me was an 'old boy' who I had regularly seen pushing a lawn mower around the site and cutting the grass. After an hour or so he had finished and come over to where we were having a break. We chatted for awhile and and I mentioned we were struggling to unlock the Cockpit he promptly showed us how to do it. As it seemed he know a bit about the V bombers I asked him if he had worked on them. he replied "not really, but there are a lot of other volunteers here who did if you need to ask something"

In the months that followed I got to know this unassuming and gentle man better and found out that indeed he had not 'worked' on them. He was in fact Capt. Jock Bryce OBE (pictured here), the test pilot who had first flown the type, along with the 'first flight' of the Varsity, Viscount, VC-10, Vanguard and BAC 1-11. In the case of the Valiant he was flying the prototype in 1959 when it caught fire and exploded in the air a few moments after he had successfully bailed out. Talk about respect!

1st Dunsfold Wings and WheelsFor many years Brooklands Museum used to stage ‘Fly-ins’ the first being in 1987 and I was asked to help control the crowds. By the time the next one took place I had joined the airfield team and had met the unique ‘Commander’ Crutch. In the years that followed this small team of enthusiasts organised a number of very successful events, so much so that as our fame spread we were approached by the then owners of Dunsfold Park to see if we could organise and run a Motoring / Aviation event for them.

After a lot of discussion, it was agreed that we would run it for them and so in 2005 the very first Dunsfold Wings and Wheels was born. Mike Crutch and I took over the control tower with Mike looking after Air Traffic Control and myself looking after ground operations. Our wives became airfield chauffeurs carrying pilots to and from their aircraft (although much to their everlasting disappointment the Red Arrows Pilots had their own transport on site).

Various other friends were roped in to do crowd control, we even had two fast response motorbike riders to deal with any crisis. The following years we repeated the event, but in 2007 Dunsfold Management had learnt from us and sadly took over doing it themselves! This funny image shows Mike and myself in the Control Tower during one of the rare quiet moments.

As I said earlier I have lost track of the number of aircraft recoveries I have done for Brooklands and other Museums / Organisations but here are a few of the more interesting ones. The two Cranes you can see in these and other pictures are my own AEC Militant called 'Miss Milly Tant' and the 'Brooklands Belle'. The Belle was the last recovery vehicle I was involved in the construction of. Gordon Jackson (brother of the recovery legend Bill) and I designed it in such a way, there was not an aircraft job it could not handle (it was OK with road vehicles too of course). Milly who I leave on loan to Brooklands, has an incredible history as a Recovery Vehicle. First of all with London Transport, then with NRG and finally working at Brooklands. Again you can read more about her life on her website - link on my Media page.

Am-Glam model

One of the very first jobs Milly and I did at Brooklands was unloading and putting the engine in this Hawker Harrier

Our daughters

Probably the shortest aircraft recovery I have done was this Hawker Hunter from Brooklands College right next door.

Am-Glam model

This shows us unloading Viscount Stephen Piercey's fuselage after we had recovered it from Southend Airport.

Our daughters

Here we are unloading the front section of Concorde after my good friends Queens Motors had recovered it for us.

Concorde DG comming homeMy proudest 'Brooklands' moments were during 2004, when I was a part of a fantastic team and helped plan and executed the movement of first of all G-BOAA from Heathrow and when we lost that one Concorde G-BBDG from Filton Bristol, bring it back home to Weybridge. The picture shows myself with Concorde Team Leader Gordon Roxburgh and Brooklands' Julian Temple wondering just 'what the hell' we had let ourselves in for!

I will not go into the politics of what happened about 'who got allocated which' Concorde here, but all I will say is while the world's TV watched her sister going down the River Thames on a barge, held their breath as major roads were shut, and applauded as it arrived (a couple of million pounds later) in Scotland.

The Brookland team just quietly got on with the job and with the aid of some old friends from the Recovery industry, brought our Concorde home in bits, down the M4. If you do look at the aircraft recovery picture links elsewhere on this site, you will notice the monochrome jumper shown here again and again, this is because it brings me luck and I have worn it for difficult museum recoveries, for almost thirty years, it is to fragile to wear now, but it still comes with us in the cab of those really difficult jobs!

Andy Lambert's 60th Birthday Surprise While talking about Brooklands Museum this is a good place to mention a big surprise event, that took place there in September 2006. It was a couple of days after my sixtieth birthday and unbeknown to me, some very good friends and a group of my relatives, decided to see how old 'Leadfoot' Lambert would get on driving (or travelling in), sixty odd vehicles in just one day and they had been planning this surprise for some nine months.

I was collected by my wife and my daughters (complete with a flipping wheelchair) at eight in the morning. The wheelchair being the first set of wheels, out of the sixty items they had planned. I then spent the whole day driving, or travelling in different Vehicles including Cars, Bikes, Hovercraft, Police Cars, Ambulance, Fire Engines, Airfield Vehicles, Recovery Vehicles, Boats, Skateboards, Tractors, Commercial Vehicles, an Underground Train and even a light Aircraft.

Although some of my mates were in fairly influential positions at the time, I can only guess at how many favours they must have 'called in' to organise this lot. You can get a good understanding of the pain they put me through that day (but which I would do again tomorrow without even thinking), by watching the video of the event which you will find amongst the 800 plus videos I have posted on You Tube (again links to them on the Media Page).

Going forward

Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue & Recovery some membersSemi-retirement suits me, but I don’t want to slow down too much. As the chairman of RISC UK (the Recovery Industry Support Charity) I am usually involved in some sort of charity work, and more recently promoting safety for Vehicle Recovery Operators. I have already spent a lot of time working with Professional Recovery Magazine, the IVR and PROF in lobbying the government in the halls of Westminster to give Recovery Operators the right to use Red Flashing lights when operating in hazardous positions (Something Highway Agency and even cyclist can do legally).

In the image above, you can see myself along with all the other founders of the Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue and Recovery - CSRRR in the Houses of Parliament with the Rt On. Sir Mike Penning MP and Tracey Crouch MP, having just launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Roadside Rescue and Recovery in late 2018. The APPG's other main task is to improving so called ‘Smart Motorways’ and helping educate motorist about the slow down move over campaign.

On the sofa at BBC Breakfast when the industry finally got Red LightsIn October 2023 we had a major breakthrough when the government announced that they had listened to what the industry had said and were going to allow Recovery and Breakdown Vehicles, to operate flashing red lights. As a result, Samantha Cockerill who lost her partner whilst dealing with a recovery on the M25 and myself travelled to Salford to appear on BBC Breakfast to discuss this plus to thank them for their help and to celebrate our success.

I am also working with my good friend Julian Temple on visually recording important buildings we are likely to lose such as the Miles Factory at Woodley and Fairoaks Airfield. I am still doing craning, recovery and other maintenance work on exhibits at Brooklands along with odd interesting job for other museums. The 'BREAST' boys have recently also been involved with helping the London Bus Museum operating for them a standby recovery service during their events.I also get to write the odd technical review or other magazine articles.

When we sold MTS, I hung onto the Boat Tracking division (supplying GPS Trackers for marine vessels) and soon added a 'Vehicle Tracking' option they are only small, but the income from them keeps the pension topped up and helps sponsor the cost of these projects and when I am not doing all that I have a 'still' young wife plus two daughters and three grand-kids to keep me amused!

Andy Lambert (Waterlooville 2023)

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