Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre

Restoration of the AEC Matador Coles Crane

Every WW2 wartime airfield would have had a Coles Crane. MAVC has a rare Series 7 and work has begun by a dedicated team of volunteers to restore it to display standard. You can help fund that restoration by supporting our Just Giving Campaign.
by 11 supporters
RCN 1194347


After several years standing in a farmer’s field in Kent, the crane was obtained by MAVC, and work has begun by a dedicated team of volunteers to restore it to display standard. 

Every war time airfield would have had a Coles Crane. It was used in the general maintenance of aircraft and, due to its powerful engine and all six wheels being driven, would be used in the recovery of crashed aircraft away from the airfield. 

Due to its age (it was delivered to the Ministry of Supply in 1943!) most of the crane casing and cab have rusted beyond restoration and will need to be fabricated. Fortunately, a company exists that can make a cab from the original drawings. This will be a major expense.

However, in addition to this specific funding we would like to appeal for smaller, individual donations to help with equipment and materials for the preparation, fabrication, and painting of our AEC Coles Crane.

The names of every donor of £10 or more will appear on a display board next to the Crane when the restoration is completed, unless the donor wishes to remain anonymous.

Although the Crane is not yet open to public display restoration updates are posted regularly on our website, please visit

Thank you for considering this appeal today.

Here are some of the things we need to fund and which you can help us raise funds for:

1) Cab.  Complete cab built to original specification. £10,000

2) Instrument Panel.      £340

3) Control Box. To include modern conversion safety feature. £500 

4) Tyres x 6. Tyres £120 each. (Already purchased from funds) 

5) Fuel Injectors.   6 on exchange £150

6) Full set of gaskets (Inlet, exhaust and head) £145 

7) Engine Oil.  6 gallons £82

8) Axles and Gearboxes.  Change Oil. Gear oil is £76 for 25 litres x 2.  (11 gallons)  

9) Water pump.  Service kit, on exchange service. £145 

10) 4 push rods have been damaged.      £10 each 4 x £10 

11) A Rocker arm has been damaged      Single arm £40

12) Paint and preparation costs

Red Oxide each £9.99      

White Spirit each £6.99     

Sanding flaps each £12.74      

Grinding discs each £17.90      

Wire wheels each £16.95      

Gunk de-greaser each £26.00

About the charity

Our dedicated band of volunteers provide a wealth of knowledge on the War time operations occurring at RAF Metheringham and help to preserve the memory of those brave men and women that served.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £72.50 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.