TREC OB trucks Part 1

Derek Smith posted this interesting reminiscence on our Facebook group.

In the late 70s I worked as unit manager for a TV facilities company named Trec. It was started by Alan English – an ex Intertel man.

Our first scanner was a converted Marconi radio truck converted to carry 3 Shibaden video cameras, but after this proved inadequate for the jobs we were pitching for the chance came up to acquire an ex Intertel truck which dated from 1967 and was originally fitted with Philips PC 60s. When Intertel finished with it the truck seems to have been sold to the Laurie Marsh Organisation who were going to use it as a television production vehicle. This must never have happened as when we acquired it the truck was in a semi derelict state with ony the Neve desk remaining.

Ex-Intertel-Truck
Ex Intertel OB truck.

We rebuilt it and converted it to house 3 EMI 2008 cameras. The Neve desk was completely overhauled – we were told it was the oldest still operational Neve desk in the UK if not the world. To record it could carry 2 Bosch BCN recorders. These are the only three pictures I have of the truck of any quality. It was a beast to drive but our riggers did manage to get it all the way to Athens and back for one job!

Derek-Production-Desk
Yours truly at the production desk over 40 years ago. The actual mixer was Canadian I think, and it did all we needed.
Neve-Audio-Desk
Neve Audio Desk.

The truck was split in to three parts – sound at the back, production in the centre, and racks and recording in the front. Had some good times in it but unfortunately they didn’t last.

The last log book for it seems to have expired in the 1980s and just before I moved companies in 1980 it was used landlocked in the garage next to our studio in Boundary Road, Southwark. As the company went bust not too long after I left (that’s a whole other story) I assume it was stripped of equipment and broken up – unless any knows differently.