About Clem

Clem, or Clementine Morris II to use her full name, is the vehicle we look after. She is a Morris One-Ton truck, which we converted to carrying passengers (instead of goods) and we spend our time keeping her on the road and having plenty of fun exploring the South East in style.

Clementine II, the RSM Mascot

Clementine II, the RSM Mascot

Her History

Clementine II (‘Clem’) is the motorised mascot of the Royal School of Mines, London. She was first registered on the 13th October 1926 by Mr E.R. Courage of Edcote, Banbury, Oxfordshire. Clem was fitted with a ‘General Utility’ body consisting of a flatbed with dropsides, a canvas tilt and removable bench seats on flatbed for use when carrying passengers. At the time Mr Courage was moving estate from Essex to Edgcote and Clem was used to transport some of his belongings between the estates (a 220-mile trip) she was the used for general duties on the Edgcote estate until 1946 when she was removed to the Essex estate where she remained until 1957.

From 1957 until 1960 Clem was stored at Sheringham Hall, Sheringham, Norfolk amongst a vehicle collection which belonged to a Mr Fitzpatrick (and included a 1907 Metallurgique with a 21 litre engine). Clem was owned during that time by a friend of Mr Fitzpatrick.

Joining the Royal School of Mines

At the end of 1959 the Royal School of Mines was looking for a replacement for their mascot, Clementine, 1919 Aveling & Porter 5-ton steam traction engine whose boiler had become unsafe. The RSM heard of a Morris in Norfolk and two students went to see her. It was decided that the lorry would be ideal for the RSM and she was bought and towed back to London by a 1934 Ford lorry, becoming Clementine II, the RSM mascot in January 1960.

Once at the RSM some bodywork repairs were carried out and she was painted in a livery of a yellow cab, red chassis and black bonnet and wings. In the early 1970s she had the misfortune of being turned over in College but was able to be repaired, although it was some time before the chassis was straightened properly. Finally, in 1976, she was dismantled for a complete overhaul but unfortunately this project lapsed and she became sadly forgotten.

Clem at a RAG event

Clem at a RAG event


The next step was the cosmetic work. The paint was kindly donated by Joseph Mason plc and applied by us. Most of Clem is original although a fair amount of the flatbed has had to be replaced due to rotten wood. The replacement pieces have been built to her original ‘General Utility’ specification. Later on removable bench seats and a canvas tilt cover was built for the bed, in accordance to the original specifications.


Another Mishap

After running for several decades with little complaint (other than cracking a couple of engines!), she was once again rolled over in 2016 on the Isle of Wight while attending the Island Steam Show. She was recovered and brought back to the garage. The damage was assessed, and while significant repairs to the coachwork would be needed, mechanically she was mostly fine. The front axle had to be straightened, but otherwise the chassis was serviceable. A large amount of the cab had to be rebuilt, and the tilt cover was damaged beyond use in the incident. As of 2019 the tilt had not been remade.