Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tools Broken; Distance no Object

I sort of have this reputation for breaking tools.  Usually sockets and spanners, but sometimes a bit more spectacular.  Take today as an example.  Every Tuesday, I spend the day at the workshop of the City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot, usually called "the bus museum" www.cpptd.co.uk where I am one of a team restoring a 1947 Leyland PD1.
Amongst other tasks today, I needed to remove the steering wheel.  As you might expect (and hope) on a bus, the steering wheel doesn't come off that easily, requiring either a special steering wheel removal tool or bearing puller to get it off.  Being unable to find either, I made my own with a length of steel bar and two G clamps. The picture shows what happened to one of the G clamps. I was only tightening it by hand, I promise! 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Five (or more) go mad in Dorset

With apologies to Enid Blyton!
"I say chaps, isn't this a fantastic place for us to celebrate 40 years of the TR Register Wessex Group! They've even got a place to park our cars and the owner looks a friendly sort" said Kevin as he and Ann pulled up in their blue TR6. It had been a long journey and they were all looking forward to a slap up meal with lashings of ginger beer.

"Well, it looks OK to me", Ann replied, "but I hope we don't have any more beastly adventures this year. And did you see that castle we passed on the way?  It looked just like Kirren Castle where we had that adventure last time we came to stay with George and her dog, Timmy".
"I don't know about that", said Kevin, but the others will be here soon and then the fun and adventures can really start. I always think the holidays really start when we get to Dorset"

And just in case you were thinking the "Famous Five" always started their holidays with a train ride, so did we!  As we had arrived a little earlier than we had planned, a trip on the Swanage Railway was required. Parking up at Norden park and ride, we took the train into Swanage, hauled by "West Country" class Pacific loco "Eddystone". After lunch and a walk around, we found the same loco in charge of our return, but en route passed the other service hauled by LSWR class M7 tank loco number 53, eventually being renumbered 30053 by British Railways in 1948.

So, let's start at the beginning.  In 1972, a group of likely lads formed what eventually became the Wessex Group of the TR Register.  40 years later, we're still going and still have two of the founding members as regular members of our group. So, not usually known for missing any opportunity for a party, we couldn't let this celebration pass.  Last weekend therefore found us at the Springfield Country Hotel just outside Wareham for a weekend of sensational seventies entertainment.

One of our newer members has a boating business in the area and very kindly arranged to a take a few out into Poole Harbour and Shell Bay on Friday evening aboard his newest toy. As you can see, it has a fairly large outboard motor...  4.2 litre V6 putting out around 250 bhp, so the boat goes quite well...

Starting with a gentle chug around Poole Harbour, they headed out into Shell Bay, but a strong easterly wind and rapidly ebbing tide brought them back around an hour later.  I decided to hang around on the shore and take a few pix of boats and cars.  One of our group, Paul, is rebuilding a TR6 which isn't yet finished, so he came along in his "other" car. Almost as good as a TR...

On Saturday, we headed out for a run through the Purbeck Countryside. First stop for us was Durdle Door - some might recognise the lady taking a paddle in the bay...
a TR4, TR4A and TR6 in the parking at Durdle Door

Jurassic Coast - could easily be anywhere in the Med on a sunny day 
Ann goes for a paddle at Durdle Door

Looking west towards Weymouth. Just stunning scenery, but hard going on the legs!

Next stop - Tyneham Village.  A rarity in this country: a ghost village. Originally a small, almost feudal village, it was requisitioned by the War Office in 1943 "for the duration" and never returned. The residents were kicked out as part of the enlargement of the Lulworth ranges and it is only in recent years and after much protest that access has been allowed.  Worth a visit if you're in the area and the ranges are open.

Villager's cottages at Tyneham
Tyneham Church

And that brings us to our party. Nothing to say, just a couple of pictures...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Standard-Triumph Forum Marque Day - a day out at Prescott

Once a year, the Standard-Triumph Forum, a collection of all the specialist car clubs supporting the models from the former Standard-Triumph companies and derivatives, organises a get together. This year's event was at Prescott Hill Climb, home of the Bugatti Owners Club. A pictures say a thousand words, so this entry is mostly pictures!