Well that’s the end of another decade, so I thought I would share a further extract from one of “Uncle Dick’s” letters. (previous extracts can be found here: http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=3569&start=25
………………….the boiler from the KS Wren is in better shape than first thought, so because of the failure of traction motors on both the electric locos, I decided to take a chance of lighting a fire in the boiler to see if we could raise steam. The two small I.C. loco’s (Motor Rail of c1920 and O & K of 1943) are struggling with the work. Anyway steam raising was a success, and the loco has been put to work…………………….
The other day (25th Dec) I received a message from the shipping agent that there was a large crate at the docks for this site. So decided that I was due some time off site so made the trip to the docks to see for my self. Guess what! Some “bright-spark” in the London office has decided that we need some road vehicles…. What they have shipped is some second hand Bedford ‘0’ series tippers. Luckily they have been reduced to CKD kits, but even so moving and handling is going to be a “challenge”. But of course no one at H.O understands the practicality here!
After unpacking and a quick bit of measuring I found that the frames & axles would just fit on one oft the bigger flats. We fitted the wheels temporally built a couple of ramps and pushed the chassis over the flat. Then the road wheels were taken off and the Wren pulled the lot back to base workshop. Now I have two more challenges…..1 get this truck re-assembled, 2 get a crane built to handle the concrete blocks the ‘Civils’ guy is now wanting to use (he’s got a surprise when he gets back from his leave, he’ll have to start building some roads else the Bedford is just going to sit here……………………)
Uncle Dicks’ letters seem to have turned up in batches, I have had to “edit” some of the “politically incorrect” phrases from them. So here’s another extract:
………………. Yet more surprises! (but then very little here now surprises me………..the ****** work force being capable of doing anything ………)
Apparently there is a crane / excavator on it’s way, again being shipped in pieces, but that could take some months……………….. the Bedford’s assembly is going on pretty well so far we have found all the parts. But unless I get some paint on it soon (when /if it ever stops raining) it will rust like ******* and end up the colour of the ********* !
The worst surprise is that “H.O” are sending an accountant (hatchet-[person]) out here to try and understand why the project is taking so long ………… even worse it’s a woman! That means a) we will have to build some civilised accommodation for her. b) find away of keeping her safe from not only the [indigenous] work force but also the few expats here! (I hear through the grape vine that she is quite a looker!)…………………….
The rest of Uncle Dicks letter is not suitable for a family audience, just think what would be going through a young mans mind in the circumstances!!!
The real story is that “Santa” brought me a 1:24 Emhar Bedford kit. I have started build it (despite trying to resist). It is a long time since I built a plastic kit (in any scale) and have got to say it makes a change. The instructions are a set of exploded drawings, but this is helped by all the items being numbered on the sprues. The kit is I suggest very amenable to bashing into other things. That they lasted so long is a testimonial to the original builders. I also remember in the 1950’s and early ‘60s seeing wagon loads of crated trucks on their way to the docks marked “Export”. It also helps having some practical knowledge of trucks. The tipper body does leave a way open to animation, but whether I go that way remains to be seen.
I did drive some “Thames-Traders” (Ford) in the late 1960’s, they also had 6 cylinder petrol (gasoline) engines, vacuum brakes & screen wiper. Driving down Highgate Hill in North London, in wet rush hour with a choice of brakes or screen wiper, was pretty unnerving for a 18 y.o.!
Using skip frames didnt work