A Yank's View of England Part 11

Sunday - May 14th

Sunday dawned warm and sunny and was planned as a lazy, kick-back in the garden and relax kinda day. The sort of day I can really get into. Jim and Helen have a lovely garden with a really neat pond. Note the wires strung to keep the herons from stealing the pond fish. While Jim cut grass and Helen weeded, Rogan and I just got lazy in the sun. It's really enjoyable to relax and read when everyone else is working so hard. 8-)) But that's thirsty work in the hot sun so the beer wench was summoned. Suitably refreshed "the boys" discussed the afternoon's plans which included reassembling Jim's 5 hp Petter Victory. (Presumably, the name "Victory" a reference to the Allies winning the First World War) Jim got this one in January 1999 and had to do major work on the bearings and gudgeon pin. He held off reassembly till I was going to be there.

The first order of business was to provide some suitable "background music." Jim fired up his 2 hp R&V and set sons Tom and Chris to grinding grain with a beautifully restored Swift mill. It seemed fitting that I should crank up my 5 hp Petter M as well. Note the "stealth muffler" added in consideration of it being a quiet Sunday. Also notice that Helen is highlighted in her signature purple from head to toe nicely matching the Wisteria on the house.

I was really glad to observe the reassembly because there's a lot of similarity in the basic mechanics of the two engines. For example, the
fuel injection and ports are virtually identical. This knowledge helped me diagnose a problem that I had later with mine at Portland. The reassembly went quickly starting with the fuel system. The base was dragged into position in the garden. It's neat in that it has a tools and spares storage area under the cooling tank. It's amazing that the original paint, markings, and transfer are in such great shape. Next the engine is mounted on the base and the flywheels fitted (watch those toes!). With the "heavy lifting" done, it's time for a bit of refreshment. This engine reassembly is hot sweaty work.

In close for a few
final adjustments, check that the mag's hot (YOW!! It's hot!), add a drop of petrol for starting, and it's SHOWTIME!! The most stressful time for an engine man? When he first tries to start an engine after a rebuild with a crowd watching!! That's STRESS!! 8-)) Will she go? YES!!. Now THAT'S the look of a happy camper! And the crowd of neighbors agrees! And we just may have a budding engine man here.

Jim applies the 4x2 to the Victory flywheel to make her work a bit harder (talk to me sweetheart). Finally, two Petter men celebrate the Victory as the engines burble away happily in the background.

Not only did I learn all about the innards of a Petter watching Jim reassemble the Victory, but I also learned about the essentials of a
Petter man's toolbox. This includes two stroke oil, heaps of rags for wiping all the places that a Petter leaks oil, King Dick wrenches in assorted Whitworth sizes, beer (is this a great country or what?), and the ubiquitous 4x2 board for loading up the flywheel to get that wonderful "wibble-wibble" sound that Petters are so famous for!

We finished the day with a lovely Scottish
beef roast with Helen's famous tiramisu for dessert. As the sun set after dinner, we all sat around chatting. (I think Jan likes my hat.) All in all a grand end to a grand day.

Monday - May 15th

It's the last full day of the trip; I gotta fly home Tuesday. 8-(( I started sorting out all the things to take back and realized that no way is it all gonna fit. So it's off shopping to find a backpack. On the way we passed some
farm fields with rape in full flower. And DAMN if that isn't a pheasant!! Must not be much hunting pressure or the cheeky little bugger knows he's not in season! I continue to be amazed by how rural an area Jim & Helen live in.

After lunch Jim and I went over to
the Unit where FBI does their shop fabricating of insulating materials. It also serves as additional engine storage space and is a great place to work on 'em as well. Jim dragged my rad-cooled Lister out into the sunshine and we gave her a nice run. She was partially crated at this point for her trip across the pond. We also dragged Andy's 6 hp sideshaft Ruston Hornsby AP out for a run as well. For more info, see Andy's webpage. That's one of the really cool things about visiting with engine folks; they're always ready to drag one more engine out and give it a run.

The day finished with a nice quiet dinner at the Queen's Head pub and promises that we really should do this again as there were so many things that were left unseen and undone.

Tuesday - May 16th

As we said our teary good-byes at Gatwick airport, the words "Only six fortnights till
Portland 2000" brought the smiles back to our faces.

All good things have to come to an end eventually. And so it is with this tale of a Yank's adventures in England. I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed doing it. So let me close as I began by expressing a heartfelt THANK YOU to Jim and Helen and their families for making this an experience of a lifetime and for being the incredible friends that they are. As another good engine mate, Reg Ingold of Oz, puts it, "Here's to good friend, old engines and email." I'll drink to that. Cheers!!

Arnie's UK Tour

Rushden Cavalcade Twycross Zoo Peter Forbes'
Country Towns Stoke Goldington Roland Craven
Stoke Bruerne Southern England Local Attractions
Canals & Wales Last Few Days  

This page was a joint production by Arnie and Dolly - words by Arnie, photos by both, webbing by Dolly