A Yank's View of England Part 3

Wednesday - May 3rd

Peter Forbes picks me up at Jim and Helen's and we're off for a day of engine stuff. This was also Jim and Helen's 14th wedding anniversary.

First we visit a good friend of Peter's, Mick Mills in Werrington. Man wot a great machine shop Mick has. Very compact, but superbly organized. He's working on several engine sheds to house a part of his collection.
One shed is devoted to his Field Marshal tractor. He shows me the details of the compression release that trips off a spiral thread on the flywheel. Best advice? Have the damn crank OFF the flywheel before the compression release drops off!! Other sheds are devoted to Bamford and Ruston Hornsby. All will be on concrete foundations just like in proper stationary engine power houses. Sadly that also means these engines won't get out to rallys.

I was to see several "college engines" this day. These were made and used as late as the sixty's in colleges to teach basic engine theory, heat balance, mechanics, etc. Lovely sideshaft engines in great, little used condition. Generally with a full kit of accessories. Peter's will be "portable" and should be a GREAT rally piece.

As I was describing my acquisition of some Whitworth spanners to Mick, he laughed and said "I'll bet your King Dick isn't as big as mine!!" With that he rummages around and pulls out this
monster King Dick. He needs two hands to hold it. It must weigh 20 pounds! Well, he wins fer sure. Pictures can be provided off-list to those over 18. 8-))

We had lunch at his local
pub. Chicken pot pie with two veg and dessert all washed down by several pints of real ale! YUM!

Next we stop off to feed and water Peter and Rita's five
New Forest Ponies. These critters are native to Britian and have massively heavy coats in winter thereby not needing manmade shelter. They were in the process of shedding some of the winter coat so I could get an idea what they would be like in the dead of winter.

Finally we're at Peter's place. Man he's got a lot of engines!! All in various stages of restoration. We took our time checking each one over. The focus was on the Listers as this is Peter's speciality and I haven't seem MY CS yet! He showed me all of the differences among the various models and showed how the various bits worked together as an engine. We checked the as yet unloaded trailer load of Spanish iron, and then went inside to check out the "spares." Jeeze! It's like a Lister warehouse back there!! And the really impressive bit is that Peter knows what all the bits are and for which different models. By combining bits he was able to give me a pretty good idea wot the inside of a Lister looked like.

Last on the agenda was Peter's R&H college engine. Jeeze wot nearly mint condition. As you have seen from recent posts, this one will be barking before we know it. It might even get to it's first rally this year!

We went inside to await the dinner that Rita was preparing. Peter showed me his latest old bookshop finds and I showed him how the Sony Mavica worked. He downloaded a diskful of pics and seemed really impressed with the convenience and image quality. Expect Peter to join the "digital camera age" any day now.

Dinner was a truly LOVELY lamb and black olive dish. As we discussed one of my favourite topics (food) over wine after dinner, Peter got this truly EVIL grin on his face and disappeared only to return with a canned haggis for me. OK. Traditional veg to accompany haggis is swede which thanks to a grocery shopping trip with Helen, looks a lot like rutabaga. A "haggis tasting" report will be forthcoming. Peter and Rita then drove me back to Jim and Helen's.

Next outing is a tour of several traditional English small towns and villages.

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 and photos by Arnie, webbing by Dolly


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