CONTINUED FROM MAY 2014 ONWARDS............................

24th/25th May 2014. 1940's at Halfpenny Green Airport.

On Friday 23rd May I took my Ford Coal Truck over to Halfpenny Green Airport for their 1940's event. Unfortuatly I could not be there during the weekend due to another clashed event at the BCLM. I collected the Truck on Monday 26th.

23rd/24th May 2014. Supercars at the Black Country Living Museum inside Brooms Garage.

During the Bank Holiday (Whitson) Weekend I took the Morris truck and the two Supercars to the Black country Living Museum to do some demonstration runs around the village. Unfortuatly it rained all day on the Saturday which gave me a bit of time to catch up with some maintanance on the front wheel bearings of the blue car. My main concern was how the clutch was going to perform in the red car after i had stripped it down and rebuilt it ? by about 3.30pm we had a 10 minuit dry spot so I could drive the red car around before the heavens opened up again !

On Sunday the weather forcast was a bit better, still raining on the morning but dried up later in the afternoon. It gave me chance to drive both the Supercars around the Museum and give them a good run since standing over the winter period. I'm still having problems with the clutch on the red car, It's driving okay but when hot it's trying to push through the brakes when ticking over which eventually stalls the engine ?

I suspect I need to go a bit stronger on the springs in the clutch, but that will have to wait till I get back to my workshop in Lye to modify.

Photo ABOVE is a little and LARGE photo. I pulled up next to the 1963 Birmingham Midland Red D9 Bus with Bob Dale driving the Bus.

1st June Steamer Sunday at Himley Hall, Dudley.

Sunday 1st June saw the first small steam Rally for a long while back at Himley Hall. This show is intended to replace the West Park Event in Wolverhampton which had been going for around 12 years before Wolverhampton axed it due to lack of funding. This little show at Himley is a little taster of what we can put on for the Public, hopfully this will be a two day event for next year ? We had about a dozen model steamers two Organs my Old Ford Coal Truck and Steve's 1923 Foden Steam Wagon booked in. The Weather was a lovely hot sunny day at 21 deg c.

Above......Steve Harbach's new 1923 Foden Steam Tractor Wagon at it's first outing event.

A line up of model Steam Engines from the Black Country Live Steamers.

From Monday 9th to Friday 13th I started constructing a trailer to carry the Dodgem Car on.

I made it to fit the Dodgem which turned out 6ft long by 4ft wide.

Made from 40mm x 40mm 3mm box section for the frame work, 45 deg angled joints and electric welded.

I had the axle in stock thats been up the corner of my workshop for many years, it has 7 cwt rubber suspention units built into the box section soild axle.

The floor of the trailer is galvinised steel sheet with 2" folded sides to strenghten the floor pan. Just got to fit the new mud guards, jocky wheel and hitch and it's ready to go.


13th June. Dodgem Car loaded and ready to go.

Sunday 15th June. Astwood Bank Steam Rally.

June 14th/15th Astwood Bank Steam Rally. I took the Morris Commercial truck with me. Weather was dryish ! we did have a small rain shower late morning but the rest of the day was warm and overcast. I pulled up next to this Foden Lorry which had many wooden models on display on the back, these models were hand built wooden type and were very well done, most of them worked with electric motors the little steam traction engine turned the threshing machine over on the belt.

Over the weekend of 21st/22nd June I fitted my new driveway gates up.

I built these gates back in March, the old wooden gates had lasted about 20 years before going rotton to the point they were falling to bit's in places. So I decided to make some new ones out of steel box section instead of wood with the hope they will last forever.

Using 40mm x 80mm 3mm thick box section I mitered the jonts at 45 deg angles and electric welded the joints, I also fitted a small wicket gate inside one side for better access. The face of the gates are made of steel, I did cheat here a bit, I wanted them to look like wooden gates from the towpath so with a straight edge and a angle grinder I scored long lines every 3" apart to make the front looked like it was planked.......The whole job took me about 30 hours to complete and two days to fit up. The photo on the left is me welding the strap hinges on the corners, bottom photo of the completed gates finished.

22th June. New steel gates fitted to Canal Cottage.

28th/29th June. Braunston Working Boat Rally.

I took one week's holiday off to get the boat down to Braunston and back.

We left the Black Country Museum on Tuesday night at 7.30pm 24th June heading into Birmingham. The following morning we set off down the Many locks at Farmers Bridge, going Coventry way, we got to Braunston on Friday 27th June at 4pm. With just over 63 boats booked in to the show. The weather was a bit mixed with sunshine and heavy thundery showers most of the time.

The return trip, went via Grand Union Canal ariving back at the BLCM on Wednesday 2nd July.

3rd July.......On her way to her Prom Night in the Dodgem Car.

On Thursday night 3rd July I took my Dodgem Car to "The Birche" at Shelsley Beauchamp in Worcester so that Danni could drive the Dodgem up the tarmac drive to arrive in style at her Prom Night. The car performed very well for it's first outing since the rebuild and went up the tarmac hill steady and slow but got to the top okay until I spotted the gravel drive she had to drive on, to my supprise the car went okay across the gravel she came to a stop just infront of the many hundreds of people who was aplauding her at the time along with many photos being taken. Luckly it did not rain !

JULY 12TH/13TH  "DRAGSTALGIA" at Santa Pod Raceway.

On Saturday 12th July I went somewhere I didn't expect to ever go back to !

I booked my Morris Truck/Supercar & Classic Caravan into DRAGSTALGIA at Santa Pod Raceway in Befordshire. With a 90 mile tow ahead I started out from home in Dudley at 7am  going via M6 & M1 Coming off at J15 (M1) traveling at a steady 50mph the Morris got to the Pod in 2hrs 5 mins doing 18 miles  per gallon. This was one of the longest Motorway trips I've ever done in the Morris & it never missed a beat all the way !

I took Mick Cheley (Mr Shifer pro mod) with me and met Mr James Forster, the event organiser who was waiting for me at the Main gate of the Raceway he then drove me around the outer roads to direct me into possition with the truck & caravan for which I was very greatfull for. I was placed on tarmac, inside a compound next to the start line and the fire up road which was a great spot, but noisy, I was amonst other Classic Amecan Cars that were on show all weekend..... it's been around 26 years since I've been back to this venue where we raced the old APOLLO and Mr SHIFTER Race cars during the 1970's and 1980's. I must admit the place has changed a lot over the years.....All for the better !

The main reason for coming back to S.P.R was to watch the 2 Fuel Altereds ( "RAT TRAP" AND "PURE HELL") that came all the way from America to match race at Santa Pod Raceway. These two cars produce around 7,000 BHP EACH using 8 lts of Supercharged V8 engine, running on 88% Nitro Meathane  and 12% Methanol fuel in a 100 inch wheel base. They are the most evil handling cars on the Planet and are capable of doing the standing 1/4 mile in 6.19 seconds at speeds over 238 mph ! (When they go straight ! ?) The First run on Saturday "Pure Hell" pulled the front wheels up in the air (he was in the right lane) turned to the left and ran over the Polistyrene blocks at the eigth Mile mile point, they went flying in the air ! (The car was NOT damaged) Later I saw a Santa Pod official do a presentation to Brian Hope "PURE HELL" of the offending Polistyrene block which a great chunk missing out the top corner in his Pit Bay which all caused great laughter all around.

The whole weekend had a lovely atmosphere around the place, everybody seemed to enjoy themselves spectators and competitor alike. The weather was hot and sunny during Saturday, heavy rain late Saturday night drying up about 9am Sunday morning, the track was dryed and running on by 11am, the air was a cool wind with black clouds but by lunch time the Sun was out and the place started heating up again. The smell of burnt rubber and Nitro filled the Air....


As we were walking around the pits during the weekend it was nice to bump into old race faces who we had not seen for over 20 odd years. But the first person we bumped into as I was seting the caravan up Sat morning was Nigel Speed who is the lastest owner of the old Mr Shifer Roadster who intends to rebuild the car again and possible put it back into it's Gold/Red flame livery of how it used to look like when Mick first ran the car in the early 1980's.

Other "Blast from the past's" we saw was Clive Mechaell, Arthur Bonner,      Sam Connell, Barry Shevlls, John Everitt, Dave Gibbons, Steve Smy, Barry Giles, Brian Huxley, Jerry Cookson, Roy Wilding, Nick Davies,Rob Loring plus many others........the list was endless, hence to say we had plenty of catching up to do ! The Highlight of the event was seeing the B17 WW2 Bomber Airplane do around six fly Past's. I've never seen a B17 So it was a new experiance for me, I was supprised how quite it was when it flew over our heads at around 500 ft.

B17 Bombers used to fly from Podington Airfield (S.P.R) Back in WW2. Unfortuatly I missed the Spitfire fly by due to me having to leave at 4pm which got me back home by 6.45pm due to traffic problems. But the important thing, the Morris went very well, I was more than pleased with it's performance and reliablity.


7 second Outlaw Anglia's This what happend in the final round at S.P.R. (Note the rear wheel is in the air as well) Great action photo from Pudgey's Pictures.

As I got back from Santa Pod Raceway I needed to get the 1946 Fordson Tractor out from the back of my workshop to get it ready for the next event, I decided it was time to change the oil and filter (clean out) The sump holds 2-gallon of S.A.E. 40 oil, gave the joints a good grease around, check all the levels, charge up battery and give it a good clean up from the Winter storage.

Wednesday 16th July, after mixing the fuel up, I filled the tank up and left work doing around 7 mph which got me to the BCLM in exactly one hour. On Thursday 17th I consentrated on cleaning up the 1932 Ford A Coal truck.

19th July. 1940's Weekend at the Black Country Living Museum. I'm stuck at a check point manned by the Home Guard and that Stupid Boy "PIKE" won't let me through !

Over the weekend of 19th/20th July the Black Country Living Museum hosted it's 3rd 1940's weekend. I took my 1946 Fordson Tractor there and my 1932 Ford Coal Truck.

Unfortuatly Saturday was a bit of a wash out, the rain came down like stair rods followed by thunder and lightning most of the day ! It did ease off after lunch a bit with enough time to have a go at getting this Mining Tub that a bunch of French kids had pushed into the canal about a month ago !

The problem was, because of it's location there was no way we could get any crane there to lift it ? 

Having thought about this for a while, the only possible way of moving this Tub which weighed around 5 CWT and around 3ft underwater was to try and lift it up and float it by boat to the hand crane so that it could be craned out onto the towpath. Frances Stapleton and myself craned on the long railway line onto the Museum Joey boat so part of it hung over the bow like a jib of a crane, seucuring the railway line to the boat first then I fitted on my 3 ton lift. Later Roger Adams and Dave Newhall gave us a hand.

We then floated the joey boat up to the sunken tub, The tub had landed upside down when the kids pushed it in the canal which was ideal for getting the chains on.....Or so we thought ! I ended up getting some chest waders on and getting into the canal, I was stood on top of the up turned Tub, hooked the chains through the two axles and tried a lift.

It started to come up enough to be able to tow the boat using Tug Bittell to drag it along the bottom of the canal to the waiting hand crane about 1/8th mile away. 

Much to our disapiontment the hand crane only lifted out the bottom half of the mining tub which was the axle bogy ! So after cleaning the weeds off it we had a break while another thunderstorm went over (Or was it the same one !)

We must have left the up turned tub back We had to go back and do it all over again, and again I went back into the water to fish around for a hole to attach the chains to.....this was more difficult than I thought plus the tub was a lot lower down into the mud of the canal bed.

Luckily I found an towing eye hole which I managed to get a hook of the chain through and back onto the ring, with a lift it started to come up a bit, but we had run out of chain lift to get it any higher, So it was back on Bittell to give it a tug, up it started to lift, then went over,  then it got dragged 1/8 mile to the waiting hand crane, I found this was a good way to dredge the bootom of the canal as well.

We eventually got it down to the hand crane, this was the heavy part of the tub, it took two people to work the hand winch on the crane to lift this out of the water. after landing it face down on the towpath we could see why the tub came apart, the chassis of the tub is made of wood, which had gone rotten, the long bolts had pulled through the soft woodwork when we tried lifting it the first time......It don't matter, the main thing, we got it out of the canal....It can be restored later on.

The next day weather was a lot better, Hot n Sunny all day which realy bought out the visitors into the Museum. I got my tractor out of the Rolling Mills for the first time over the weekend, Going through the various check points to get up the top to the Land Army Girls display. During the day I had Bittell on display promoting Dudley Canal Trust to the visitors. on occasions we did a bit of towing joey boats around to give a demonstration of what tugs used to do for a living. 

20th July. Veiw off the top of the Lime Kilns down to the boats we were towing.

Lock up your Daughters the Americans are in Town !

26th July.  Welland Steam Rally,...... Upton- On- Severn.

26th July I took my Morris with the red Supercar on the back to Upton-On-Severn to attend the Welland Steam Rally. This year they are cellibrating their 50th anniversary with more exhibits that I've ever seen before there. I traveled down from Junction 4 on the M5 and with the road works hit a load of holiday traffic going south, hence to say it was a slow trip which took me one and half hours to complete, normally I can get there in one hour. It was a very hot day as well, up to 27 deg c. When I got to the Rally site I had problems tyring to find a site to display the truck, I drove around the field where 208 commercials  were on show, I then found a small gap next to Pete's Kennard's 1956 Ford Thames Radio Van to slot the Morris in.

I came across this 1930 Ford Model "A" truck (ABOVE) in a very rough state. You don't see many of these around especially in this state, but I was very supprised to see it had a wind up tipper like mine......That's rare !    I thought I had the only wind up tipper Ford around, but it just goes to show that I can be wrong. I also noticed it had a wooden cab which was pritty rotten, my truck is only two years older and has a steel cab. 

Walking around the 250 acre site I came across a sight which reminded me of the Great Dorset Steam Fair which I took the Morris back in 2005 and 2006 two long lines of Showmans Engines all 25 of them in steam (photo above). There were a total of 71 working steam engine around the showground all doing something. It was also nice to see the "IRON MAIDEN" Showmans engine in the same line up powering one of the rides for the the vintage fairground rides situated behind them.

Going back to the Commercials I also noticed a very rare 1963 Commer Superpoise 2 ton flat bed truck (ABOVE). Again this is rare to see (I don't know why ?)

Back in 2007 I restored one of these Superpoise trucks for a customer that he imported from Cypress, it was a single rear wheel so it only carried 30cwt but the body was exactly the same, not sure what engine was in it.....the one that I restored had a 4 cyl Perkins Diesel engine. I think origanlly they had Roots petrol engines.

The highlight of the show was around 3pm when we heard the roar of a WW2 Dakota  (Above) came flying in at around 500ft above our heads, the plane did three passes before returning back to where it came from.

3rd August....Trimpley Vintage Show. ......ST 1.......?

Sunday 3rd August I took the Morris to the Trimpley Vintage show. traveling down the A 451 towards Kidderminster I caught up with Peter Freakley's 1948 Morris Commercial, we arrived on the showground together and parked up along side each other. (PHOTO ABOVE,) walking around the site I noticed a nice white VOLVO with the registration number ST 1 ? At first I thought this might be a mistake but having a closer look at the car, there was the complete history of the car when it was used in the 1960's T.V. Program "THE SAINT" Staring Roger Moore  as Simon Templer who drove this car in the popular program.

The weather during the day was dry but windy, tempreture was around 20 deg c With around 15 commercials on show and around 35 vintage and classic cars.

Plenty of stalls to look around plus auto jumble. there was even a car boot sale.



On my way back from Trimpley I was traveling with my drivers window down, as I applied the brake pedal I could hear a grinding noise from the rear offside brakes, as I was getting closer to home it was sounding worse to the point I had to stop and have a look, just to make sure the rear wheel was not dropping off ! hence to say it was'ent !

So on Monday 4th August I removed the offside rear wheel and brake drum.

 I found a broken brake shoe spring ! Part of the spring had snapped off and jammed in between the brake shoe and the brake drum. Luckly for me I have a very large box of odd springs, so the same type was fitted back on very soon.

TO BE CONTINUED.....................................................