1939 Rover 12

1939 Rover 12

For those of you who read my previous post which suggested you should look for the small photo of my good self languishing on the bonnet of my 1939 Rover 12 and wondered where said photo was secreted I have uploaded a rather larger version, although I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so large.

The way things are going I may have to change the name of what is fast becoming a motoring diary rather than a diary of a country bumpkin and with that in mind I have to report that I have had yet another whimsy turn and purchased yet another motor.

The purchase was facilitated with the assistance of ebay and I suspect, the occasion of an ‘important’ football match which left just myself and one other chap available to bid on a rather splendid 1967 Morris Minor 1000.

Whilst everyone else was apparently engrossed elsewhere I was lucky enough to purchase said car complete with MOT, (remember them?) for the price of one which would normally only be of use as spares.

We went down to Brighton to pick her up and I was immediately impressed by the lack of brakes however as someone who started life with a 1935 Austin Seven I was used to looking at the horizon before making decisions about whether there was any likelihood of having to stop the bugger or not.

New drum brakes have since been purchased along with new hoses, fan belt and many other essential service items at what seem like very reasonable prices.

I will at some time in the future post a photo of the Morris Minor, in the mean time may I take this opportunity to wish all my fellow classic car enthusiasts happy motoring and toodle pip for now.


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Bentley Mk VI

Bentley Mk VI

1947 Bentley MK VI ouside Bletchley Park

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1947 Bentley MK VI

My how time flies, yet again. I seem to say this every time I return to blogging having been dragged away by the more tedious aspects of modern life.

What may you ask has been keeping me occupied over the period of the last few months, well mostly gardening and DIY and the like….risking life and limb precariously balanced on the garage roofs removing the moss with a lawn rake.

We have had the tree feller, ( que old joke about three Irish chaps who came to chop down a tree) anyway trees have been fallen and the wood is looking far better for it and I have learnt from watching a true professional at work. Not perhaps enough to start my own business but enough for me to run amock with my chainsaw attacking the rather poorly ash trees that stand in my way of transforming a wood into a garden and croquet lawn.

Which brings me to the point of this current blog….. ash trees, or more especially the potential lack of said trees from Chalara dieback disease.

The eagle eyed of you who view this may have noticed the small picture of my good self languishing on the bonnet of my 1939 Rover 12 and thought ‘what a fine piece of British engeneering’ and may I suggest the car’s quite a fine specimen too.

With this in mind I have some potentially tragic news…..an awful lot of older motors are made with the use of ash wood in their frames and indeed modern Morgans are still being produced with ash frames.

Whilst the Chalara dieback disease has provided us with plenty of wood for the household wood burners for next year, the lack of wood for restorers of old motors could prove problematical, let’s hope they find a resistant strain to keep ash trees viable for the future.

On the subject of old motors, whilst I was away from blogging I had a bit of a whimsy turn and purchased a rather splendid 1947 Bentley MK VI, a car I first had desires for in the early 70’s….still, better late than never.

She is a beautiful car to drive and with a 4257cc engine she positively purrs up the hills, unlike my first classic car, a 1935 Austin Seven with a 747cc engine which couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding, but that doesn’t stop you loving them any the less, it’s like children so I’m led to believe.

The wife and I took the Bentley on our usual trip to the Goodwood Revival which for those of you not in the know is the best classic car motor racing event in the world which is always a weekend in September and the sun always shines.

We went down for the extra day this year to watch the cricket match which takes place in the grounds of Goodwood House on the thursday adding an extra dimension to the weekend.

It is de rigueur to dress in period dress for The Revival so I was very pleased with my new tweed suit when the wife and I were stopped for our photo by none other than Gustav Temple editor of the esteemed publication The Chap Magazine for their Oct/Nov issue, it’s probably more prestigious than being in Vogue or Tatler or dare I say it Country Life!

Well that’s it for now, toodle pip.

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Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori.

The Wireless Theatre Company have produced my first short radio play, the following link will get you to the Wireless Theatre page and you can find my play under the Drama category, I hope. Why do people keep moving things about, I’m damned if I know.              ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori’ is available as a download for virtually nothing, for your edification and delight.

Follow the link


It took ages to get the above link on this page, I think computers should be easier to do than this, couldn’t there be an Add Link box on the tool bar thingy, perhaps there is and I just don’t know where to find it.

Still I got there in the end by copying a previous blog and deleting everything bar the link! I’m exhusted by all this computer jiggery pokery, I’m off for a lay down in a dark room.

Toodle pip.

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The Olympics.

I have said it before but am beginning to be even more appreciative of living in the countryside especially now the Olympics are to be foisted on an unsuspecting East London.

There are obviously business opportunities to be had for the small entrepreneur most of which will revolve around the fact that East London will be at a standstill for most of the day and I suspect some of the night too.

The first scheme that came to mind was to revive the old traffic light window cleaning scam whereby, (for those of you not old enough to have seen it before) was to rush up to cars stopped at traffic lights and squirt soapy water at the windscreen in the pretext that removing it with a rubber ‘Squeegee’ blade constituted a window washing service.

Personally I’m a little precious about any of my cars, even more so when I’ve just cleaned them so always had to resort to the not too friendly greeting of shouting, ‘don’t you dare touch my F’ing car’ whenever I was caught at the traffic lights.

Funny how the practice has stopped, or has it? Perhaps the aggressive Eastern Europeans who assaulted you at the traffic lights have merely gone up market and mellowed in their ways, or maybe the staff at the current hand car washes come from an altogether more friendly part of Europe.

Alternately we could revive the practice of selling small bunches of roses to the grid locked traffic, after all we all need small bunches of roses to take home on our way back from work, assuming we have managed to get there in the first place.

Selling newspapers, sandwiches, or ice cream, are all schemes that have crossed my mind but have all been written off as you need a vehicle to get the merchandise to the customer, not an easy task when the whole of East London is grid locked.

I have a creative mind and am not one to be beaten, so by a process of elimination came to the conclusion that whatever one wanted to sell it would have to be transported by bicycle but what was to be the product.

Then in one of those ‘Eureka’ moments it came to me, if all the drivers are stuck for hours in their cars the obvious service they will all need is a public convenience.

Luckily I’m good with my hands so have put the Bank Holiday weekend to good use by affixing wheels to a portaloo and coupling it to my trusty bicycle.

This scheme was appearing to be a possibility, barring the strain on my Sturmey Archer gears and my legs when I realised the fatal flaw was that I no longer lived in the East end and would require a vehicle to transport my ‘bicyloo’ to London every day.

I have to admit I have not patented the idea so if there are any budding entrepreneurs who wish to use my idea I am only too happy to relinquish the scheme, however it would be a nice gesture if you were to send me a small gratuity, I’m thinking 10% is not overly greedy.

Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Toodle pip.

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Now I don’t know about you but I speak English, it may not be the best English but it is English none the less and I hope to continue speaking English until I die.

However our children and it seems an ever larger number of the youth of today are veering away from English and taking up speaking American of all things.

So many words are being waylaid; movie for film, candy for sweets, garbage for rubbish, principal for headmaster, cookies for biscuits, to name but a few.

I blame British television or indeed the lack of it for the decline in the use of proper English, where I might ask are the English programmes, all our children watch are mostly American.

The only time you see proper English spoken on television is when they put one of the fabulous period dramas on for a few weeks on a Sunday evening and yes, I know I’m a Luddite, but if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

I’m sure when the Pilgrim Fathers left these shores for a better life in the Colonies we were speaking the same language, what on earth went wrong, perhaps they were too busy concentrating on the religious side of things to bother speaking properly.

I realise that language evolves but it should be for the better and I myself have used many modern words, for example Fab which I use on a regular basis.

However I would justify my use of the word by pointing out that it was originally derived from 15th century Latin, Fabulosus, ( from a fable or story) and even the popularised Fab only came into use in the late 50’s early 60’s, so not too modern then.

I wonder if you were to ask the Americans what language do they think they are speaking, American, or English very badly, what their answer might be?

Still as I have said language does evolve so perhaps there is sliver of hope, would it be possible I wonder, that the American language could evolve and go full circle and emerge as perfect Received Pronunciation English.

I won’t hold my breath waiting, but you never know.

Toodle pip.

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The Orthodontist.

I was up at the crack of sparrows this morning as usual when I realised there was no great rush as I was taking our youngest to the orthodontist.

It’s strange how impersonal things have become and we all seem to take it for granted, like checking in at the doctor or orthodontist for example.

Gone are the days when you would stand at the counter to be greeted by a cheery ‘hello’ from the friendly receptionist, oh no, nowadays it’s a flat screen computer thingy where you punch in the relevant details, date of birth etc, all very impersonal.

Then you sit down and wait your turn, it’s almost as if you have skulked in, God forbid you should actually have to speak to another human being and then in an effort to avoid eye contact while you are waiting you can get your mobile phone out and engross yourself in playing with it.

I prefer the more human approach to life so embroiled our daughter in conversation much to her chagrin as she felt I was speaking too loudly and I’m still struggling to get her to appreciate my sense of humour.

During our conversation I noticed a thirty five year old man coming into the waiting room dressed in a schoolboys outfit and was most surprised when he punched in his birthday details to find he was younger than our daughter.

Lord knows what they’re feeding fourteen year old boys nowadays, I suppose some of it must be genetic and to be fair he was sporting the same moustache as his mother.

It wasn’t long before we went in to have her brace tightened and for her to choose yet another colour for the retaining bands, this time dayglow green and as she had only had the bottom done it was an interesting colour contrast with the bright blue she had on her top set.

In my day we never had braces, as I recollect the dentist (I don’t think orthodontists had been invented then) always used to say to everyone, ‘oh they will straighten by themselves, don’t worry’; they never did of course, still what’s wrong  ‘character teeth’.

I must say I prefer a bit of character, it must be the media that is making all the young try to look the same with perfect teeth, film star looks and ‘comb over’ haircuts…….’comb over’ haircuts, do they know where the original ‘sad git comb over’ came from!

What, I wonder are all the young people who are currently sporting ‘comb over’ haircuts going to do when they get older and start to go bald, there’s a conundrum.

I’ll leave that one with you, answers on a postcard.

Toodle pip.

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