A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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13 April 2015

Room With A View.

Or at least it would be if these big metal plates weren't in the way.

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Because on the other side of this wall is....

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... which I'd have thought would have the edge as a selling point. I was looking forward to the breakfast run but a call came through and I was back in Norway as my fellow breakfasteers were sitting down to eggs, bacon and whatnot at Andrewsfield airfield café. The main purpose of the Sunday breakfast run was to try out the new heat shield on the Hillman's carb and see if it made any difference so as I wasn't going to make it, a quick trip to Framlingham on Saturday afternoon (to see a chap who'd built a wooden body in the manner of my Austin but on an Alvis 12/60 chassis) was squeezed into the schedule. I purposely came to a halt a couple of times with the engine hot and there was no sign of it fading on reapplying the throttle so, fingers crossed.

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My friend John Gaertner who builds Avro 504's (and lots of other vintage aircraft) in Virginia is currently rebuilding a Hispano Suiza aero engine and I asked him for a picture of the tappet adjustment just to confirm the pedigree of the Morris Six and Wolseley 6/80 engines' arrangements. The steel bar is part of a jig to assist in dismantling the mechanism.

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And news just in... Leon managed to lose a couple of piston skirts on the way to breakfast - young people today; I don't know.... It's lucky that the pins held on to the crowns which enabled him to limp home.

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The Apache II cable layer is this week's marine interest. It's more a floating factory than a ship; it even has a heli-pad. The cable laying end of things is quite different to the other ships I've been on and has the spool in the vertical plane rather than horizontal.

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I continue to be thoroughly impressed by the Health and Safety arrangements implemented by (in this case) Nexans - the cable manufacturer - and the ship's crew; we even had to pass an exam before we got through the factory gate. I suppose I'm old enough to remember when there wasn't (or if there was it wasn't much in evidence) such a thing as H&S in the work environment.

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There's something oddly reminiscent of Minnesota in the architecture and to a certain extent, the landscape in this part of Norway - I haven't been able to get quite the shot I wanted to illustrate this because I've always been speeding by in a taxi going to the dock - and, coincidentally, the Norwegians seem to be very keen on 50's American cars - at least half-a-dozen were cruisin' the town on Sunday afternoon. I asked about this and it seems they have a huge following here in Halden and there's a meeting of 50's and 60's classics just about every week in the summer months.

I've just read that there's nearly 1 million people of Norwegian descent in Minnesota.




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