Imagine My Delight...
... when, after finding someone to re-engineer the Morris 6 bell-housing to accept the Ford Type 9 gearbox, chap popped up at the Practical Mechanics Restoration Show and offered me one at half the price.
This Citroen SM took my eye...
... as did this Norvin. I've always fancied a café style bike, but they don't do anything for your posture on a long trip. There were lots of shiny, eye-wateringly expensive tools and labour-saving devices to covet, and the ubiquitous aluminium welding/soldering tricks that the Other Wright Brother and I used to fall for on a regular basis (we never had success) were also out in force. The most interesting thing for me was on the last stand we visited - a stand-alone, electrically assisted, steering fandango. That would be a splendid addition to the workings of the Alvis and hopefully more reliable than the one on a Fiat Punto I once owned.
Learned Counsel rang the other day; he and The Driver had found the throttle response on the Mazda-engined Locost, a bit too fierce, especially in the wet conditions during testing at Snetterton a week or two ago. Only a delicate opening of the taps on the way out of Murrays and up the Senna Straight past the pits, would avoid the rear wheels spinning. A larger throttle cable disc was the cure - and I had the lathe. A flying visit to Chumley with a bag of Norfolk sausages produced the lump of ali required and I set to work - first making up a plywood pattern to confirm Learned Counsel's calc's weren't a lot of nonsense. Everything went very well - no problems with the guessing stick - but parting off has always been a nightmare on my little Myford. I helped it along with a hacksaw and finished it off on the linisher.
Then it was down tools and off to the Harwich ferry for a job in Eemshaven, Holland, with fellow Magneteer, Janecki z Krakowa.
We were meeting a Van Oord ship, the Nexus, a ship I knew from the past, having loaded her in Vlissingen last year. An excellent galley and comfortable cabins would make up for the usually spartan conditions we often work in.
I kept walking past this picture in one of the stairwells and couldn't think why it looked familiar. Looking at it more closely, I saw a tree near the loading dock which I recognised as the one under which the stray dogs stretched out in the heat of the day. It was Corinth.
And this is how you know you're in Holland - outside Groningen University to be precise - and, happily, not a sign of latex cycleware to be seen.
Delays to the load-out meant that we had a few hours spare, so we'd taken the opportunity to visit the city not realising that, as it was a Monday, there wouldn't be a gallery or museum open to wander through. My fellow Magneteer, no museum-goer at the best of times, could hardly conceal his delight.