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Author Topic: A Life of Chaos  (Read 57452 times)

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Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #171 on: April 07, 2015, 11:43:49 »
I thought I had better get back on track for this installment.

The Best Car in the World?



I thought I would share a little more about some of the wide collection of cars I have owned. I think today we shall think of one of the best cars ever made in any country of the World. I refer to the magnificence that is the Land Rover.

There are no two ways about it they are as good in the West End of London as they are in the wilds of the Highlands of Scotland. They are a truly classless vehicle, I have seen Sloan Rangers fight to take my old S IIA LWB (Long Wheel Base) out for a blast and I have pulled cars out of the Dykes of the Romney Marsh with the same vehicle. My first was a S III SWB (Short Wheel Base) Diesel I picked her up for a song and only had her a short time before some person decided he needed her more than I. She vanished without a trace. The Police were very helpful by doing almost nothing and giving me a crime number so that I could claim on the Insurance. The problem was that it was the middle of Winter and we were living up on Stone Street, about a mile from the Chequers Inn toward Hythe. The car was needed as we had about 2 feet of snow and twins under 2 years at the time. I got lucky and found another SWB S III Diesel to replace her. Then I got offered a LWB SII (a much older version) with a Petrol engine. The problem was the S II had a truck cab so we could not fit the Twins in, no worries I used that one for work. However after about eight months I got a tug from the Dymchurch Police. No MOT.
 
Magistrate, ‘Mr S4 how do you plead, guilty or not guilty?’

S4, ‘Guilty Sir.’

Magistrate, ‘What model of Land Rover is this?’

S4, ‘S IIA LWB, Sir.’

Magistrate, ‘Tough as old boots those things, had a few myself. Do you have a job?’

S4, ‘Yes Sir, Driver/Fitter on the R,H & D, R.’

Magistrate, ‘Ah yes, I know J.B.S. (John Snell the MD at the time). I also know that you are not paid much.’

S4, ‘No Sir.’

Magistrate, ‘Where is the vehicle now?’

S4, ‘Broken up Sir. I have installed the engine in an S III SWB.’

Magistrate, ‘Oh that is sad, I expect the chassis was rotten though.’

S4, ‘Yes Sir.’

Magistrate, ‘After due consideration (about 20 seconds) I think the a fine of £30 to be paid in three instalments will suffice in this case.’

S4, ‘Thank you Sir.’

S4 lives to fight another day.

 Yes I really did rip a perfectly good diesel engine out and put a 250,000 mile petrol engine in. I was doing the best part of 40 miles a day and it was killing me, she would not go above 55mph and I got 22 mpg at the very best, and the noise was murder. I had fitted free-wheeling front hubs (they disconnect the wheels from the axle completely (less drag)) and an Overdrive and the bigger tyres. Yet as soon as she hit 55 mph it was like driving into a brick wall. So I pulled the petrol engine out and apart and gave it a full rebuild. I had the facilities and the time (weekends during the Winter when there was no one around New Romney station) and made that engine as good as new. Sadly though someone stole the Carburettor, a huge problem for a petrol engine. However we found that a 1.3lt Ford Fiesta VV carb fitted straight onto the studs but the air filter hose did not fit, I had some old phosphor bronze connecting rod bushes handy and so machined one of those to fit. Then one Friday I left the Landy at work and took the company van home, next morning the diesel came out and that afternoon the petrol went in. The next day was spent finishing the job properly. What a change! She went like the clappers, she was quiet and the fuel consumption seemed to be a little better. Then the Overdrive started to play up, the drive splines were badly worn, easy fixed though. I centred the drive gear on the shaft with a little packing and welded (arc welded) the drive gear in place. It worked perfectly and now she would not drop the Overdrive halfway through Dymchurch High Street or when going up West Hythe Hill. Better yet I found a plan of the Australian Army exhaust modification. They had their exhaust under the front bumper, nice and safe and out of the way. I did this to mine and she was so quiet that it felt like a normal car (almost). Add to that some homemade door cards, some sound proofing to the floor of the cab and a second heater matrix I had a really decent car. One that would do 70 mph and turn 32 mpg on a long run, I put that down to the VV carb. The hard top was held on with a hand full of nuts and bolts and I could get it off in under three mins along with the door tops. That gave me open air driving, a must for anyone with a Landy as there is nothing like sitting high with the wind in your hair (being an older vehicle I could fold the windscreen flat for the true bugs in your teeth experience). Happy Days.

Next was an SII LWB recovery truck. By selling the crane I got the car for free really. That was a fun car right up to the point I rolled it. As this one had a canvas tilt I was damn lucky to limp away from that accident. It happened on a green lane around Chilham and I had tried to get out of a rut and put my offside wheels down a bank. The result was a nice slow roll over that gave me time to lie down across the front seats. Being of over a certain age and having a 1959 number plate plus being fully legal (odd for me at the time) I sold the wreck, the chassis had snapped in the roll-over, to a gent who wanted the number-plate for more than I paid.
 
Now there is always a model of Landy that any enthusiast wants, for some it is the Light-Weight Air Portable (they were dropped out of aircraft by several methods), for others it is the 101 inch 1 Tonner Forward Control, some wish for an S I but I wanted the rarest of beasts the S IIB Forward Control. These are rare, very rare and very expensive. They had a magnificent 2.6lt 6 cylinder petrol engine that was like driving a turbine, the same engine was used in some Rover cars right up to the SD1 in the late 1970s and early 80’s. They are also huge, the front wheels have steps on the hub caps so that you can climb into the cab, they are also great fun to drive. The S IIB is the forward control version that has a very short bonnet, the 101 FC has a very angled cab. However I found one for sale at a price I could afford. I had it three days. The Boss Lady took one look and told me to get shot of it. I offered to buy her a car for the family but she was adamant, the Landy goes or she does. It was a tough choice but I swapped it for a BMW 325i and £5,000 (in my favour I must point out). It was fantastic to drive and mine had a winch mounted under the chassis with fairleads front and back. Off road it was unstoppable, in the one day I really drove it myself and some friends covered just about all the legal green lanes in East Kent. I was the only one not to need recovering, although I did a fair bit of winching for the others that day.

Would I have another? Maybe, but there are better for what I might need. Sadly this year is the last for the classic Landy, I have no idea what the new one will be like, some rumours are that it will be virtually the same but more up to date.

How to sum up my affair with Landys?
 “We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the Sun, but like the wine and the song, the seasons are but gone”.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline peterchall

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #170 on: February 11, 2015, 19:57:46 »
As I see it the thread is about S4’s life, and anything related to that, including his age and how he feels about it is OK, as are responses by others to that, so he has nothing to be sorry for.

But I take Kyn’s point that we were beginning to digress into accounts of other lives.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline kyn

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #169 on: February 11, 2015, 19:31:35 »
It matters to me if it gets flagged up.

Let's just be a little more careful :-)

Offline busyglen

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #168 on: February 11, 2015, 19:11:30 »
Actually, as it is essentially `your' life, I think it doesn't matter too much don't you? :)
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline busyglen

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #167 on: February 11, 2015, 19:09:38 »
No worries......it was `sort of related' and I don't think anyone else spotted it.  :)
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #166 on: February 11, 2015, 19:01:21 »
Sorry. Wrists slapped.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline kyn

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #165 on: February 11, 2015, 18:26:36 »
Keep it neat and on topic or it disappears!

We have boards for chatting, the main board is for posts dedicated to one topic and very close connected items.

I have less time than I ever have had on here and I won't spend a day routing through topics weedling out the off topic ones - it will all go instead.  The rules may have relaxed a little now but not so much that when people search the forum they have to trawl through lots of off topic items to reach the information they want.  That is the best way to lose the forums reputation and that of the members.

That is my foot firmly planted on the floor ;-)

Offline Signals99

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #164 on: February 11, 2015, 16:10:58 »
Hi Busyglen, yes we seem to have wandered a bit from the original theme, but so what, let's go with the flow, see where it leads us and just enjoy each other's stories, surely there`s room for all points of view.
From the statisticians and fact technicians to those of us who just want to chat is that not the point of a forum, I love it all, ok keep it neat, keep it in context, but most of all KEEP IT COMING.

Offline busyglen

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #163 on: February 11, 2015, 15:49:02 »
I think we have slightly digressed from the original thread, but it all seems to be on a parallel!  :) Having said that, I think you all have a point regarding the ageing process.  My mother's father died at 86, and her mother at 67.  My father's parents died relatively young and they lived in London.  My father died at 75 after living through WW1 and surviving until 1975.  My mother died in 2000 just short of her 95th birthday, and my eldest sister is now 86 and fit apart from a sight problem. Hopefully I will continue that thread!  Diseases were more prevalent in the 30's and 40's and we did not have the medicines and information that is now saving lives.  However, sadly we have now acquired a load of new diseases. :(
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline Lyn L

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #162 on: February 11, 2015, 13:31:43 »
Is AGE all controlled by genes though? ooking at each side of my family, the paternal were well into their 90s or just under when they died, the maternal side were nearly all in their 60s? So many things to take into consideration, my sister who is 87 this year has all her marbles but is physically disabled and went into a home last year, my Mum who died at 67 yrs looked even older than my sister now does at that time ! We have so much these days to make life easier for us all, it isn't a wonder we are lasting longer. BUT on the other side of the coin ... Mr L has just come out of hospital again after another 2 week  ordeal) stay at Medway Maritime Hospital, and says that  he has " had enough" he's 72, it depends on what kind of health problem you may have to endure, the past year hasn't been good for him at all but up until then he was very active and enjoyed life. His illness has caused the ageing process to gallop in both our cases (I look just like my sister now, oh dear, I'm only 60 several) In  a couple of weeks time our eldest son will reach his half century too. Do children help this ageing process too, his youngest daughter will be 6 yrs this summer, his eldest will be 26 yrs! His generation have so much more than our parents to keep active and look and feel younger. I seem to think I considered my Mum ancient when she was 50 and remember really upsetting her by telling her she was old. She did forgive me  :)
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline peterchall

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #161 on: February 11, 2015, 13:07:25 »
Oh what a pity the Trailer is too young to come with me....

Are you sure about that? I thought only one of the party had to be over 50.. As an 'oldie' you might be entitled to take a  'carer' with you.

I've had some great Saga holidays, so it's worth checking..
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #160 on: February 11, 2015, 12:37:59 »
Thank you PC, you got exactly what I meant. We do not look as worn as our Grandparents, we are living much longer, and thanks to Medical Science we can be repaired more (no other way of describing it really). Now If the Oracle gets 10 more years than his Father do I get 20 more than mine? I only ask because now I am old enough for SAGA Holidays I think I might travel a bit more. Oh what a pity the Trailer is too young to come with me....

S4  :).
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline peterchall

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #159 on: February 11, 2015, 11:50:22 »
Born in 1929 I am right in the middle of the ‘Golden Cohort’ age group of the link, but is the time that we remain in good health keeping pace with our longer lives?

Since 1995, when I was 66, I’ve survived 3 operations for conditions that were incurable for my parent’s generation. As a consequence I’ve been around for an extra 20 years, available to fall foul of other conditions, in my case affectingt my mobility – I can’t go out unless someone takes me, and have to get someone to do my gardening and only mildly strenuous housework. I’m under the TLC of St Thomas’ Hospital for the foreseeable future, so in saving my life the NHS has increased its workload. But does that make me ‘old’? I still have my full mental faculties (No comments, please  :)) and am not yet at the stage where I want to say “I’ve had enough”.

On the other hand, the demise of the asylum mentioned by SentinelS4  is not due to a reduction in mental illness but more to a change in attitude towards it. Thankfully we no longer lock ‘lunatics’ away out of sight and pretend they don’t exist, although I think there is still some  way to go before mental illness is regarded with no more odium than a physical illness or injury. In fact, the main blight that is today replacing the killer diseases is dementia, a condition that people previously didn’t live long enough to contract. So is a physically healthy person who is progressively losing memory of the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years of their life - so they are bewildered by that older (to them) woman who says she is their daughter, or by the door being locked and preventing them going to work or school - ‘old’?
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Nemo

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #158 on: February 11, 2015, 08:54:32 »
S4: 1925 - but no-one knew it then!  And the effect may have gone away since.  I'm a pension trustee, and knowing how long people (and their surviving spouses) will live in retirement and continue to draw their pension, is a key question for funding.  Unfortunately, it has no reliable answer so far as I can see.  For example, the trite phrase is 'people are living longer' - true-ish (and the increase in women's life expectancy is accelerating faster than men's), but can this really continue?  Besides, we see males with backgrounds including National Service, Northern origin and civilian shift-work who do not bear out the UK norm.  Longevity is not the same as quality of life, of course, but you may be interested in the "Golden Cohort": http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15024436.  In your case, may you live long and prosper!

Offline Ted H

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Re: A Life of Chaos
« Reply #157 on: February 10, 2015, 20:50:06 »
The old saying is "a man is as old as he feels, a woman is as old as she looks".

 

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