THE POOL MK 1

 

THE POOL MK 1

 THE POOL MK 1

My First House

1976 and the puchase of my first house in Woodhall Spa with 3/4 of an acre of land. Fine when
you go and look in February but something else when you come back in July as the owner!

Attacking the Rain Forest

Grass and weeds up the WAZOO and no idea where to start. Various tools are tried all of which
prove useless in this mind blowing jungle…….HELP! Eventually a brush cutter, combine harvester
thingey is acquired/borrowed and the land is cleared and huge haystacks are burnt as more and
more land is cleared. The land is leveled, rotovated, raked and watered then tons, and I mean
tons of grass seed spread.

Weeds are 5 feet high!

You Can’t Be Serious

BURN IT!

Now we get to a planning stage and there will be walkways around the garage, a cross path to
a greenhouse and a patio. Beside the patio there will be rose beds and a fish pool. All looks good
on paper so let’s go. Paving slabs? see local paper……. auction of paving slabs….. buyer to
remove. I buy the entire estates slabs and then have the problem of transporting these things……
hummm! I know,. lets see what the MT section has that will do the job. Persuade the MTO that I
need the Station Dustcart and take a couple of his lads with me. Well that cost me a few beers
and the cost of getting the lads uniforms dry cleaned but at least I got the slabs back to the house…
now for that pool.

The Dig Begins

Great, A Sewer pipe….. but look at all those slabs

A design is scratched out and digging with shovel and pick begins along with wheelbarrow and
plastic bucket. About 2 weeks of back breaking evening work and many blisters later a hole in the
ground is big enough to accept the next stage. My next door neighbour is a builder and supplies
sand, cement and lends me his mixer. It takes me all day to make enough concrete and get it in
the hole and then its a rush to mix and spread a cement slurry to give a smooth finish and fill all
the micro holes. So now, with the concrete in the hole, fill gently with water and the weight of the
water will compress the concrete and prevent cracking and leaks.

The Water goes in

All the excavated dirt now becomes the rockery and special hollow rocks are placed to make the
job complete and attractive. With the basics in place now wait a few days and empty the pond
and refill, do this 3 times to get all the lime residue out of the cement and concrete and now
introduce some pond plants to oxygenate the water and then we are ready for some kami-kazi
cheapo goldfish to take the plunge. Meanwhile suitable alpine plants have been placed in the
rockery while yet more work takes place on those paving slabs.

One year later

The chainsaw hacks down trees and arches, seats and more flower beds are constructed. The
pool simmers on the back burner and now fish are intoduced and nosey labradors are kept out.
By spring all is eatablished and now the fun of maintenance ….. what did I start?

7 Years Later

5000 bedding plants are grown in the 8 x 12 and duly planted with the rest being sold to pay
for the winter fuel to keep the greenhouse going.

TONY DOWN

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  • 1/23/2008 12:21 AM Steveo wrote:
    High Tony,yes there is more to life,than just riding trials bikes.I’d had the experience of building about the same dimention of pool and waterfall.Rather enjoyed ,after the right amount of libation,tying a worm to a small rod and string,for the pond fish.this usually got my friends laughing their faces off.Got a lot of satisfaction out of that pool,laying in the hammock.Nothing like the sound of running water,to ease one’s soul,thanks for your sharing! Steveo
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  • 1/23/2008 8:32 AM Tony wrote:
    Just wait until you see the next pool!
    Tony
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RV’ING FOR BEGINNERS

RV’ING FOR BEGINNERS

RV’ING FOR BEGINNERS

Back from Rental

 In 1998 a two year old Safari RV is purchased for what seemed like an outrageous price.
Personally I had never really wanted to join the ranks of “caravaners” or “RV’ers” as I would
sooner stay in a nice hotel …… however I’m persuaded and the “thing” is parked outside.

From an engineering standpoint you have to marvel at the construction and design of these
vehicles and when you see what goes into them it is no surprize when you look at the price tag.
Equally amazing is that you don’t need a special licence to drive one and you can be on the road
with 40 feet of metal and house with no formal training or any idea of what you have let yourself
in for!

To be honest the salesmen give you a 1 hour walk through explaining all the functions and
capabilities but as its all completely different only about 5% of the info sticks and unless you are
using the thing on a regular basis that 5% will also be forgotten.

It gets little use as every time it is taken out the Driver is being constantly yelled at and after 2
runs I am not prepared for any more and a divorce is sought to remove the major problem. I get
left with the “White Elephant” and it sits and sits. Eventually it goes to a RV rental company who
have it for a year and despite it being rented just about every time it goes out something else
has to be replaced and my net profit is a big fat ZERO!

After 18 months the rental company goes bankrupt and the vehicle comes back…… it sits and sits.

It sits, and sits

Brenda suggests we start using it for some long distance trials so it gets cleaned and “smudged”
… a new term to me but I’m led to believe this will remove “old presences and ill feelings” Sounds
like Voodoo!…and I’m now told it welcomes in good energy.

Revamped!

Smudged!

Brenda studies the owner’s manual which is a bit like a public library with books on every subject
and appliance. Meanwhile I purchase a Haulmark trailer and fit it out for multiple bikes and we are
getting ready for the maiden voyage when it starts to rain. Time to fire up the fridge ….. nothing!
4600 times the button is pressed and after 10 seconds each press the system quits. Meanwhile
water is going on board but on this rig there is no auto shut off so a lake is developing which we
don’t see as its pouring with rain. Switch on the hot water and the red light comes on and stays
on for 10 seconds then goes off! Multiple attempts to reset this and nothing until after some
library reading we discover it is the way it is designed? Why put a ****ing light on it then??

The Fridge still won’t play ball and now with telephone numbers, flashlights and umbrellas all
panels, fuses, circuit breakers, gas lines and anything else you can think of are consulted. Finally
Brenda rings a mobile RV expert and explains all the problems and she tells him the 4600 saga.
He suggests 4601 and she trys it and…….. yes, it works! Don’t ask!

We now turn off the water as the coach is now pumping it overboard and turn our attention to
the mysteries of running and non running water. With the pump on again the faucets cough and
splutter and now water is available and is also HOT!….V Hot!

The Microwave/fan cooker has no power, no lights …… the game continues, circuit breakers,
fuse boxes, inside outside? in the engine bay?  in the front? behind the bed? in the bathroom?
……. consult book…… nothing, but on opening the cupboard above the unit there is the 3 pin plug
which some kind soul has undone.

Trailer ride height looks good and being a single axel I can lift it up and connect it without a
double hernia. Being a new trailer it has a 4 pin flat and the coach has a 5 small round… great!
Yet another visit to U-Haul and true to form they know what I want but don’t have one. Eventually
end up making my own.

It’s only raining a little bit

Off we go down I10 and so far its dry but the forecast is more rain. All is well until the visor
suddenly falls down obliterrating the view and Brenda has to reglue the velcro to keep it out of
my way. The rain starts, the wipers do their best but the windscreen starts to mist and now a
leak appears right in front of the drivers vision. Oh, oh, the fuel guage still says full? and now the
demister doesn’t work for any heat. Brenda ends up wiping the inside of the sheild and as fast as
she finishes on one side its time to start again on the other. By now the rain is getting worse,
and to add to the fun we are entering California so the driving is also getting worse. By the time
we get to Palm Springs the headlights are covered in road filth and I can barely see through the
screen. The following is unfortunately true so we pull off the road and Brenda takes a stool and
armed with Windex cleans the outside windshield in the pouring rain….. please say nothing, it will
only offend.

We arrive in the dark at our scheduled night stop and as far as I can remember nothing else
broke or went wrong or failed to work through operator error or lack of knowledge.

STUCK!

The next morning I park the rig (where I am told and it sinks up to the axels) ……. after breakfast
the washing up and now the floor is wet and you can hear running water like you are in a Disney
attraction. All the taps are closed but the noise is still present and finally on opening the washing
machine/dryer compartment there is the water coming down the back wall like the Angel Falls.
Now I had seen a panel outside with knobs and tits for everything so diving into the plumbing
game I find a “source valve” and stem the flow a bit like damage control in a submarine and I’m
feeling like the Captain in “Das Boot”.

No more problems while I’m riding and then Brenda’s son comes along and rewires the
entertainment center which wasn’t doing things the right way. You would think in this day and
age that would be simple… but no! 2 TV’s, cable, Satellite, radio, DVD, and VCR all with their own
hand controllers and cock all guidance on how to get it to play. Not forgetting that the front TV
also doubles as the rear view camera but in color.

Extracted from the mud and on our way again the “fix it” list gets bigger and bigger but we make
it home remembering the fuel guage doesn’t work.

In for repairs and service, the fridge, cooker and anything else that runs on gas are cleaned,
blown through, plumbing checked for leaks and get the ent system up to scratch! Can’t fix the
fuel guage as the front axel has to be dropped, no you can’t watch a DVD in the bedroom, only
VCR…… WHY???

This is fun ?

Now some long distance driving to Diamond Don’s in Texas and all the fun of freeway travel with
a 60′ long rig and slab sides competing with the 18 wheelers. This is fun but can also be
exceedingly frightening and you need all your schoolboy physics to understand what is happening
as you rocket along and try and stay on the road.

Doof says “Dam this is tricky and that bloody visor is falling down again”

Phase 1, the 18 wheeler approaches in the mirrors……..
Phase 2, as he or she passes the air between the two of you is compressed and you are gently
pushed towards the hard shoulder…… you apply steering commands to stay on the road
Phase 3, as the semi rockets past Mr Benouli sucks you in towards his back wheels… you apply
steering commands then as he clears you enter the wake turbulence zone and fight the crosswind
yet again! Dam this is fun.

STUCK Again….. Don said he’ll pull her out

Diamond Don’s…. park here….. stuck in the mud again! bus performs well enough until the way
home when we find one of the a/c cowls is no longer with us! dread to think what that must
have been like if you were following and that came off in front of you.

Other delights of driving these things….. establish a check list or you too will join the ranks of
Robin Williams in “RV” and believe me that film is essential viewing for all would be RV’ers as all
that you see has, or will happen!

Don’t forget to put the awning away

So with everything lashed down, secured, TV aerial down, leveling jacks up, shower door closed
and all pretty ornaments put away you are ready to take to the road. Remember it’s 60 feet long,
doesn’t go round corners easily, probably won’t go under some gas stations awnings, is fitted
with air brakes and with the motor at the back is going to overheat everytime you go uphill. Not
only that as the eng o’heat caption comes on the rev limiter clicks in making uphill progress even
slower! What goes up must come down and try and find the “jake brake” switch before the
descent, a bit like reverse thrust on a modern jet.

All working at Alto Pit

Towards the end of the Safari’s trips round USA we are coming down I17 when I keep getting
little bits of something in my coffee and then things start appearing in my lap followed by bigger
bits hitting me on the head as the TV surround has shattered and is breaking up on re-entry.
Towels, anything, is shoved in to stop 40lbs of TV falling on my head….. so by now you will have
learnt that RV’ing requires a resourceful stewardess/co-pilot to ensure the captains safety as
well as sandwiches, candy, coffee on the hour and half hour and a regular supply of fresh ashtrays.

“TV’s Keep Falling on my head……Dah, da, da,di, dah”

In to service again, and No they don’t make that TV any more but they will fit another one. Collect
vehicle and set off but as I pull out onto Bell Road I notice that in the rear view camera/TV the
median is on the wrong side of the coach?????………. some one is overtaking but HE is in the
other MIRROR! Shaking the mechanic warmly by the throat he tells me they can’t get the camera
reversing sensor to work.

Sometime later a RV comes up on E-bay and this looks like it might be worth a drive to Mesa to
investigate….

A “Newbie RV’er”

Starring TONY DOWN as Robin Williams in RV…… a must see!

This RV is available as a rental at  www.cozycomfortrvpark.com

To find OCT/NOV/DEC articles LOOK up the left side of the web site

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  • 1/16/2008 9:50 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Now thats Funny !!! – Sounds like flying a Tornado would be easier.
    Reply to this
  • 1/20/2008 9:05 PM Steveo wrote:
    Hi Tony,hows the winter treating you two?I’m still hoping to get down there to the land of shorts and sandles.I’m curious as to how the Enfeild is coming along and what it must be like to ride a real thumper!Rode the ty up to a tree yesterday,that was 17 feet wide at the base and measured 140 meters high,here on Treasure Island.Still working on my trail up one of the mountains.I’m on a dating site trying to find a trials girl freind,the lads back in Alberta had told me that there was no such animal,but like trials,I like a good challenge.I’d asked for a list of gals my age,within 75 miles and came up with a list of over 600!Talk about over kill,a man could have a lot of work on his hands,or perhaps hands might not be the appropriate part of ones anatomy.My 175’s getting rather itchy to smell some of that fine desert air .Trusting that this note finds you and yours in the best of spirits and health,Happy Trials Steveo
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A PREVIEW OF THE 2008 SEASON

 

A PREVIEW OF THE 2008 SEASON

A PREVIEW OF THE 2008 SEASON

Ed & Evelyn

 The best news to finish 2007 was that Ed & Evelyn Peacock have taken over the position of
AHRMA National Trials Coordinator, a harder working, more enthusiastic couple would be difficult
to find. Throughout 2007 the result service was somewhat lacking and most of the events were
late getting published making the season planning virtually impossible. We have had the
schedule up for almost a month now and I, for one, am very excited.

Here it is! AZ Cycle Park

On paper the 2008 season looks good with some excellent venues and some great riding to
come. The AHRMA season opens with a new venue at AZ Cycle Park and this replaces the old
Wittman event. I went out to look at the area which is basically an old quarry (no rocks) with 50′
sides but I think we can make 10-12 pretty good sections there and make it worth the trip.

On the Bayou Diamond Don’s

I will miss the Florida event but then we have Diamond Don’s on April 4 which gets better every
year and I would recommend this one to all as there is plenty of scope for sections and the post
trial party is certainly worth going for as Diamond Don really pushes the boat out!

In the ruins Diamond Don’s TX

Perris CA sometime in April and a bit of an unknown as its not the old Perris Trials Land which
was perfect in every respect for trials riding.

Tucker Ranch CO

May will be a great month with the Rocky Mountain boys putting on 2 major nationals. A first
time for Tucker Ranch but another first class venue for an AHRMA national and a fitting tribute to
the owner who rerettably died of a heart attack last year while laying out a national for the
modern bikes. A 2 Day at Tucker Ranch 3/4 May then 2 weeks later at Milliken on May 17.

Tucker Ranch Cotopaxi CO

Milliken CO

The Mud Hole Milliken CO

June has 3 events but a little too far away for me with a 2 Day at Marion IL on 7/8 June and
then Casey IL on June 14.

Donner CA with the Lake below

July always has one of my favorites, the Donner 2 Day in CA. A beautiful setting by the ski lodge
and lift with the parking lot reserved for the trials fraternity. Very well organized by Matt
Hillgenburg and family and some rather unique prizes! If you haven’t done this one it really is a
must with a great turn out of bikes and entries in the 50 mark. Temperatures are near perfect
with 70’s by day and a cool 40 overnight.

The Spoils at Donner…. Anybody remember the Greeves works Rider on the bottle?

Ok, 1 more look at the bottle, WHO is the Rider?
My Initials might give you a clue?

August has the Chehalis event which I rode last year. I don’t quite know what to make of the
event. It always has the biggest turn out with entries in the 80’s!….. That begs the question are
all are vintage riders in the North West? …. and if they are, then perhaps we should have more
events in that sector or at least make this one a 2 Day ? If it was a 2 Day it might attract the
Canadian boys?

Chehalis WA

At the end of August we have something different a THREE DAY! Yes, a 3 Day Trial. Well it’s
organized by Fred Martinson and the Wyoming gang so you know it will be the other side of
GOOD and verging on GREAT! The Casper event at Mosteller Ranch has been a favorite of mine
for the last 3 years and if you can only make one long distance event this is the one especially
with 3 Trials! August 30/31 and September 1st. It has everything! Mud, rivers, rocks, more mud
nadgery a great atmosphere and near perfect climatic conditions, and let’s not forget the “bring
a dish” bar-b-q.

Casper WY

September is the busiest month by far opening up with the last of the “Casper Spectacular” on
the 1st then only 3 days off before moving to Utah to a new venue at the Miller Motorsports Park
for a 2 Day on 5/6 September. It maybe new but it’s being run by Jim Lipscomb so it promises to
be good. WOW 5 events in ONE WEEK!



Casper WY

Sandia NM

A week later we move to Sandia which is an event that gets better every year both in terrain
and turnout. The event moves to Saturday 13th which, with the change from the normal Friday,
may attract more riders. Lets hope so as Jim Crain and Sylvia put a lot into this one.

Dickson TN

But wait, there’s more!  Ginder Ranch for a combined AHRMA & ITSA 2 Day …… it can be done,
50 sections in an A through E  format with no splits in the sections, just red and blue tapes. With
25 sections a day each class rides 10 sections for their 3 loops. With 25 sections there are 5 A’s,
5 B’s and so on. AHRMA line 1 riders ride A’s and B’s, line 2 men ride B’s and C’s and line 3 are on
C’s and D’s with beginners and 4 line on D’s and E’s. Great terrain, very well run and a chance to
meet many of the ITSA men who can’t ride AHRMA as their bikes are in that “1980-1985” age
bracket. Don’t miss it …September 27/28.

Hollister CA

October has Hollister on Saturday 11th, great terrain, perhaps a little too easy last year but a
ton of potential, then Barber on the 17th which I will miss and sounds like it needs some
revamping from last years reports.

Finally November 8th at Aonia Pass in GA which always has a good event but lacks entries and
a bit disappointing if you have put all that work in.

Now add in the extra Rocky Mountain Regional Rounds plus my own endeavours in Arizona and
the dance card is pretty full!

Alto Pit AZ

TONY DOWN        C’mon spring and summer!

All event photography by Brenda Brenda Savage Photography

www.trialsphoto.com

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THOUGHTS FOR 2008?

THOUGHTS FOR 2008?

THOUGHTS FOR 2008 ?

2007 was a good year with experiments like Ossamaha, The Tiger Cub and the Royal Enfield,
so what can I do in 2008?

A Joy to Ride The “OSSAMAHA”

The Cub all ready for 2008

The Newbie… the Don Morley 350 Bullet

Now with the new Spartan tank

Oooh that’s Slim

It had better ride as Good as it looks

YOU are in for a BIG year!

A list of ideas is forming as I ponder the direction of the next dose of insanity. The first project
could be to design a combination bike using all the best components from all the bikes of the 70’s
and see how it performs. Ideas so far are wide pattern front forks by betor as Ossa, but a better
wheel and front brake? A 77 Yamaha engine maybe overbored to 290 ? and a stable frame
almost like a 72 Bultaco.

Second idea is to get hold of an early 175 or 250 KTM engine and adapt it for trials. Then find a
suitable frame that can be adapted to carry it, perhaps a 175 Yam and put my own ideas into
that. Must try and get the weight down to around 165-170.

Plenty of frames

Something for ITSA ? How about a 86 Yamaha 350 with the rear end modified to twinshock or
an early Honda RTL or TLM with twinshocks?

A dusty 280 SWM

Other projects that I have to get going on are the two SWM’s that have been sitting around,
a 280 and a Jumbo.

The Jumbo that has sat for a full year!

Then there is the pile of bits that one day will be another 242 Montesa.

One day a Monty 242

More of the 242

How do you bend those fins?

2 X TY250A’s to build, anybody interested? Maybe one in British Racing Green and I’m open to
suggestions for the other.

We can make a Ty250A out of that

Another pile of bits which was a TY175 so perhaps another in Black/White or BRG?

Enough for another TY175

When will it ever end?

TONY DOWN   builder of fine Vintage Trials Machines from scrap!

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SON OF A GUN

SON OF A GUN

SON OF A GUN

(the Other Passion)

Nice Footwork and a great stance

My son Edward has accompanied me to many Syndicate and Farmer’s shoots and now it’s time
for him to have a go. At the age of 7 having acquired a nice little side by side .410 with a
shortened stock I take him along to a local clay range and he is lucky enough to get some
personal instruction from a former world champion clay shot and accomplished game shooter.

Going well with the .410

He shows a fair bit of promise and is soon busting clay after clay and enjoying it.  First time out
at a local Lincolnshire farm shoot he “back legs” a hare so it is the begining. Despite being
naturally gifted Edward never had a competitive edge and although he could play rugby and beat
any boy his aged at 100 yards he just didn’t seem to be inclined to do so. Scalextrix Race cars do
nothing, and only after the acquisition of a high powered air rifle do I see some sense of “the will
to win” as we bust toy soldiers into oblivion from the prone position out of the lounge french
windows. We move on to a 28 bore Franchi and his prowess improves with each outing but of
course the gun will be outgrown as he gets bigger.

Post Holiday high bird with the Beretta 682

I had been back from Saudi Arabia in September just before the Gulf War and I had seen a nice
little 20 bore at Greenfields, the local gunshop in Salibury Wilts. As I’m coming back from Saudi
again just before Christmas I have this gun earmarked as a Christmas present to go with a 4
day holiday to Ilfracombe in Devon for some clay shooting and a little driven shooting to put the
icing on the cake.

Both eyes open, keep swinging

Granny and big sister Sally come to watch

Bags are packed and off we go to Ilracombe via Salisbury. I search high and low but can’t find
the gun I had mentally earmarked. It was sold that morning!….. so now we have a major problem
….. every gun is tried and tested and there is nothing in his size or my price range so things are
now getting desperate and I’m running out of ideas and the whole Christmas thing is looking
decidedly shaky. The salesman says he may have a new Beretta 682 upstairs and it could be the
special lightweight model…….. he comes down with the new gun and of course it fits like a glove
….. 2 and a half times what I had intended to pay but never mind it’s Christmas.

Pull up at our seafront hotel in Ilfracombe and as its late straight to bed. Next morning a great
breakfast and packed lunches arrive with thermos and off we go. Sign in at the range and just
outside is the first stand which is supposedly a following pair of incoming grouse. Edward takes
out all 10! I’m impressed,  first time ever with a 12 bore and a perfect score. Fortunately for me
I too get all 10. On to the next, springing teal, either take them on the rise or to cheat wait till
they get to the top and take them before gravity takes a hand…. try and take them on the way
down…..I don’t think so! Again boy child gets 10 for 7 cartridges and I am on to stay with him.

Stand 3 is high pheasants on report so as you fire the second clay is launched. I get the full 10
this time and he got 9 but I think 1 was missed because he didn’t take off the safety. Over to a
crosser and rabbit on report. I get all the crossers but only 2 of the rabbits as I always seem to
fire just as the rolling clay hits a bump and gets airborne. Edward misses 1 crosser but picks off
all the rabbits! Overall he is now 1 up on father. The round continues and the boy is shooting well,
safe, superb footwork and very elegant style. No matter what I do I can’t get ahead or even back
on level terms and the final scores are Edward 88, and yours truly on 85. As a competitor no one
likes being beaten but in this case as it’s your own son there is a smug smile of pleasure.

Another round of clays in the afternoon and Edward has does well again but I manage to retain
the “Alpha Dog” position so honor is satified. Back to the hotel and while 10 year old runs up and
down the seafront I consume several excellent pints of Murphys.

The next day we are pheasant shooting and we arrive in good time at a farm which runs a
commercial shoot. Lots of coffee and eventually the head keeper comes over and says we are
still waiting for the “other” gun, I tell him he is already here and introduce Edward. Off we go with
instructions not to shoot any Reeves pheasants that have the 3 foot long tail.

We are positioned either side of a long draw and our team of beaters knock up some fine birds
from a small wood on the top of a hill, the birds oblige and do as the keepers ask and either
present high shots or challenging incoming downhill planing shots as they follow the draw. As we
are on a limited budget and they are costing around 25 quid a pop I have told Edward to be
selective! He is and I see a couple of high birds that I personally would have let go come tumbling
to earth ….. very impressive!

Another drive and our last 4 are in the landrover but the keeper says we can have some freebies
as there are plenty more in this wood. He may have regretted that statement as we take out
some challenging shots and double the bag! Paid for 12 ….shot 24!

Lunch in the pub and I’m spent out for today but it was a lot of fun so I’m considering what to do
with the afternoon when the head keeper asks me if Edward and I would like to join another
shooting party at no cost? Are you serious? Is the Pope a Catholic?

Edward goes with the Keeper and they take up position on the corner of a wood while I’m
positioned on a high knoll overlooking the valley where the other guns are in the classic
semi-circle and in a perfect world the majority of birds should flush over the center giving numbers
4 & 5 the most shooting, then on subsequent drives we all move up 2 positions so 4 becomes 6
and 5 becomes 7 so that everybody gets a fair share.

Well today it doesn’t work out like that, and most of the birds that flush climb then turn towards
me so without “poaching” I take out 15 or so and I’m getting most of the shooting. On a later
drive the host of the shoot has Edward and myself as flank guns walking either side of a wood
behind the line of beaters. We are not allowed to shoot anything that goes forward but have the
all clear on anything that turns and flies back. Edward takes 8 on his side and gets lots of praise
from the Head Keeper and I keep my end up with 6 nice cock birds on my side. Doesn’t seem to
matter where they send us we are always in the thick of it and this is all free!

No more shooting until the following Christmas when I’m home from Saudi again for my 30 days
and I have booked quite a few pheasant days on commercial shoots to go with the farm shoots
I’m hoping to get invited to.

The first one we go to becomes a real “sour graper” for some. 8 guns meet at the appointed
hour and enjoy the standard pre shoot beverage of sloe gin and then draw for our pegs. First
drive Edward stays with me and keeps his gun in it’s slip and I get a good number of nice birds
while others are missing wildly and birds fly on completely unmolested. On the next drive the
Shoot manager says that Edward can be a “Back Gun” and go and stand 20 yards in the wood
some 40 yards behind the line of guns.

As the birds go hammering over our distinguished gentlemen and the 12 bores discharge both
barrels into vacant air there can be heard a single shot from behind us and this continues on a
regular basis until the whistle blows to signal the end of the drive. As birds are retrieved Edward
emerges from the wood with 4 birds in one hand and 5 in the other. @ more drives before lunch
and the same game as Edward continues to wipe people’s eyes with single shots on high birds
that had been missed.

At lunch the Shoot Manager says that Edward can’t shoot any more as the paying guns are
complaining! However he also said that if Edward hadn’t been shooting we wouldn’t be
anywhere close to the bag! A fine compliment for a 11 year old and with that he and I shot
alternate drives in the afternoon and instead of marveling at the boy’s talent some of them were
still pissed off! Father just smiled……..

Still shooting well, 2007 at Ben Avery

Tony Down

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DOING THE GLITZ!

 

DOING THE GLITZ!

DOING THE GLITZ!

 The first Glitzmobile has several outings on the CAT circuit and improvements are made as more
and more knowledge is gained. Carburation is the main cause for concern as there is a lot of
plug fouling and irrespectve of needle settings a lot of four stroking at high altitude above 7500′.
Changing over to a new Mikuni and new reeds which need smaller jets all is good and the 70’s
air system gets junked in favor of the Uni air filter. Arizona fuel is a variable feast and you must
run with an “in lne” filter to prevent the pilot jet from getting plugged.

I now work on a “every 3 ” principle and that means cleaning and a good blow through to
ensure it works as I want it. I never use the clutch in a section so I need the engine to come to
the stall and then be able to pick up and make that step without hesitation. With the lowered
gearing, 12 is perfect, 11 just a little too low unless you constantly blip the throttle, the carb
must be spot on so know your trials area, make notes and adjust accordingly.

On downhills never have the back brake done up too tight, as a costly 5 will be coming your way,
use engine braking and light front and all should be well. If it’s really steep and you have to
change the game plan then you can always tighten up the back but slacken it off afterwards.

Modern day tires are of course a delight but being softer remember to run them at the correct
pressure for you and your bike. Too soft and the center of the rear will push in and not be in
contact with the surface which negates the reason for letting it down in the first place as you
were trying for the maximum “footprint”. I normally run between 5-7 lbs and you can always
check if there is a nice firmish spot of mud at the start. Ride through and see what the tread
pattern looks like. The front more or less follows the same rules but will also be dependant on
your handlebar position. Forward, faster turning, rear less weight might plow in the turn. I find
for my weight and stance about 6 and 1/2 is the number.  Don’t forget to check them at he start
as altitude will make a big difference!

175 or 250 ?

First AHRMA Outing

The Glitz gets her AHRMA debut at Wittman and despite the chaos of the event (see the AHRMA
experience) I come away with a clean card. The sections did seem very easy and if memory
serves me right some of the CAT members had laid out the sections only to have them altered on
the day of the event as they were considered far TOO HARD! I suppose they may have a point
for some of the more venerable steeds but overall I think that AHRMA generally has the balance
about right. If you have a beautiful old bike with limited capabilities you certainly don’t want to
ride it over dangerous or impossible sections. Once again the key word is enjoyment, so a 25
point card on a 79 Yam on the 1 line can be just as satisfying as a 10 pointer on the 3 line on a
1956 rigid James or AJS.

Great sections at Holbrook

Everywhere is a section at Holbrook… Fantastic!

The rest of the season was on the CAT scene with 8 rides, 7 wins and one second. Most noteable
were rides at Holbrook for our 2 Day event and in particular a Muddy Section! Hooray, 2 dabs and
a great clean powering through a deep slot wiggling the bike left and right to get the side knobs
on the rear tire to bite.

Top of the Drop Payson

A big drop and climb at Payson, Jones Crossing (they haven’t used the section since) A run round
some rocks after the start then a very steep downhill into a left turn and then a monstrous climb
back up in loose pine needles and soft dirt, a real joy of delicate throttle control to find traction
and keep the front down!

Down the Gulley Alto Pit

Spot the rider competition Alto Pit

Same Section

More fun at Alto Pit

Another that stays in the memory banks was a huge fallen tree which I had severe doubts about
but shouldn’t have worried as Glitz made nothing of it, even though it worried me.

Another big log Crossing at Payson

Had my doubts about this one , but 3 cleans

Well Glitz1 gets sold and Glitz 2 or SuperGlitz is built as a replacement and becomes a fantastic
machine and carries me to 3 Championships.

TONY DOWN

Don’t forget there’s lots more to look at in Archives Oct/Nov/Dec

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WINTER SURVIVAL PART 2

WINTER SURVIVAL PART 2

WINTER SURVIVAL PART 2

Avoid like the Plague

 3 days of no food and energy sapping activities is now complete and all that remains is a 25 mile
walk through the woods and knee deep snow without being caught by the German Army and the
soldiers on skis, well that should be easy!

The briefing tells us that we have 2 “RV’s” to make and that should we get split up for any reason
then we are to give ourselves up and we will be reassigned. If we are caught we are not
permitted to escape from a moving vehicle. In the unlikely event that anyone EVER escapes then,
providing they stay free for 15 minutes they must then give themselves up and they will be out of
the exercise.

A quick look at the map shows that there are 3 roads to cross within the exercise area and it
therefore seems reasonable that thats where I would deploy my forces if I was looking to
capture 28 British Airmen. Dumbo and I set off and he’s all for getting in the thickest patch of
pines he can find. Now look, lets think about this, the exercise started 10 minutes ago and it is
most unlikely that the entire German Army has managed to surround us already so common sense
says we stay on the tracks and roads while we can and make good time to the first road and then
stay up high and see if its safe to cross. Its going to be almost a full moon tonight which will have
pros and cons.

We make good time and get to the first road. Sit and watch for any movement but it all seems
quiet……. so creep over the road and get some distance uphill. Looking back down from our
vantage point high up on the ridge we can see several sets of lights moving along the road and
stopping, presumably letting troops off. We press on and make the first RV.

Leaving the RV we stay tight in against a thick pine forest and hike up to the top of the next
mountain where we are in some alpine meadows with barns and farm tracks. Time to get into
a barn and study the map for the next road crossing. Several different choices of where to cross,
maybe close in by the village? However if the natives aren’t friendly you are going to be a little
obvious with a liferaft and a parachute on your back and stinking of pine smoke. Also as this
exercise takes place every two weeks during Jan-Mar it would seem reasonable that these
troops have done this before and they know where we will be crossing. Studying the road we
see trucks moving and stopping so we think we have a good idea where they have been
positioned.

Find some cover and slowly come down off the ridge and enter the thick Christmas tree type
pines, all interwoven and bloody hard going but just as well as in a flash there is a swishing
noise which from experience I recognise as a skier, in fact a group of them, and then a lot of
noise as the catch their prey. Seems we were lucky this time and there were others ahead of
us with the same idea although they had obviously stayed on the outside of the pines and the
ski patrol was just following their footprints…… and the aircrew flying boot has a very distinctive
tread pattern.

We make it to the end of the pines crawling underneath the low branches and without the snow
but the trees end about 20 yards from the road. Stop and watch and when it looks quiet we
wriggle across the snow and get to about 10 feet from the road then a Mercedes Jeep thing
comes down the road and stops right in front of us and out jump a load of troops. We try running
back to the pines but its uphill in deep snow and in our exhausted state and carrying a pack its
futile against fresh well fed troops. Game Over!

German Army “Dingo”

Hoods on, we are bundled into the back of the Merc and some minutes later we are in a farm and
dumped at a barn which already has about 20 of the 28 would be evaders. The barn is full of hay
and is pretty cosy and warm compared to the -35 outside. My boots are sopping wet and I have
one pair of dry socks in my pack so this looks like a good time to change them prior to the
unpleasant experience of interrogation. Bloody laces will not come undone so I take out my knife
and cut them out. Dry socks on and standing on warm hay time for a smoke so venture over to
the barn door where a German Officer is standing with a radio. I ask permission to smoke and
he indicates its Ok. As I’m smoking he says “Do you want to see how you get caught?” and he
hands me some night vision binoculars…. “We look for Ze zips” he says pointing to the bright
silver diagonal zippers on my cold weather jacket…. “Ozer zer”  and sure enough there are 2
more of our guys coming through the woods! so all he does is call the Merc and they come down
the road and gobble them up like grapes.

A bit later myself and 2 others are put in another of these Unimog things with an officer and
driver and guard. We drive for about 10 minutes and stop just outside a village and about 100
yards from a Gasthof which the officer tells us is the processing center, and we must wait our
turn. we get out and the officer says we can take off our hoods and smoke if we wish. The officer
bids us goodnight and walks off towards the hotel. I’m with two young Jaguar pilots from RAF
Bruggen and I’m still standing on tiptoes as I really don’t want to put my dry feet back in the
sopping boots. So there we are standing against the truck with 3 of us and two guards. The Jag
pilots start using the phonetic alphabet and one says “I fancy Foxtrot Oscar”……. so I say “I’d
better get my boots on” and bend down and then roll into the guards in a rugby tackle. With
three of us on the ground the two boy pilots take off in opposite directions up and down the
road. The guards get up and set off in hot pursuit ….. which leaves yours truly all on his
lonesome!

Best go in another direction so over the fence I go having kicked off the worthless boots and
before I can even think I’m end over end in the snow tumbling down a 30 feet bank. Get to the
bottom like something out a “Looney Tunes cartoon” and start running……. something black
ahead and a whole lot darker down here…. keep heading towards the black! ……. SPLOOOSH!
SH**!!!! it’s water ….. but keep running its only 9 inches deep …. get to the far side a solid brick
wall …….turn left and run, run like the wind!… . still sploshing through the water I come round a
turn and right in front of me is a waterfall… nothing for it, up we go, over moss and rocks amid
cascading water, but nowhere else to go……. as I scrabble up this thing I hear the Village clock
chime the quarter…. and on I go and now the snow is smasmodic on the bank so I run on the
bank trying not to step in the snow…… running out of ideas and puff I come to a field with a
hedge on the side which is somebody’s property……… same game run down the hedgerow and
now here’s a fence, quick high jumpers “westland roll” but it’s rotten and an almighty “CRAAACK!”
echoes round the valley……. now I’m in a muddy chicken farm area so find a coop and get on the
far side of it and try and stay still …… cover everything with the hood and mud over all the zips.
……try and control the breathing……..        very soon I can hear german voices shouting and
whistles blowing and a lot of splashing around in the river, even hear one running up the side of
the field but as I wasn’t leaving any footprints without boots they can’t work out where I went.

After they have given up I hear the Church clock strike midnight! Well that’s a good 15 minutes
so now retrace my steps and regrettably there is no other way so its back down the waterfall
through the river and try, and try, to get up the snow bank back to the road. Finally I’m at the
lowest strand of the fence when I’m grabbed and pulled through by some very irate Germans.
“Referee, Referee” I shout and  the Officer comes running.

He gives me a smart salute and says to go with him to the hotel. I tell him I’m not going
anywhere as I have no boots! He sanps out something and the two guards pick me up and chair
lift me to the hotel…… it gets better!

At the hotel I explain I escaped at 2345, as the clock chimed and I then returned after midnight
and as we came down the road it chimed the quarter past the hour. The Officer agreed so I’m
a FREE MAN.

1215, out of the exercise, big roaring fire and 4 marks in my pocket?…….. time for a beer! A little
old Frau delivers the giant foaming stein and starts talking to me in German….. something about
soupen? She is dressed in the picture postcard bavarian outfit and must be about 75. As I warm
myself by the fire and the steam comes out of my wet clothes she reappears with a huge bowl
of soup and big lumps of bread…… I’m in heaven!……. but wait there’s more. She reappears
with a pair of huge socks, all cable knit and like a couple of broken leg casts but in wool…… and
a pair of trousers which were her husbands, long since departed……. how kind.

Soup finished, toes wriggling and warm for the first time in 24 hours, beer going down well the
German Officer comes in again,
“So, Squadron Leader…. you are zee first to ezer eezcape,…..zo, I will buy you ze beer! and
with that another giant stein arrives…….. half way through that one he comes back with the 2
guards who were at the truck.
“Zeese men are also buying you zee beer…..and stein 3 arrives as they click their heels and salute.

Danka Shein!

Around 0130 the three are back, “OK we go!” so the guards pick me up (just as well as the beer
is having an effect) and carry me outside to a big German Unimog. As we pass the tailgate there
are the two Jaguar pilots tied by their thumbs over the center beam. I’m in the front with an
outrageous heater and 45 minutes later I’m dropped off at our hotel,warm and a bit tipsy. The
look on the Jaguar pilots faces was something to behold as the truck sped off to the interrogation
center.

Unimog

So now its Tuesday, and as those prisoners start coming home around 8 in the morning the
rest of the day is a freebe with a visit in the afternoon to the local spa bath, outside hot pools
and saunas. Its mixed both in the facilities and the changing rooms! and ……..No clothes!!

The results are in 28 evaders, 26 captured and one escapee.

With the arduous part of the course over things change, we still have lectures morning and
evening but now the skiing is much nicer with full use of the lifts and trips to other first class
resorts and ski areas including the Zugspitze which is something else.

Hope these cables are new?

Bit James Bondish! Top of the Zugspitze

Fun time continues for the rest of the week culminating in a ski race….. being military what
would you expect?

The Ski Race, stepping into the Turn

A lot of effort for some Free Skiing

TONY DOWN

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WINTER SURVIVAL PART 1

WINTER SURVIVAL PART 1

WINTER SURVIVAL PART 1

Top Of The ZUGSPITZE

  Despite leaving brochures of skiing holidays on coffee tables, in the study, by the telephone or
in the kitchen I could not get anyone to take the bait, rather they were collected and shoved in
the magazine rack. Discussion proved equally fruitless and a general apathy abounded every time
snow, cold or skiing was mentioned. So there has to be another way………

The Royal Air Force of course does all sorts of survival courses so that we, the aircrew, just might
make it should we be forced to get out over enemy territory or into less than friendly situations.
Survival courses on offer are;
Sea Survival
Desert Survival
Jungle Survival
Winter Survival

Winter survival courses are two weeks in duration and are held at Bad Kohlgrub Bavaria. I
volunteer and get selected so off I go on another adventure into the unknown. First stage London
to Munich by “Court Line” a ramshackle airline that flew multicolored 737’s  serving the holiday
trade to European Ski destinations and the Costa Del Packet in Spain during the summer. The
flight is full, and as it transpires too full as when we get to the carousel there are thirty
passengers waiting for their non existant baggage which is still in Gatwick!

A nice warm German bus and we wend our way through Autobahns and then up into the snow
and at last our cheery Gasthof Zur Post. Arrival briefing and room allocation then it’s bar time and
a lot of introductions over german beer.

Gasthof Zur Post

Monday morning and its straight into lectures then fitting of skis etc. 1000, and now we walk up
the hill to the ski slopes (about a mile!)….. this is all part of the conditioning, as is the skiing, to
get you physically fit for the survival portion. On the slopes and 2 very good instructors arrive and
after everybody showing what they can do we are divided up by ability levels and the game is on
although this climbing up the slopes is a bit tedious. Don’t knock it it’s free skiing!


The “A” Team

Skiing stops about 4 then back to the hotel, ski or walk and then more lectures until 8 then dinner.
So pretty long days 6 hours of lectures or practical things in the snow, 5 hours skiing,  and a few
hours drinking. Of course there is a fair amount of fooling around building shelters, lighting fires,
making survival tools and trying to stay awake during the early morning demos.

The week continues the same way, lots of walking, climbing up mountains and in truth some good
skiing in great conditions. Wednesday night we have an orienteering run around the mountains
and villages trying to find people in “RV’s” and navigate through the forests and snow in the dark.
My group romps round and we are back in the bar in no time while others are still out there
blundering around in the dark until 2 in the morning.


The 28 Survivors!

Skiing continues up to Friday luchtime then its time to get ready for the survival portion of the
course. We will be taken somewhere in the middle of nowhere, dumped, then walk about 10 miles
in the snow, build a one man shelter, and spend the night. Saturday walk another 5-7 miles to the
area where we will spend 2 nights and then on Monday at about 5 in the evening we will have a
25 mile escape and evasion run across Germany trying to avoid the German Army, our own SAS
and a whole load of ski troops who will be following our tracks in the snow. If you get caught you
WILL be interrogated and that does not sound like fun!

Off we go on the bus with our meagre amount of belongings…… no food of course, but you may
take some clean underwear and socks, cigarettes and lighter and 4 german marks for emergency
phone calls. Well we have been through all the do’s and don’ts in the classroom but some of the
younger gentlemen seem to think the instructors are joking and even to the untrained eye you can
see strange bulges in cold weather parkas and under hats. The bus stops and various peoples
names are called and off the bus they get to now endure a “search” and the pile of contraband
goodies grows by the roadside as the remainder of the course watch in horror.

My turn comes and I have cigarettes and my pipe and tobacco. Arms outstretched and the search
begins, pockets, hood, boots and all the other hiding places like inside the flashlight where people
manage to shove a mars bar having removed the batteries. They find nothing and let me go…….
trudge over to the pile of junk in the field where there is a parachute and assortment of survival
gear as though you had just parachuted into the field. Take what you want including parachute
and liferaft and make a back pack and hump the lot 10 miles to the first night stop.

At the night stop find a suitable area and build your one man shelter. Cut up the parachute, 7
panels for the shelter 14 for the sleeping bag, pump up the liferaft stuff a load of fir branches
under everything, build a fire just outside and prepare for a miserable night. I’m all done, fire
coming on well and now time for some snow melting in the “Go Pack” can. As the water starts to
warm time to bring on my contraband! First remove the light covering of unlit tobacco in the bowl
of the pipe, carefully extract the silver cube from the bowl that has taken two hours to shape and
push into same. Remove distinctive silver foil and crush contents of OXO cube into simmering water
and Piss off all and sundry as soup odor waffs through woodland on the crisp night air. I don’t
know whether it was the smell or the actual taste that was more satisfying or maybe just having
got one up on everyone else.

Some sleep until the fire goes out then its uncomfortable, bitterly cold and questions are being
asked about the logic of this experience. Early dawn, nothing for it get up and get that fire going
again. Just as a good base is there the Staff arrive from their hotel to tell us to be on our way to
Camp 2. By the time we had got to the camp site the flying boots have had it and with every step
you can see the water squeezing out of the leather. Now its 2 man shelters and 2 nights at this
place with constant interruptions to go play some game the staff have devised and by the time
you get back the fire is out again!

Arrive at our new campsite and start making our 2 man shelter and huge fire that will last for 2
days. No sooner have we started then the tack, tack, tack of wilkie knives begins as people start
hacking away at branches and trees. Now as grandad always said make the fire do the work for
you, so once you have your spot drag in 4 trees and criss cross them and just feed the fire. When
its the size you want make a reflector and put up some parachute line and dry gloves, socks and
anything else …… put up a few bundles of kindling for later fires and the jobs done

The Wilkinson Sword Survival Knife (this ones mine which I found stuck in a tree)

Night 1 and my colleague is not contributing very much so I tell him the best way to do this is for
him to go to bed now as its dark and I’ll keep the fire stoked up and I’ll wake him at midnight and
then he can do the same for me and that way we will at least both get 6 hours nice warm sleep or
as good as its going to get. Midnight comes, and in between light snow flurries and during the
course of the night I have discovered a fresh water spring on the hillside which is going to take all
the pain out of boiling water from melted snow. I wake him up and take my boots off and take them
into the sleeping bag with me (if you don’t the leather freezes and then you can’t get them on)
I’m in the land of nod pretty quickly and then I wake up freezing cold and in the remaining embers
of what was the fire see that it’s only 1.45 in the morning and arsehole is back in bed!!
“Oi, what the f*** is going on???”
“I was  tired so I went back to bed”
“Look sonny, I’m not babysitting you, so get your arse up and get that fire going”  Well this looks
like being a fun trip with this dickhead!

Just before daybreak the wind must have changed as I’m woken with clouds of choking black
smoke and as if you hadn’t guessed it numbskull has fallen asleep again with his boots in the fire
and now the soles are melting!

Sunday and Monday are spent building such interesting things as resin stoves, snow shoes and
a variety of other goodies out of branches and parachute cord, and at last it’s time to get ready
for the Evasion portion of this exercise and now the woods grow quiet as the constant tap
tapping of the Wilkinson knives stops.

The Briefing………. to be continued!!

TONY DOWN

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AROUND THE WORLD IN SCRUGS WONDERJET

AROUND THE WORLD IN SCRUGS WONDERJET

AROUND THE WORLD IN SCRUGS WONDERJET

Going up!…… 3rd floor Lingerie, restrooms….

 The Tornado as it is, and was called, was a fairly remarkable bird. Before it ever took to the skies
a group of engineers, scientists and an assortment of others with strange credentials came to
Boscombe Down to test out some of their wacko ideas.

At this point it is on the drawing board and is called MRCA (Multi Role Combat Aircraft) First lunatic
idea NO PILOT! just 2 navigators or system operators? ….. but they explain….. we will use the
TSR 2 technology which had NO manual reversion on take-off, yes, fully automated…….. OK……
and now we are developing Autoland so in the future the aircraft will take off and land
automatically and during it’s mission phase that will be done by the auto pilot and TFR
(Terrain Following Radar) linked through the fly by wire computer technology.

Here is a picture of the front cockpit. 3 TV screens and that was about it. Anything you want to
know is available on demand or in an emergency will pop up all by its self by itdself by iiitssseeelllf
by itseveerlff as nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong!

Nice idea don’t see it myself, but the theory is there, it’s like the Morris Minor V the Ferrari. In one
you just have a speedo, fuel guage and thats it. Green light comes on when you are out of oil or
the engine stops, red light comes on when the fan belt snaps, alternator goes or the engine
stops. Very simple. In the Ferrai you have a guage for everything, pressues, voltages, volumes,
temperatures and anything else the manufacturer could throw in to confuse you…… so this is
now not sounding quite so dumb.

The aircraft is built and is called the TORNADO, it becomes a world beater as a bomber in the low
level role and is a very powerful threat to anybody that upsets it’s owners! However, this multi
role concept still drives the Ministry and they are determined that the Air Defence forces will have
it whether they want it or not!

So along comes the Wonderjet, it’s longer, taller etc, etc. We call it the “nearly jet” nearly goes
as fast as the Phantom, nearly carries as many missiles, nearly has a radar and as a quantum
step forward costs FIVE times as much! In all this amazing development somebody forgot one
small thing……. some steps!! So at 25 million a copy here we have a fighter you can scramble into
at your home base where there is a purpose built loading platform but on arrival anywhere else
you are stuck in the cockpit until the window cleaner happens by and lends you his ladder!

We manage to sell it to the Saudis (lucky me!) and now as a promotional deal we need to do a
world cruise to try and get someone else to buy it. We are the second Squadron to be equipped
with the beast so when rumor control tells us there will be a “world cruise” we think we are in
the running. Well our sister Squadron got the round the world deal and we picked up a long
distance trip to Malaysia and also a 10 day stint in Goose Bay Canada. Third prize was a 20 day
trip to Goose Bay!

Our turn comes, Day 1 to Cyprus, Day 2 to Omman, Day 3 all the way to Malaysia. When we get
there we will be staying on Penang Island, truly beautiful, taking part in some exercises to show
the Wonderjet’s capabilities and then giving an air display before setting off on the return run
some two weeks later.

My Balcony

The Hotel Pool

Lots of fun to be had on Penang and a superb hotel on the beach. I even caught a Barracuda in
the straights which we gave to the cook who made some fantastic sweet and sour lumps out of
it then rebuilt the fish.

The 20 lb Barracuda

Time to show them the Diamond Nine and then some individual impressive stuff from our salesmen!

DUMP, DUMP…GO!

All too soon we are on our way back across that Ocean for NINE hours with our Tristar Tanker
who also takes all our luggage and groundcrew as despite being a tanker it can still take
hundreds of passengers and all their kit. This leg is to Bahrain and man it is dull with blue all
above and more blue down below….and there aren’t even any clouds to play in!

What’s in your Wallet?

The Tanker drones on and we follow but after a long long time we ask the Tanker if he will go a
bit faster as we are getting bored. He obliges and the speed shoots up and we can see at this
new speed we will knock a whole hour off the flight plan……. regrettably this doesn’t last as the
Tanker Captain announces,
” Gentlemen I’m afraid we are going to have to slow down as the roar of the engines is spoiling
the passengers enjoyment of the film”

You can imagine what we are thinking especially as it’s our bloody groundcrew!

Finally the last refuelling and then max warp to Bahrain which we can nearly see.  After landing
find our dispersal and shut down but no groundcrew and no steps. Wave at airport workers and
they wave back! no, no, we want some steps…… nothing ….. so eventually, nothing for it swing
round on the canopy and try and make it to the wing….. now gingerly find somewhere to jump
down the 8 feet or so to the ground in all your flying kit, what a wonderful way to travel?

Out of Bahrain on the wing hoses

Following day back to Cyprus and then the short 5 hour hop back to the UK.

The last leg with a VC10 and here comes the cloud

TONY DOWN

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MASTERING THE MAJESTY

MASTERING THE MAJESTY

MASTERING THE MAJESTY

It took quite a time to build the motor but even with the help of Doof the dog the project was
finished on schedule and it made a couple of events before being sidelined to the museum. Maybe
if the CAT rules change it will be out and about again in 2008.

The 320 motor is both soft and exceedingly powerful, I actually doubt that I will ever find a trial
in the US that needs that much raw power……bugger it! Might have to take it up to Canada?

If only I could find a trial to equal the “Perce Simon” the biggest nastiest trial a mud lover could
wish for. It was a UK National and always held during the summer in the New Forest in Southern
England. I knew the area fairly well as it was a standard drinking haunt for me and my good friend
Geoff Chandler of Wasp and Bultaco fame. The Event was run by the Ringwood Club and even on
the hottest summers day the New Forest is not all trees and free running ponies. It is one giant
marsh! Black, smelly, ouzey,  slimey, stick to everything type mud that collects other assorted bits
and bonds it all together until the wheel will not rotate. Some of the sections defied man’s ability
to walk them as they were knee high goop that wouldn’t let go. Go walkabout at your peril! and
then after 20 or so of these awful sections there were 5 in a quarry that were flat out up and
downers in egg timer sand a bit like being tarred and feathered and the dusty sand stuck to all
the black slime ….. but that was fun and 3rd gear on the Majesty just might have got through
some of it .

Trouble with our modern sections is that they are all nadgery and invariably 1st gear as the
sticky modern tires and rough pumis type rocks always have an abundance of grip….. another
bloody shame! Where’s the frost and the rain when you want some? Can’t find running water
and algae for love nor money…… may have to convert those new fish pools then we might
have a REAL section!

Of course now would be a nice time to find a true Godden frame and switch the motor across
and see if there is any major difference. From my experiments the changing of the rear shock
mounts and the footrest position are the most critical and if the motor response is correct then
this should be an almost unbeatable machine in it’s class…save perhaps for the Ossamaha!

TONY DOWN

HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ALL

Now you have Oct/Nov/Dec articles (almost 100 to read)

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  • 1/21/2008 2:51 PM Tim wrote:
    ‘strewth, he moves to Arizona and he wants snotty boggy sections?

    Move to Auckland, 4 months of the years it’s dry & grippy, the other 8 it’s snotty and boggy.

    Thanks for the stories Sqdn Ldr (rtd).

    Tim
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  • 1/18/2009 4:57 PM Wayne Weedon wrote:
    Stumbled across you little page after Googling “Geoff Chandler” He was also a pal of mine, but much later than when you knew him. Wish he was still around!
    Reply to this
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