THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 30 Mar 2018, 04:03

I used to correspond regularly with my Uncle Stan and Auntie Dos in Oz by letter. It took 3 months on average for a letter to go and get a reply. This last few weeks we have been arranging the current social events, all done by phone and email between UK, Oz and Kenya and so easy. I was thinking how difficult this would have been with a 3 month time lag.... We complain about some aspects of modern technology but it does come in handy at times!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 31 Mar 2018, 04:03

The wedding is on my mind and it struck me that weddings these days are sometimes conducted on a scale that would have seemed unthinkable in my youth. This one is relatively low key but the mind boggles at what it could cost. I have been to family weddings where it was the Registry Office and off to the pub afterwards. When Vera and I wed in 1959 the reception was at the Coronation, Bunty did a turkey dinner for 7/6 a head including two drinks! This a Forgotten Corner!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 31 Mar 2018, 05:56

We were married at Chester register office and had a buffet lunch at a pub down the river with friends and a few relatives. The special bit was that we hired one of the passenger cruisers to take us to the pub and back.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev » 31 Mar 2018, 07:59

We used a register office and rented a hall for the reception, we had a 'live' band, the buffet was put together by friends and the beer was 'sale or return' from a local social club. 150 people cost around £400, this was in 1981.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke » 31 Mar 2018, 08:37

My latest marriage involved me getting a train to my wife's home city, getting a translation of my eligibility to marry documents, going to the registrar with my intended and her sister, reading a statement of marriage, signing forms and going for a meal with them and their mum, giving my wife's mum a cash gift (a token dowry of about £30 because my wife had been previously married), and getting the train back to Nanning. Cost for the entire day, about £70. :biggrin2:
In truth I thought I was going to post the banns and didn't expect to return home trapped. That was over 13 years ago and it works out about £5 a year, I hate wasting money!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 31 Mar 2018, 10:09

Our wedding was a trip to the registry office in a minibus and then off away on honeymoon to the Continent aboard a hovercraft. I don't think you could do that now! :smile:

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 31 Mar 2018, 21:24

Carleton Church, I think the bells cost us £12 or so and the village kids tied the gates up for a ransom. Buffet reception at the Devonshire in Skipton, tap room affectionately known as the "Rat Pit". Back room was bit more upmarket and had an upright piano hidden under a cover in the reception room. Quickly found by Sally's former Spitfire pilot Uncle Eric complete with waxed handlebar moustache who soon had all those of the same age and a few more gathered round for a 40's sing song. We snook of at about 4.30 came home, picked up a hire car and we went out for an evening meal at the Spread Eagle at Sawley. No honeymoon, I hadn't quite finished rewiring the house. :smile:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 01 Apr 2018, 03:32

I recognise all those as within my price range! Vera and I had our honeymoon in a boarding house in Rhyl after a night spent in the Grosvenor at Chester because we were knackered! We were a bit late for dinner and the old waiter got us through the courses so fast you wouldn't credit it. Vera swore he wanted to get us off to bed!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 02 Apr 2018, 05:51

I've been listening to the news about the evidence from the teaching unions of poverty in schools. It reminds me of my time at Hope Memorial in Stockport from 1940 to 1945, 4 years old to 9. The catchment area included a very poor area of the town round Brinksway down by the River Mersey. It was quite common for pupils to be absent while their clogs or boots were being repaired. Everybody had school milk and hot dinners and in the holidays the school was kept open and milk and dinners provided for the pupils. Largely this was so that mothers on war work could continue in their jobs but it was also a very useful charitable activity. My sister Dorothy found a letter from Miss Hogg, the headmistress, in which she is asking the Municipal Education Committee to fund a pair of clogs for a pupil who was attending school barefoot. It's very sad to see that this sort of care is still needed today.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 03 Apr 2018, 03:14

Hope Memorial was an old Board School design and had one large open fire in the main room and coke fired central heating in 6" black leaded cast iron pipes, the school was always warm and must have been a haven for kids from cold homes. It strikes me that we didn't see them as disadvantaged at the time, everyone was treated the same. Mind you, with rationing and the fact that due to rationing and the lack of branded chidren's clothes we were all dressed shabbily in short trousers, pullovers and caps so there was no glaring difference between us. In a funny way it's an endorsement of the theory that school uniforms are a good thing because they tend to level pupils out.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 04 Apr 2018, 04:13

The school milk used to be frozen many a time in winter and I can still see the crates thawing in the hearth of the big coke fire! Can you imagine that today?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by plaques » 04 Apr 2018, 07:24

"The school milk used to be frozen many a time in winter". Do kids actually drink milk nowadays? All I see is them sucking away at cans of coke and other dubious concoctions. Part of the pleasure of drinking the old bottled milk was getting a good portion of the cream from the top with the first swig something that has disappeared with supermarket milk.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 05 Apr 2018, 02:56

And these milk bottles had the waxed cardboard tops with a hole in for the straw. Very handy for using as formers for making woollen bobbles for hats!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 05 Apr 2018, 08:43

Do i recall eating locust beans in those times ?they were a substitute for sweets like licquorice root

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 06 Apr 2018, 04:32

Not the beans Bodge, they are bullet hard and were extracted, de-skinned and ground up fine to make a very useful glue-like substance used extensively in preparing warps for weaving and other uses. It was the pods that we bought and chewed as a substitute for sweets, very sweet and tasty as I remember them and not rationed.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 07 Apr 2018, 05:42

Kev, It was nattering me that I couldn't remember the gum that was made out of Locust Beans so I got Bean's 'Chemistry and practice of sizing' down from the top shelf and went on a furtle for you. It was used for reinforcing Gum Tragacanth, widely used in many applications. It makes a good denture fixative and hair cream but I came across it when I was learning about taping in the mill which is a process where the warp yarn is strengthened by sizing and drying it. Gum Tragacanth, under a number of trade names like Tragasol was an essential ingredient. (LINK)

Image

One of the size becks at Bancroft Shed where the tallow, starch and gum were boiled up while being agitated until the starch granules had burst and everything was mixed together.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 08 Apr 2018, 03:43

I've remembered that we always bought best tallow at Bancroft and Norman Grey, one of the tapers, told me it was perfectly safe to use in the chip pan at home. I never tried it, I'm sure Norman was right but didn't like the idea. I'm fairly certain some people used it.
Lubricant technology wasn't as advanced then as it is now and tallow was still used as a lubricant in the cylinders of steam engines and Castor Oil was one of the best lubricants there was for slow speed, high pressure bearings like the pedestal bearings that supported flywheels. That's where the firm Castrol got its name. In fact I think the famous smell of Castrol 'R' used in dirt track bike engines was because it was mainly Castor Oil. Clock oil used by watch and clock makers was pure Neat's Foot oil which is refined by leaving it exposed to daylight in clear glass bottles for long periods of time.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 08 Apr 2018, 09:08

The smell of castor oil is the smell of the Vintage Sports Car Club meetings at Silverstone!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 09 Apr 2018, 06:09

The smell or rather aroma of Castrol 'R' takes me back immediately to the Speedway Racing at Belle Vue in Manchester. It was quite close to where we lived and father was a fan because many of the riders in the 'Aces' home team and their opponents in the league were Australian because of course that was where the modern 'dirt track' racing originated. These specialised motor bikes had dry sump 'constant loss' lubrication and it meant that lots of burnt oil smoke was produced. I doubt if they could pass emission tests......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 10 Apr 2018, 05:42

Looking back now, I recognise that the simple engines in use 70 years ago were very dirty, even new ones had smoke coming out of the exhaust. The only saving grace was that the numbers of vehicles was far less. Diesels were particularly smoky, it wasn't until the 1950s that we got relatively clean-burning engines. Add the coal smoke from the thousands of factory chimneys and the millions of domestic ones plus emissions from industrial operations involving heating and melting steel and it's no wonder that in the 1950s 'pea-souper' fogs and 'smog' were such problems. I can remember that Tingley near Rotherham was particularly bad. It was a valley and had permanent smog largely because of the concentration of steelworks. Relatively speaking we are far better off than we were then. It makes me wonder how we survived!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 11 Apr 2018, 03:53

One of the consequences of these simple engines running so dirty was that they needed 'decoking ' frequently. This involved lifting the cylinder head off and cleaning the piston top and cylinder head and often grinding the valves in at the same time. On the old side valve engines you could do this easily in about an hour! No electronics or complications, just drain the water, undo the cylinder head nuts and lift the head off. Clean everything off, put some oil on the old gasket and re-assemble. The cylinder pressures were so low you didn't need a new gasket each time and the carbon building up immediately sealed any minor leaks. Things may have been muckier but they were far more simple!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Apr 2018, 03:59

In the 1950s and 60s all engines were as simple as this. We used to regularly do what today would be major repairs on our Bedford wagons when I was driving for Harrison Brothers. They were all the old GMC petrol 6 Cylinder 28hp engines. The 28hp was the RAC rating on capacity not the actual power. Even though they were overhead valve and slightly more complicated we did decokes in a couple hours, replaced core plugs and many more 'little' jobs. Brake lining in the open was routine, bearings were no problem. There were absolutely no electronics and computers, they had yet to be invented. They were good days.
I rode in a brand new Land Rover Discovery last week and it would drive me potty! Every time you got any where near another vehicle of obstacle it started beeping at you!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 13 Apr 2018, 03:54

One of my childhood friends, Dennis Robinson, always had candlesticks of green snot. Looking back I suspect he had chronic bronchitis. Regularly we used to tell him to sniff! I often think about Dennis and wonder if he survived. His father worked on the railway as a platelayer and had access to 'fog signals'. These were half crown sized detonators with a clip for attaching them to the railway line. If a train was forced to halt in fog the guard had to walk back up the line and clip a couple to the rails at a safe distance. If another train came up behind them the wheels detonated the signals and the train slammed its brakes on to avoid a collision. Dennis once got hold of one and you've guessed it, we decided to try it out. It worked perfectly, a loud bang, the train screeched to a halt and we ran like hell! Were we delinquents or just curious?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 13 Apr 2018, 10:19

We found some in the old shed on the sidings (now the Coop car park of course) when I was lad. Took them down to the garages fastened them to a post and set them off by shooting them with a .22 air rifle, lots of fun. :biggrin2: :extrawink:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Apr 2018, 02:53

Nothing like a good bang to get the pulses racing! That was one of the reasons I enjoyed my time in the army so much. We had some proper explosions there!
During my time in Berlin we had use of Goring's boat house on the Havel River, it had been comandeered by the BIB and was our yacht club. Here's a bit from me memoirs.....

Erich was a lovely little bloke and many a time in winter I was the only customer and I would sit with him in front of the stove toasting bockwurst, drinking beer and practising my German (which I later found to be what they call Plattdeutch or Low German which was a variation of High German spoken widely inside Germany and in neighbouring countries.) Erich was a bit cagey when talking about his past. He knew a lot about the place and about the days when Goering had it and years later it dawned on me that he could easily have worked for the Reichsmarshall!
There was a large boathouse with a roller shutter and a veranda above the door. On the veranda was mounted the biggest pair of prismatic binoculars you have ever seen in you life, if I was to guess I would say the magnification was about 100x and the object lens over 100mm across, serious optical power! Erich said they were gunnery binoculars off a German battleship and they had been their in Goering’s time. The quality and magnification was brilliant, you could watch couples making love on the opposite shore at Wannsee (or was it Tegelsee) and see everything that was happening on the water.
I remember one day in Spring 1956 someone dropped the handle of the roller shutter in the water. After about half an hour fishing for it I decided this was the wrong way to go about it so I stripped off, dropped in and swam down to the bottom. I soon found the handle but saw something else in there. I went back to the top and asked one of the lads to get a basket and a piece of rope. We weighted the basket with a lump of iron and lowered it down and in I went again. It was only about twelve feet deep and I was able to fill the basket with what was lying there. After about an hours work I had all the bottles up on the side, that’s right, the lake bed was littered with bottles, many with their corks in. We opened a fair number before we found one that smelled OK. We had a drink of it, it was red wine, and it was good. I had no knowledge of wine at that time and wouldn’t have known the difference between plonk and Grand Vin but knowing what I do now I suspect we were drinking a very valuable bottle of wine and probably one of Hermann Goering’s! I don’t know where the rest of the bottles went or what was in them but have often thought that Erich might have supplemented his wage that week! There was another little surprise in the lake bad in the boathouse. At the back I found a small wooden chest and of course immediately thought of valuables. When we got it up we found it was a bit more serious that that, it was a box of detonators! Her Majesty had done a good job of educating me about explosives and I knew that there was nothing more unstable than old fuses and detonators. We decided we’d better consult the Colonel and when he came down he was worried in case finding these munitions would mean that the club would be closed down while a proper search was made to make sure it was safe. This was the last thing anybody wanted so I suggested he went up to Gatow and got hold of Ted Lancaster because he’d know what to do. Half an hour later Ted turned up with a small piece of 808, a detonator and some fuse. We found a wooden box, put the fuses in it with the explosive, fused it up and took it out into the Havel See in the RAF rescue launch. We floated the box in the water, Ted lit the fuse and we left the scene. About five minutes later there was a very satisfactory small explosion, a water spout and everyone retired to the bar for a drink on the house.
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