THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 08 Mar 2019, 07:50

You'll have a cannon to go with them shortly, I am getting better. I want to do the writing first!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 08 Mar 2019, 07:53

It was thanks to you sharing their Facebook posts that I spotted the chairs Kev. :good:

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev » 08 Mar 2019, 08:15

Wendyf wrote:
08 Mar 2019, 07:53
It was thanks to you sharing their Facebook posts that I spotted the chairs Kev. :good:
Glad to be of service :biggrin2: , I do like to encourage local businesses.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2019, 04:26

The Diabetes nurse commented the other day what good shape my feet were in for the mileage (Once she had sauced me for not spending enough time getting them perfectly clean! I mean clinically clean and moisturised!).
I told her I put it down to genes and the fact that my mother was very good on making sure we had good well fitting boots and shoes. Probably influenced also by the fact she had a club foot due to what they called in those days, 'Infantile Paralysis'. She once told me that for years she had her foot rubbed with Neat's Foot Oil twice a day and she hated the smell of it.
Then there was the fact that from 1954 until I went in the engine house in 1972 I wore clogs with double irons.
Clogs are the best footwear in the world once you have got used to the fact that the soles don't bend. (I used to have what were called Fell Boots at one time and they were the same, no flexibility in the sole, they were made on a hinged last and you had to let your foot roll as you walked.) In effect you are walking on a polished wood floor all day. They never felt cold or wet as the thick soles kept you up off the ground and were good insulation. The wood was waterproof, it was Alder. I found there were other advantages as well, cows heard you coming and you seldom got kicked. And of course you could do your own repairs, fitting new irons. I still have irons, clog nails and the wooden pegs you filled the old nail holes up with.
I remember one day in Paisley two lasses commented on my 'build-ups', it was when that ridiculous fashion for very thick soles was all the rage. I once delivered some cattle to a farm in Surrey and the kids were fascinated with them. I had to take them off and let them try them out, they had a whale of a time tottering about the yard and couldn't understand how I walked or drove in them. I told them that they were fine once you were used to them.
When I went in the engine house they were no good on the steel floor plates and I hated rubber irons so I went back into boots......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 10 Mar 2019, 06:01

I remember being under a wagon in the rain doing an essential repair on it and it occurred to me that the day was fast approaching when I wouldn't be able to do this any more, I needed a career change that kept me clean and dry! I had very little idea of what this was going to be and the process of arriving there was hard work and often painful. I often comment on the way change has affected our lives and in my case this was the key moment. I suppose we all have them and so the object this morning that equates to the Flatley Dryer is the way our lives used to be and what changed them! Looking back, I did all the right things and I hope all of you can report the same about your personal life changes......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 11 Mar 2019, 05:00

I was watching an antiques programme on TV and was reminded of 'Film Stips'

Image

I couldn't find a description on tinternetwebthingy but one of the viewers was for sale on Ebay. Just like the one I had in the 1950s..... Anybody else ever have one?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Mar 2019, 04:58

Funny how things come into your head. For some reason I remembered a sequel (or rather a prequel) to our conversation the other day about the Tomato Dip café at Sandbeds. Tomato dip originated in the practice of slow cooking tinned chapped tomatoes and spices until it reduced and then using it to dip the bread in that was used for bacon butties and the first 'Tomato Dip' café I ever saw was in Bradford. This was before the one at Skipton. The practice must have been widespread but that was the first I saw.
Only a small thing but a little bit of history!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 13 Mar 2019, 04:32

One thing I clearly remember is that when I was a lad there was no such thing as 'hair styling' for men. The standard cut was 'short back and sides and a bit off the top'. The big thing for women was the 'Eugene Permanent Wave'. (LINK) There was a salon next to the school on Heaton Moor and the advertisements in the window fascinated me. The result was very artificial looking and from what my mother told me the process was long, painful and quite dangerous in unskilled hands! Many women had it done and during the week and at night protected the waves by wearing a turban. If you see wartime pics of factory workers all the woman wore them even if they had no 'perm'. It kept the hair clean and out of moving machinery!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Mar 2019, 07:01

A morning like this morning makes me wonder how we survived over 70 years ago. I came back from half an hour out in horrible weather perfectly dry and warm. In those days it wasn't like that, the water repelling qualities of a top coat depended on its thickness. That meant that when you came home it was soaking wet and had to be dried before morning in a cold house with only one open fire. It didn't work of course and when you went out next morning it was in damp clothing. True, after the war there were army surplus 'gas capes' available which were waterproof but they were no good for serious work, especially if you were doing a job like picking up milk and jumping in and out of the cab continuously. In those days heavy rain on outdoor workers meant they were 'rained off' and retired to the site hut for a brew and a warm up. Today workers are issued with full waterproofs and expected to carry on. I suppose that's progress!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Mar 2019, 04:34

Reading the dialect topic this morning reminded me of the days when the weather forecast was read by announcers in Received Pronunciation which while it was stilted was perfectly clear. Not a surplus adjective to be heard, no 'soggy weather'.
That reminded me of Gillie Potter. (LINK) a broadcaster and comedian during the war who used to start his programmes by stating that he was Gillie Potter reporting from Hogsnorton in King's English. (George VI was still alive of course) It was very strange humour and many argued that 'common people' wouldn't be able to understand his humour as it was full of allusions to history and the classics. All I can say is that it didn't bother me and as a lad I used to enjoy listening to him.
Basically he was taking the piss out of the establishment in a very subtle way, perhaps we need something like that today.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Mar 2019, 06:18

When I was a young lad my mother always took me with her when she went shopping in Stockport. My baby sister was generally left with a neighbour for these weekly expeditions. Looking back she was a good mother because by the time I went to school I was reading quite well. The way she did it mainly was by making me read the advertisements and the names of the shops on the frontages. I can still see the names 'Woolworths' and 'British Home Stores' on the big stores in Prince's Street. She encouraged me to look at other things as well, Hollindrake's Foundry which in those days was on Prince's Street, I can still see them pouring molten iron through the open door, it could never happen today. One of my early memories is watching the cranes working as they built Merseyway over the river, it opened in 1936, my birth year in February. Looking back she was encouraging me to look and learn and I am sure it has affected the whole of my life.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Mar 2019, 03:58

One of the most common cries for help I hear today is from adults who complain that they "don't understand teenagers". It strikes me that when I was a lad the adults in my life were far more memorable and influential than my peers. I've always thought that this was perhaps something different about me but I begin to think that there is perhaps another reason. We didn't have 'Youf Culture' then, at first largely because we weren't seen as a market, a section of the population that could be targeted profitably by advertising. Add the growing influence of electronic culture over the years and you get to where we are now, a stage where kids can fill the gaps in their lives without any reliance on adults, including their parents. Is this why they seem to have developed their own culture which includes dropping litter and regarding anybody old as superfluous to requirements? Or is this just my advancing years altering my perspective. On the whole I don't think it is the latter, we had respect for the elders and even now it still persists in some cultures. I remember when I first met the Greek extension to my family how the young ones used to almost stand to attention when speaking to me. I remember how striking this was and commented at the time.... (It wasn't just because I was a stranger, they did the same with the old Greek Uncles.)
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 18 Mar 2019, 11:01

My impression is that we went through a period where respect of the very young for oldies hit a low point but we are seeing an upward, positive trend now. Of course, there are always some bad examples and unfortunately they tend to be more obvious than the good ones.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Mar 2019, 04:11

It's thin on the ground in the teenagers I see on the street Tiz.
Can anyone remember the old Rawlplug inserts and the percussion drill you used to get a hole in the wall. Tungsten Carbide masonry drills were a wonderful innovation!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Mar 2019, 05:07

Image

Talking about drilling holes in stone reminded me of 'star drills'. These used to be the only way of drilling large holes in stone, in general building work but even more common in quarries for drilling shot holes or the series of holes that were used for splitting large rocks with 'Plugs and Feathers'.
You hit the end with a heavy hammer, rotate it slightly and hit it again. Slow but steady, each blow broke up a small amount of rock in the bottom of the hole. The same shape of bit was used when pneumatic rock drills were introduced in the Cornish mining industry. Using them by hand was slow and laborious and the harder the stone the slower the cut. You could lose the will to live!
Two stories involving star drills for you. First is when I was installing central heating at Hey farm. The walls were two feet thick, even the interior ones and I had to make holes big enough to take 3/4" copper pipe. Many of the old buildings have a course of Blue Limestone in the base as it is a waterproof rock, it's as hard as the hobs of hell. I was drilling a hole and every time I struck the drill I got dull red sparks from the edge, not good. Billy Entwistle visited and came to look at what I was doing. He told me to forget the drill, dig down into the soil at the base of the wall and find the bottom edge of the stone. Evidently in the old houses they didn't bother about deep footings. I did what he said and poked a hole out under the wall in the soil. That was good advice.
The other story is about Brown and Pickles. Johnny Pickles had made the clock for the new Catholic Church and his men were on a scaffold in the chancel drilling a hole through the end wall for the drive spindle for the clock hands on the outside face. Johnny called in to see how they were going on and caught them swearing at the stone, they were cutting with a star drill as it was hard going. He stood there in the chancel with his bowler hat on and a fag hanging out of the corner of his mouth and reminded them "Stop that swearing! Remember you're in a bloody church!"
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Mar 2019, 04:42

I am not the best house-cleaner in the world but the cleanest things in my house today are the kitchen sink and the lavatory. In part this is a throwback to stone slopstones and the long drop outside tippler lavatory. I never lived in a house with a stone sink, we had what are now called 'Butler's sinks' heavy ceramic stoneware white glazed. When we came to Sough in the late 1950s however we forsook inside flush lavatories for the outside tippler and it was a bit of a shock. I soon became an expert at keeping the tippler box clean and the shaft of the toilet, as far as you could do. They had a 'U' bend in the bottom in the connection to the main sewer but it was so far down it couldn't be cleaned properly and the consequence was that there was always a peculiar earthy smell around them which you had to get used to. I was better equipped than the rest of the family actually because during my year at Harrod's Farm at Whatcote all we had was a midden toilet, just a drop to a heap of shit below that slowly slid away into the main farm midden which we emptied and spread on the fields. That had the benefit of rats and a very strong smell, the tippler was an improvement on that!
Occasionally they got blocked and Harold Duxbury once told me that he had a man whose speciality was clearing them. He used a big cotton mop on the end of drain rods and agitated the contents until he got it to flow away.
There were legends about babies being dropped into tipplers but I never found any confirmed example of that. (Thank God!)
So, when you go for your daily evacuation in a warm room with a sweet smelling lavatory remember what our ancestors had to put up with. I had the advantage, as a historian, of experiencing exactly what my medieval ancestors had to contend with at Harrod's!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 Mar 2019, 03:55

At Harrod's Farm we had a cast iron bath but it was in the kitchen . I can't remember what the source of hot water was, all I can remember is that the kitchen sink was the only place in the house with running water so all washing was done there.
The water supply for the house was from a well outside the back door. My first task of the day after milking and breakfast was to pump up about 300 gallons of well water into the tank above the kitchen, I could tell by the overflow pipe when I had filled it. The dairy and shippon had a spring water supply from up the field at the back but it wasn't quite as good quality water as the well outside the house.
We had 230volt electricity in the house and farm buildings but not mains. There was a hand started Lister generating set in an outhouse and it was my job to keep the diesel tank and water tank for cooling topped up. I don't remember any light switches, when I started the generator all the lights came on and of course went out when I stopped it at night. We had an electric motor on the vacuum pump for milking and another on the roller grinder in the barn, they were both switched. If the TV picture was a bit small I used to go out and turn the governor up a bit on the Lister engine, that was the only voltage control we had.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Mar 2019, 04:49

I was watching a video of street food in the Borough Market in London last night and apart from the fact they were selling food there that I simply didn't recognise, what struck me was the sizes of the portions, they were enormous! And prices to match, £6 for a hot dog in a bun and up the £10 for some of the more exotic burgers.
My mind went back to food while I was on the tramp. Moving all round the country you soon realised that there was an enormous regional variation in prices and the further South, the higher they got. My defence was to go into a grocer's shop and buy things like a teacake and some potted meat or similar to make a butty to tide me over until I got to a greasy spoon (some of them very good by the way) or a more deprived part of the country.
Transport cafés that were out in the wilds were often the best as they had local eggs, bacon and other foods. When the motorways started to open there was a services at Tebay which was excellent, I wonder if they have kept the standard up. Some of the others, especially down South were like army food.... Fishermen's cafés were always good on the docks especially the Mission to Seamen establishments. The closer to the quay the better the fish and chips!
The Boot and Shoe on the A1 near the Selby road end did a good breakfast for 3/6 (17.5p) and was memorable for a sign on a flap on the wall that read 'In emergency, lift flap'. If you lifted it there was a sign underneath that read 'Not yet you silly bugger!'
That reminds me of a moment of boredom on a long trip in a new Ford Tanker. The disc in the middle of the steering wheel was loose and I was fiddling with it as I went along. It came off and there was a folded piece of paper inside, I opened it and it read 'nosey bugger!' so I grinned and put it back. I was telling a mate about it and he said that he had done exactly the same thing but his note read 'Help! I am being held prisoner in a steering wheel factory!'. Bored workers I suppose.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 24 Mar 2019, 06:14

Another memory of my tramping days is driving through a small town somewhere on the East side early in the morning. I had been on the road all night and was getting a bit jaded. I saw a man opening a barber's shop so I stopped and asked him if he did shaving. I was straight in the chair getting lathered up with hot shaving soap and then a lovely clean shave with a cut-throat razor, the man was an expert! I got out of the chair feeling like a new man and asked him how much I owed him. 6d was what it cost me (2.5p). That was good value!
In case you're wondering about driver's hours, we had log books and there were penalties but times were hard and basically the only way you could survive and give a good service to clients you drove all hours God sent and fiddled the log book. Before you start tutting, times were very hard and this was par for the course. 60 years ago times were very different.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 24 Mar 2019, 07:11

I always stop at Tebay Services on my trips to Scotland. It is still run by the farming family who opened it back in the 1970s when the M6 cut through their farm. No franchises and food locally sourced, they have a farm shop and a visitor centre at the services.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 24 Mar 2019, 07:17

That's good to hear Wendy. They were different right from the start and I often wondered how they would survive or whether they would have to go down-market like many of the others.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 25 Mar 2019, 04:37

In my tramping days there were two big transport cafes in Ingleton next to each other. the Three Peaks and Mrs Walker's Sunset cafe. I always used the Sunset for some reason and if I was on my way down from Scotland very late at night, penniless after a long week, I could call in there and get a meal on tick and pay her next time I passed.
They were one of the first cafes to get a one armed bandit and I remember it had Red Indian chieftain's head on it. They were famous at one time amongst their regulars for their cars, Jack had a Bentley which he never washed, Mrs Walker had an Austin Healey 3000 a serious sports car in those days and the sons had a Messerschmitt three wheeler apiece. We always thought that this was a sign what a profitable café it was but then scandal struck! There was a regular trunk between Bradford and Hawick run by Harrison and Page from Bradford, they carried yarn up the country and high class worsted suiting back to Bradford. One day the headlines proclaimed that Jack had been prosecuted for receiving stolen cloth, I think they were only done for one theft but it seemed obvious to us that it had been going on for a while and might explain the flash cars. This was a serious matter because shortly afterwards H&P lost the contract and another firm took over, years later they still had it.
What isn't often realised is that the road was like a small community. Gossip flew up and down the country just as it does in a town.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 26 Mar 2019, 04:36

When I was driving for Richard Drinkall I used to have David with me all day on Monday as we did Lanark Market. David was diabetic and had to eat regularly which was great as he was a generous lad and always took me with him. We always had ham salad with hot chips at Lanark Market and on the way home stopped at Mrs Graham's little cafe in Shap Village where we had ham chips and eggs. Never varied, always good.....

Image

Daniel and I stopped there one day in 1976. I think we had been to do pics of Haweswater in drought.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2019, 04:34

That picture reminds me of the Land Rover Safari I bought in 1972.
We were without any form of transport. I decided we had better do something about this and so I bought two moribund Ford Anglias. The idea was to make one good car out of the two so I set to work in my spare time. I partially succeeded in the end but have to admit that even when I had finished, our ‘new’ car left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, we were mobile and visits to my sister in Stockport and shopping trips to Burnley became possible. It’s perhaps indicative of how little I thought about the result that there is no picture of it in my negative files!
At this time I would occasionally go to work in the car if it was raining or if I had an errand to run during the day. I was going up towards the mill one morning and met Raymond Rance coming the opposite way in a brand new Morris Marina! This absolutely incensed me. Here I was, doing everything right and as honest as the day was long and there was Rance, who still owed me for the timber he had stolen off me and gone bankrupt into the bargain, riding round in a new car while I was trailing round in a scrapper! I couldn’t help tending towards the conclusion that something was wrong somewhere. A few days afterwards, Vera and I had been shopping somewhere Burnley way and as we returned home over Whitemoor Vera asked me why the car was making a funny noise. I told her I suspected it had broken in two and the noise she could hear was the gearbox dragging on the floor. I got it home, had a look underneath and welded in a temporary solution but my mind was racing now!
I went to several people who’s opinions I respected and told them of my problem and what I had in mind as a solution. They all agreed that I was thinking correctly and so, after consulting with Vera I sold the big field to our neighbour, young Sid Demain and went out and bought a brand new 12 seater diesel Land Rover Safari! It cost £4,800, more than twice what I had paid for the farm but was a wonderful investment, we were really mobile now. My idea was that it would be a safe if not speedy vehicle, it would have plenty of room for the kids and it could be used for other purposes as well. I could see that the mill wasn’t going to last for ever and a good utility vehicle like this would make an ideal mobile workshop.
It turned out to be a good motor and when I sold it I got exactly what I had paid for it, they had gone up so much in the interim. My problem was I swapped it for a Sunbeam Alpine and the less said about that the better!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 28 Mar 2019, 04:08

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Margaret washing the new Safari in Bancroft Mill yard.

Shortly after I got the Land Rover I did something which even I find hard to believe now. Vera came out to the workshop one Saturday morning a couple of months after we had got the motor and found me lifting the engine out of it! She asked me what I was doing and I said I wasn’t satisfied with the engine, they had built it wrong and so I was going to strip it down, rebuild it and see if it was any better! She didn’t argue, she left me to it but I can well imagine that even Vera thought I’d gone too far this time. It took me two days but I completely stripped the engine and rebuilt it with one or two adjustments to my own specifications. I should say at this point I wasn’t working completely in the dark. For some time I had been reconditioning Rover diesel engines for Walt Johnson at Crawshawbooth where I had bought the motor and had gained a lot of insight into the basic faults of the engine. Walt always said my rebuilds were better than Rover’s. When I had it laced up together again I took it out for a run and what a difference! It ran quieter, had more power and used less diesel, game set and match to Stanley! (Could it have been an issue of control?)
Years later, Margaret my eldest daughter was at the Royal Show at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire and she saw our old Safari parked nearby, (she never forgets a vehicle number). She went to the bloke who was sat in the driving seat eating his lunch and told him that her dad had bought his motor new. He said he’d like to meet me because he wanted to know what I had done to the chassis that had made it virtually rustproof. She told him I’d filled it with steam engine cylinder oil. She also said I’d rebuilt the engine while it was new and he told her that the engine had only had one set of injectors and a new pump and it had done almost 300,000 miles and hardly burnt any oil, I reckon I must have got that one about right!
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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