THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 09 Nov 2019, 10:21

My earliest dentist visits as a young child were when sent by the school to `the clinic' which was behind Blackburn Town Hall (Victoria Street, I think). The waiting room was always crowded and you could hear the crying and screaming from kids being treated. They gave you gas and you came out staggering and holding a handkerchief to your mouth to catch the blood. Sitting in the waiting room you had to watch all the other kids coming out before your turn. It was like torture and left me with a lifelong fear of dentists. I'm glad to say that they are much better now and the children we know have no fear of visiting the dentist.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 10 Nov 2019, 03:45

Exactly my experience Tiz. It was accepted then that teeth equalled pain! I hated the taste of that purple mouth wash they gave you. Was it based on Permanganate of Potash? Mr Atkinson's rum was a much better idea and just as effective.
Lancing boils and carbuncles was just as bad. A bloke near us on Heaton Moor died from a carbuncle on the back of his neck. People today would not believe how many procedures were carried out at home with no pain relief. Children's tonsils were removed with a wire loop on the kitchen table without any pain relief as it was thought it was dangerous to give it to them. They were just ripped off with the wire as it was believed a torn wound surface healed quicker than a cut one.
This brings to mind Dobbin Berry of Kelbrook one of my companions in the Heifer of an evening. He went to see Arthur Morrison one day with a large lump on the back of his hand. Arthur told him to lay has hand flat on the desk and then whacked it with a book! Dobbin was incensed but Arthur pointed out the lump had gone. It was a fluid filled cyst and he had burst it. It never came back but Dobbin never forgave him.
Dobbin and Charlie Lancaster were both farmers and lifelong friends. They were even buried next to each other in Kelbrook Church graveyard.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Cathy » 10 Nov 2019, 04:10

Reminds me of a scene from Doc Martin :smile:
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 10 Nov 2019, 10:48

Cathy wrote:
10 Nov 2019, 04:10
Reminds me of a scene from Doc Martin :smile:
Yes, especially the scene where he sticks a pair of forceps up a teenage girl's nose and pulls out a horrible growth of tissue that has been blocking the nose! :surprised:

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 11 Nov 2019, 04:05

Arthur was old school doctoring, they'd never dare do that now! But, Like John Wilfred Pickard he kept up to date. He tested everyone for diabetes even then and said that he reckoned as many as one in four had it but didn't know.

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Here he is in the surgery in Water Street in 1977. I had complete confidence in him which is what you need with your doc!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Nov 2019, 04:41

I've visited this one before but I have always thought that National Service, dreaded though the call up was, was on the whole a good thing.

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It took a raw young lad off the farm and in less than a year made him into this. This was at Gatow in Berlin in 1954. We all grumbled at the time and everyone had a demob calendar in the inside of his locker door, "Roll on death. Demob's too far away!" but am convinced that I was a better man when I came out than when I went in. I was lucky of course, I took to the life, some didn't. One of my intake worked hard for over a year to establish a reputation for being dolally, he had a small wooden boat on wheels and he used to wander round the billets pulling it on a piece of string and blowing across the neck of a bottle to make a hooting sound all the time proclaiming "The Boat!" which was the route home of course. He was a smart cookie, in the end it worked and he was sent back to the depot for early discharge. I bet he made a living off his wits somewhere!
We learned a lot of skills that at first sight didn't seem to transfer well to civvy street but on reflection they were all useful in funny ways. We ended up with a broad understanding about many things including how to live with authority but remain independent.
I admit that as a fully accredited Old Fart I look at many of today's young lads and wonder what effect two years serving Brenda would do for them. They tell me that if this generation was subjected to the sort of training and discipline we endured, half of them would go over the wall in the first fortnight. I'm not too sure about this because from what I can make out (Deepcut barracks) there is far more bullying and bad leadership than I ever encountered. I never saw any of that at all and I was with a fairly rough bunch of lads from some of the most deprived parts of Birkenhead and Liverpool.
But then, hindsight can be rose tinted and perhaps I am mistaken. On the whole though I doubt it.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 13 Nov 2019, 04:38

I have a story for you from my army service.

"We had another bit of excitement at Colchester. The gun layer on our crew was a bloke called Mick Burgess, he was a genuine tough guy, regimental boxing champion and hard as nails, he was also, as I found out later, the best gun layer I have ever seen. One day a posse of Military Police arrived and arrested Mick. We were baffled but word soon spread that he had been arrested for desertion from the Green Howards, a rifle regiment. Shortly afterwards he was returned to the fold and told us the story.
He came from Manchester and had had a rough life. He was up in court getting 18 months for garage breaking and the judge told him that the next time he offended it was five years guaranteed. He served that sentence in the same prison as Haigh the Acid Bath killer as I remember. When he was released he decided the best thing to do was join the army, criminal convictions were no bar evidently. He enlisted for 22 years in the Green Howards but when he had been in for a while realised he was in a Rifle Regiment. These were rather special units and the main characteristic was that they did everything at the double with arms at the trail and, being heavily built, this didn’t suit him at all so he deserted and joined the Cheshires, also on 22 years engagement. Going into another regiment was probably the best place for a deserter to hide and he got away with it for about six months but was eventually found out. He was arrested and thrown in the cells at the guard room but was soon back in the fold with us. Nothing ever came of it and we came to the conclusion that the army had made a sensible decision on the grounds that he was a valuable soldier who had simply arranged his own transfer. Of course, the fact that the Cheshires didn’t want to loose a good heavyweight boxer might have had some bearing on the matter! I remember that later while we were in Berlin, I got into trouble in a bar with a very aggressive Argyll and Sutherland Highlander, it was something to do with referring to his regiment as the ‘Sheep Shaggers’ and Mick rescued me from a fate worse than death by simply putting his arm round me and smiling at the bloke. You knew who your friends were and I have very warm memories of Mick, a lovely gentle man, just goes to show that being in gaol isn’t necessarily a good guide to character."

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Mick on the left at Sennerlager in 1955.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Nov 2019, 05:13

There have been many changes in motor vehicles over the years. That's probably the most egregious statement of the bleeding obvious I have ever uttered! However, what I am thinking about is headlights. I think we have all noted the vast improvements that have been made in the last ten years.
In the early days 6volt systems and tungsten filament bulbs were adequate as ambient light levels were very low, street lighting was nowhere near as bright as it is today. More expensive cars had bigger headlights as that was the only way to improve them. Double dipping headlights only arrived after the war when twin filament bulbs were used, before that the system of dipping was that the offside lamp was off on dip and the nearside lamp had a reflector that could be tilted downwards using an electromagnet. Our old Bedford wagons often had the improvement of a low mounted wide angle lamp that came on when you selected dip but a constant problem was corrosion of the reflective surfaces as they were exposed to the atmosphere and even water ingress. I used to regularly ask our mechanic to change the water in the headlights!
There were some exotic attempts to improve things like a very expensive system where a spotlight was fitted that was connected to the steering and pointed at where that dictated. During the war things were even worse as air raid precautions dictated that louvred shields be installed on all car headlamps rendering them virtually useless.
I can member in the days when there was hardly any traffic on the roads driving many miles by moonlight which was better than the headlights once your eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Hard to believe I know but it's true. I've driven hundreds of miles on sidelights in the early hours of the morning.

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Just imagine this covering an already inadequate headlight!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Nov 2019, 04:43

Heaters and windscreen wipers have also been transformed. There were no heaters in the early petrol wagons but I remember that there was an access hole in the engine cowl to get at a core plug on the block in the 'O' Type Bedfords. In winter we swung that out of the way and got a bit of hot air from the engine into the driver's foot well.

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My well-loved AEC Mercury tanker in the late 1960s. Note the aluminium shields on the radiator. They were to raise the temperature of the engine in an attempt to get more hot water to the entirely inadequate heater in the cab. It was not helped by the fact that the air cleaner was in the cab next to it and in winter ice used to form on the outside of it! The Bedford TK was the first wagon I ever had that had an adequate heater.
Windscreen wipers were individually driven by their own electric unit in most wagons and cars. They had a handle on the casing and if the unit failed you could operate them by hand. The AEC had air driven wipers and they were pathetic, they would only drive small blades and I often wonder how we survived driving almost blind in any weight of rain. Note the size of the blade in the picture and also the fact there was only one wiper, on the driver's side. In winter they froze up as you went along and often the inside of the screen froze as well due to the inadequate heater. My ERF had two heaters, one at each side of the cab but they were nowhere near as good as my earlier TK Bedford. Not helped either by the fact that the ERF fibre glass cab was little better than a hen hut. I remember being parked up in a gale one day and the draughts round the door kept blowing the matches out as I tried to light my pipe. It was difficult to escape the conclusion that driver comfort and safety was very low on the designer's lists for many years.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 15 Nov 2019, 07:25

Shades of the early Fords with wiper ran from the inlet manifold the faster you drove the slower were the wipers.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev » 15 Nov 2019, 07:36

I had a 1961 Ford Popular for a while, it had an air 'expansion tank' under the bonnet to even out the wiper speed.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Nov 2019, 07:48

You're right Bodge, the only time they worked properly was when you braked and that happened only when you had seen the problem, if you hadn't and hadn't lifted your foot the wipers were next to useless.
Those reserve tanks were OK as long as the non return valves in the system were in perfect condition Kev and many a time they weren't.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Nov 2019, 04:42

Thinking about vacuum control and assistance I was reminded of the early versions of the Ford Major Diesel in about 1950. The injector pump was controlled and directly related to the position of a butterfly in the intake manifold. Fine while it worked but it had two faults that could develop after a while. The first was to go onto uncontrolled overspeed at times, most disconcerting. The second was very strange, when stopping the engine it could sometimes start up again but running in reverse on overspeed. Theoretically impossible but it happened.
Almost all the big wagon oil engines were mechanically governed, The old Albion to 32mph, the AEC to 42mph and the Gardner to 56mph. The Leyland Comet didn't appear to be governed, power was always the limitation.
You had to get used to this unless you were an enterprising mechanic and breathed on the governor weights by lightening them. This was done occasionally but almost always ended badly!
Speedometers were another example of sometimes innovative but unreliable driving solutions instead of the direct cable flexible drive. The AEC had an electrical speedo that was driven from a unit mounted on the gearbox output shaft. Great when they were working but very prone to water as they were exposed to everything. We tried all sorts including submerging them in wax but they never lasted long.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Nov 2019, 04:59

Much is made these days of changes driven by 'technical progress' and 'efficiency'. When this was allied to the economic doctrine that 'The Market' was the best driver of innovation, cheaper costs and better efficiency that was the basis of the Chicago School of economic thought in the 1960s things really started to go downhill as far as the general population is concerned but allowed a privileged elite to make shed loads of profit. We can all cite examples of this and today we are reaping the rewards of the system it created. The income and convenience gap between rich and poor has never been higher and is growing under current policies.
There was another development in the 1970s which I associate with these changes. I remember being told that The Age of the Consultant was coming and boy, was there ever a truer word. I saw a report this week that the number of non-productive meetings in organisations has vastly increased. These meetings are often triggered by consultants and advisers brought in by the management to guide the business when of course this is that same management abrogating what should be its responsibility.
True, in some cases outside advice is vital when significant changes are happening but this has now spilled over into what should be matters controlled in house. I believe it is out of control in both business and politics and it's high time it was reined in! Again, you can all think of your own examples.
Some may call me a dinosaur but I look back to the days when, for instance, a small town like Barlick took care of its own roads and services paid for with capital made in the town and retained. Under this ethos Barlick prospered and was well run. Like it or not you can date the deterioration of roads and services to when this system changed and the same is true for many other matters. I don't believe that this is either progress or efficiency. Open your eyes and compare the state of things now with 100 years ago.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Nov 2019, 05:10

Fashion and what is acceptable clothing has always been with us In the 18th century the better off were criticising the fact that parlour maids could dress in the same fashions as their mistresses due to improvements in materials. In my time I have seen skirts go up and down like parlour blinds, my great grandma Shaw wore long dress until the day she died and today some skirts are beyond minimal! Normal clothing for me was always based on tradition and what would wear best and longest. Today, brand names predominate and fast fashion and imported cheap clothing mean that if statistics are to be believed, a large proportion of clothing is worn once or twice and then binned. Looking at my wardrobe I still use clothes that are decades old and don't see any reason to change them for fashion's sake, I suppose in itself that means that I am fixed on a personal style.
There were always 'brands' names like Crombie, Burberry and Harris Tweed spring to mind but these were never labelled on the outside. This has totally changed and I am told that one of the biggest problems faced by parents of school age children is 'playground cred' because a child's life can be made miserable if he or she isn't wearing the 'right' or 'in fashion' brand. (There is much to be said for school uniforms in this respect.)

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The bad news for the fashion industry is that this old fart set his style fifty years ago and isn't about to change it! From what I understand this means I have a low carbon footprint and apart from keeping expenses down I am doing my bit to save the planet.
One thought comes to me from the 1960s when mini skirts were coming into fashion. I would often be on the road on Friday and Saturday evening and as I was tramming through towns I would be treated to the sight of young lasses in minis and minimal clothing setting off for an evening out while I was still working. I did sometimes wonder if I was in the right job! Incidentally, Silsden always fascinated me. It seemed to me that they were in a time warp and if you wanted to see ten year old fashions, go there and observe.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Nov 2019, 05:22

I saw yet another advertisement on TV last night for a 'new product' which is a complete answer to the problem of achieving a sterile kitchen. This is obviously not possible and of course careful reading of the blurb admits this.
I have many problems with this. First, is sterility really a good target? We need to live with bacteria and reasonable exposure massages our immune system. Second, do we really need anything beyond cleanliness, good routines and a very mild solution of bleach? This and other products to eliminate infections, smells in the house and even odours in the toilet mostly rely on what our visitors think of us. As if they haven't got the same 'problems'. They are all designed to get a slice of a crowded market and more profit.
The variety of products for the home is vast and anyone who falls for all of them is releasing some very dodgy chemicals into the home. Try using bleach, scouring powder and good soap all boosted by an application of elbow grease and regular attention.Apart from being cheaper it could be healthier as well!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Cathy » 19 Nov 2019, 05:38

I agree Stanley and I remember an elderly friend of mine from years ago telling me she coped by doing things ‘ A little bit, often’ . And she had one of the prettiest cottage gardens ever, that certainly needed a little bit often :smile:
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Nov 2019, 06:46

You were obviously reared the same way as me Cathy. Can you remember the saying "We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die!"
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Cathy » 19 Nov 2019, 08:58

No but I imagine I will consume some tomorrow, we have strong winds forecast- something has to take us from 41C down to 22C for Thursday!
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Nov 2019, 05:17

Take heart Cathy, Margaret says it is cooler and light rain today in Perth.....
Triggered by a comment of Ian's. The impression young people get from screen culture showing conflict, especially in WW2 is almost entirely false and give me a lot of trouble with disbelief when I see films and TV. There are no huge eruptions of flame, these have been added to maximise dramatic effect. In most cases a bomb doesn't produce those effects, even the sound is muffled, almost always a dull crump because the actual explosion happens deep underground or inside the target. The main effect is blast and large clouds of dust and smoke. In extreme cases like the Tallboys and Grand Slam the main effect is simply a massive heave like an earthquake, not even a definite explosive sound. That's why they have been called 'earthquake bombs'.
I have always been struck by the screen portrayal of what happens if a body is hit by a large calibre bullet. If hit you don't just clutch your chest and sink to the floor, the kinetic energy of the slug hurls you back, not often portrayed. The effects of such a hit on the head is too horrible to be shown, on the screen you get a neat little hole and a bit of blood.
So enjoy your TV and films but always recognise that they are not necessarily an accurate portrayal.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 20 Nov 2019, 10:13

It got worse when they brought in the gas-operated `battle rifle' in the 50s and 60s, such as the Belgian FN which the British Army adopted. The impact of the bullet is so great that bone fragments are blasted through the body like shrapnel. It was no longer safe to hide behind the big trunk of an oak tree; the bullet would go straight through it.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tripps » 20 Nov 2019, 10:51

We were taught, and it's still imprinted on my brain. . . "cover from view is not cover from fire"

The TV portrayal of fires in the soaps annoys me a lot. People having dramatic conversations in a burning building whilst a calor gas burner is shown in a corner. I think of the chap who set fire to his house, and had a ladder at the back to 'rescue' the children. It didn't go to plan.
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Nov 2019, 05:13

I suppose the bottom line is that the screen isn't reality and experienced advisers on these matters are getting very thin on the ground.
Even our leaders got it wrong at times. The scene is the live firing range at Trawsfynydd in Wales in 1955. A 17pdr is using solid shot APCBC rounds to zero the sights using a large canvas screen 1000 yards away. The crew ran out of solid shot but had some HE rounds. The officer ordered the crew to carry on zeroing using the HE on the grounds that the delay in the fuse would mean the round would be through the canvas and far enough away not to harm the screen. First round fired after adjusting the sight for the changed trajectory of the slower HE round. Large explosion, cloud of smoke. When it cleared, no screen! Reality had taken over.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 21 Nov 2019, 08:29

Stanley, going back to old vehicles, did you ever drive with a pre sector gear box ? i tried an old Lanchester a few times and it took a few miles to get the feel of the thing, if my memory is right the North Western buses were Daimlers and had pre selector boxes .

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 21 Nov 2019, 09:35

Tripps wrote:
20 Nov 2019, 10:51
We were taught, and it's still imprinted on my brain. . . "cover from view is not cover from fire"
Peek-a-Boo, I can't see you
Everything must be grand
Boo-ka-Pee, they can't see me
As long as I've got me head in the sand
Peek-a-Boo, it may be true
There's something in what you've said
But we've got enough troubles in everyday life
I just bury me head :smile:

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