THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2019, 03:56

I would disagree P. despite all the obvious disadvantages of being ripped out of your world, subjected to rigid discipline and trained until you almost dropped, on the whole it improved young people and in most cases set them up physically and mentally for life. I reckon two years was about right. True, it broke some recruits but I have always suspected that that would have happened to them anyway, it was a flaw in them and not the system. I enjoyed it, travelled to Berlin at a very interesting time and got to kiss Bridget Bardot with full frontal contact and slight exchange of bodily fluids..... What's not to like about that!
Looking back and being totally objective, it was a nasty shock, a very aggressive experience, but in the end profitable and enjoyable. I came out a better man than I went in. It would be an excellent thing if done today but the infrastructure isn't there and as one old army man said, half of them would go AWOL in the first fortnight today!
One important thing, there was none of the violent training methods or abuse that is so common today. See the inquest on the young lad currently happening, I forget the name of the Barracks but it's obvious it was tragically badly run. Our NCOs looked after us from day one.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 13 Feb 2019, 16:21

Something along the lines of National Service between school and the next stage would be beneficial and it doesn't have to be aimed at providing a military force but designed to get youngsters away from home and into a strictly controlled environment. Personal development and team building with plenty of outdoors activity. There's a lot of work to be done on the environment and infrastructure of the UK.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2019, 04:00

I agree Tiz. Remember what Ian reported his physio said, he could recognise military training at 50 yards by posture alone. I learned how to polish boots as well.....
More on abuse in training.... At first we hated our instructors, for the first six weeks initial training they were all over us and controlled everything we did. It was hard but not brutal and we soon got used to it. Many saw getting up at 6AM as cruel, to me it was a lie in! There was never any abuse or bullying (or none that I saw) and when we finished training and went to the battalion the relaxation in the regime was like a holiday. I was allocated to Anti-tank in Support Company and it was perfect for me.

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Colin Baker and Ted Lancaster our platoon sergeants, Ted was an old soldier, a machine gunner in WW2 then transferred to anti-tank. He knew his stuff and was a good teacher. We had an agreement, we worked hard and kept the brass off his back and he let us play out. It worked and we were chosen to assess new guns and on one notable occasion my gun was chosen to compete with an American gun team at Putlos on the Danish coast. We hammered them! We got more rounds off in a minute and all were hits at 1000 yards bar one, I forget how many. but it was 3 times what the Yanks did and they only had one hit. We thought they spent a lot of time shouting orders at each other while we just got on with what we were trained for and plastered the target, an old German tank down range. We cut it to shreds. Enjoyable stuff.....

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Me and a mate setting of for home and demob. We went in together as lads and came out as smart young men. These are not abused and downtrodden lads but good advertisements for NS. (I think I'm going to have to tell the full story of my National Service......)
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 14 Feb 2019, 08:17

I hope you relate your army time in the manner of Spike Millington !!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2019, 08:40

Can't guarantee that but at least it will be true and from the horse's mouth! There are some funny bits......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 15 Feb 2019, 09:43

Excellent Stanley, more please. :smile:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 16 Feb 2019, 10:12

New topic created for the National Service posts:

National Service
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Feb 2019, 03:44

Can anyone remember watching a plumber 'wiping' a joint in the old lead piping which used to be the standard for domestic plumbing? It used to fascinate me as a lad. (LINK)
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Feb 2019, 05:10

One of the things that fascinated me when we moved into Napier Road on Heaton Moor after the war was that it was still piped up for gas lighting downstairs. It was all supplied by narrow bore lead pipes buried in the walls and some of the original fittings were still in place. They all had to come out as the house was rewired for electric light.
Another old feature that survived in the cellar was the old rack of bells that were used to summon the servants who must have lived in the cellar. I don't know how they were activated, the chains or wires had all gone. The front cellar was fitted out as a cold room with louvred ventilation and stone slabs. During the war my dad got hold of a pig and we salted it down for bacon on the slabs.
Seeing these features gave me an insight even then into how a Victorian household was run.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 18 Feb 2019, 09:53

Our house on the Croft still has remnants of the old gas lighting. I discovered some of it when I had to gain access to the back of the living room centre light from the bedroom above. Also remnants of the first generation electrical installation as well, all disconnected of course with subsequent modern cabling replacing it.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 18 Feb 2019, 10:32

My grandma's cottage still had gas lighting in the 1950s. Is my memory correct that there was a hissing noise from the gas?

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev » 18 Feb 2019, 13:09

If it was anything like the gas lightin g my parents had in their touring caravan then yes, that hissed :-)
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Feb 2019, 03:58

Yes Tiz, a very gentle hiss with town's gas. I lived with gas lighting for a while. You had to learn how to manage the gas mantles. This was a cunning fabric dome made with a material that was impregnated with a fireproof chemical, Tiz will tell us what it is. When the old one failed, quite often by being struck by a moth attracted to the light, you had to replace it, they were very fragile. I used to love watching the new one transform from a floppy bit of material to a pure white dome when you lit the gas.
There were two types, pendant where the mantle hung down and upright where it stood up supported by a forked rod made of fireclay. The upright ones were a bit longer and gave a better light. I still sold them in 1956 at Sough when I was Open All Hours.
Some of the better fittings had a small pilot light that was lit all the time. The gas valve was operated by chains hanging down and all you had to do to 'switch' the light on was pull on the correct chain, the other closed the main valve to turn it off. Street lights were gas as well, often with multiple mantles to give more light. They were controlled by a small clockwork timer that had to be wound up once a week, an improvement on the old days when a lamplighter went round every evening lighting the lamps.

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I have one of the old timers, 8 day mechanism and it still works.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 19 Feb 2019, 15:51

As for the `material that was impregnated with a fireproof chemical', I don't know what that chemical might have been. Was the material not asbestos which is non-flammable?

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 19 Feb 2019, 16:23

I thought the mantles were asbestos gauze, my dad had a Tilley lamp down at the allotment that used them.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Feb 2019, 03:46

I always believed they were a natural textile impregnated with something like china clay.....
See THIS which explains how they convert to a fireproof shell.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 20 Feb 2019, 11:25

The Wiki page says: `Thorium dioxide was commonly a major component; being radioactive, it has led to concerns about the safety of those involved in manufacturing mantles. Normal use, however, poses minimal health risk.' Eek! I wouldn't rely on that last sentence! :surprised:

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Feb 2019, 04:08

In those days they used radio active luminous paint on watch hands and faces. I had one, an Ingersoll at one time. The Army issue watches were luminous as well. My dad's mate Harry White used to go round painting people's house numbers with luminous paint when the Black Out started and at GGA they made porcelain enamelled luminous buttons about 3" across to wear in your lapel so people could see you coming in the dark.
I wonder what they use in modern Tilley Lamp mantles.......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 Feb 2019, 07:33

A common sight these days is people in motorised wheel chairs, at times I have to say, going a bit too fast on the pavement! 70 years ago they didn't exist to my knowledge, I certainly never saw one. The nearest I ever came to a 'mobility aid' was a 'grown up' tricycle with large wheels and often a Sturmey Archer gear to the back axle which had a simple form of differential. There were several about on Heaton Moor, one in particular ridden by a young man called Roy. I know nothing about him beyond the fact he was obviously disabled but he got about all over the place in all weathers. As we look to become more fuel efficient there may be a niche for something like this today.
See THIS. They are still available!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 22 Feb 2019, 10:06

We had Frank in Barlick :smile:

Mobility scooters is more the term although there are a minority of motorised wheelchair users. There are two main categories of mobility scooter, for use on the pavement and on the road. Road models are bigger and faster and should not be used on the pavements. There is a whole new industry and second hand market in these devices. I don't think there is any requirement to carry insurance which I find a little weird particularly for the road versions, they are a motorised transport device so I would have though you would need some form of third party liability insurance at least. Same could be said for the pavement models also, what happens if you get knocked over by one, there are some fairly hefty models in use which could do serious damage.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev » 22 Feb 2019, 17:17

Unfortunately some of the 'riders' of these pavement machines think they have the right of way over pedestrians.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 22 Feb 2019, 17:34

Even as a metal detectorist it is recommended that you carry third party liability insurance. Thankfully £1-3 Million of cover comes relatively cheaply. I reckon claims will be few and far between but you never know when digging in the ground.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Feb 2019, 03:46

I'd forgotten Frank..... There is one bloke with a white beard who has what I suspect is a road model, big wheels and it whizzes along! He rides it on the pavement sometimes.....
I remember one old lady on Heaton Moor who still used an old Bath Chair. It was pushed by a minion but she had control of the single front steering wheel via a long handle and she used to shout at people telling them to get out of the way.
I had occasion yesterday to use my dust pan and brush and reflected that it was probably some of the oldest household equipment I have in the sense that people must have been using them for thousands of years. I think I've mentioned the use of a goose wing as a brush, I saw that at a farm at Congleton during the war and it was very effective. certainly better than my nylon brush but I'll admit that I didn't do that any good when I used it with very hot water and bleach to clean a wheelie bin, I melted the bristles and they aren't quite straight!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 24 Feb 2019, 11:45

There have been plenty of reports of pedestrians injured by the scooters and this video shows one riding straight into an elderly lady: LINK
There are also lots of legal firms inviting the injured to contact them!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 25 Feb 2019, 04:09

Image

The 'Wells No. 18' unbreakable oil flare. I have two of them. They had a piece of rope for the wick and were filled with a mixture of Paraffin and oil and burned with a large flickering yellow flame. Their main use was as a warning light round road works in foggy weather because they were more visible than the normal red 'bulls eye' paraffin lamp.
The last time I saw one used was one mid winter evening coming home from school on the tram in 1953. We had a fog so thick that you couldn't see the street lamps even if you were underneath them, all there was was a glow. Theoretically the only vehicles on the road were the trams (On rails of course!) and the conductor lit one of these and walked in front of the tram with it to guide the driver. It was of course one of the dreaded smogs. We hear a lot about the Great London Smog of that year but like the Blitz, they thought it only happened in the capital.... Having lots of coal fired boilers pumping smoke out meant we had them in Spades in Stockport! (Imagine them during the war in the black out).
All fogs were worse then, even in rural areas like the Vale of York. Shall I tell you my fog story?

I had my own share of adventures. One morning I was on my way to Lincoln and Carleton Dairy where it was always a half past five tip in the morning. On this particular morning in early autumn I got to Bawtry and as I dropped down into the Vale I ran into dense fog. This wasn’t industrial fog, it was nature’s best, white, thick and consistent. I crept along at about 4mph. All I could see was the kerb about ten feet in front of the wagon. I soon realised I had a companion, another wagon was following me and had enough sense to let me do the work. Shortly after Bawtry there is a steep climb to Gringley on the Hill and the fog vanished as we climbed. From the top you could see an unbroken sea of white stretching as far as the eye could see and we plunged into it again. I crept along in this fashion for about an hour and a half and in the end I pulled up to rest my eyes and neck muscles. I got out of the cab and the driver behind jumped down as well, we agreed that it was a lousy morning, that I had done a wonderful job and that it was time he got in front and gave me a rest. “Where are we?” he said. I told him I reckoned we were somewhere near the Sheffield road end and that if I was right there was a big ‘rhine’ or drain on the left near the road. “We’ll soon find that out.” he said and picked up a two inch stone from the side of the road and threw it into the fog. There was the most horrendous crash of breaking glass that seemed to go on for ever! I looked at him and he looked at me and he said “Christ, what do we do?” I told him that I didn’t know what he was going to do but I was going to piss off as fast as possible. I jumped in the cab and set off for the dairy. Later that morning on my way back empty, it was a beautiful sunny day and as I passed the point where the rhine bent away from the road I saw a bungalow with the front window boarded up with new plywood! God knows what the inhabitants thought had happened, I hadn’t thrown the stone and it seemed silly to interfere so I drove on. Years later I was having a cup of tea in the Coatsgate Café at Beattock and I realised that a driver on the other side of the room was watching me. In the end I got up and went over and it turned out to be the same driver that had broken the window, he had recognised me. He was with some mates and we had a happy half hour retelling the story.
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