Saturday, 10 August 2013

Further on down the road..........

............and further on round the bend........

Today, I took Jackie up to Wisbech to see the Alvis and to decide what colour it shall be.

Progress this week has been very good:

Both doors are on.

The rebuilt boot lid has been reinstated

 Much remedial work has been carried out on the rear wings

The rear arch repairs are complete

Yes, the rather lovely flowing script that has been delicately angle-grindered into the nearside door does spell a rather rude word..........
May I point out to the more delicately minded amongst you that this is perfectly legitimate 'workshop shorthand' (or 'Workshop Esperanto') for the presence of large quantities of 1940's lead body-solder.
It is not an act of vandalism.
Nor, indeed, is it an ignorant comment regarding the relative merits of the Alvis TA14 in general or FFU 297 in particular........
Any lead found in cars of this period (it was widely used in the forties and fifties before the advent of plastic body filler) is highly dangerous.

If it is reduced to air-borne dust in the removal process, (for example, by angle grinding) inhaling it will do the person doing so No Good Whatsoever.

Hence the, (admittedly terse), warning and reminder engraved on the bodywork.
I hope this explanation will prevent another overload of The Auntie Mary Filter (TM), and perhaps serve as smelling salts to any daughters of the clergy who may have fainted as a result of reading this post........


Anyway, there's still a long way to go.........

Terry will not be happy until the doors click shut with light finger pressure and the gaps are beautifully even all round.

This means removing the doors again, rebuilding the frames with new wood and metal, then replacing the leaded areas of the door skin with new metal..

Likewise, the wings will be fettled to within an inch of their lives to achieve a fit that Terry considers acceptable.

The hood frame, also, is to be completely re-built. All the wood has deteriorated beyond the point of re-use and one of the metal 'hoops' is quite badly damaged.

So not only will FFU 297 be completely rot-free, it's going to be one of the straightest, tightest TA14s in Groovetown.

I am very lucky to have found, in Andy and Terry, a couple of craftsman who take such a pride in their work.........

In fact the only thing over which I think they would take issue with me is my use of the words 'one of the'.....

But Mother brought me up to regard modesty as a virtue........

Oh, and the colour Jackie chose?

Well, I could tell you..........

But you'll all have much more fun trying to guess!



  1. Looking good, hole making must be very lucrative! didn,t Tom Rolt drive Alvis's/

    1. Yes Andy, He did!

      I gave Jaq Almdale (now Jaq Biggs) a copy of his autobiography which not only tells of his travels on 'Cressy' and the founding of the canal preservation movement, but also his interest in Alvis cars and the Tallylyn Railway. (A good read, and nearly three inches thick!)

      Hole-making pays the bills. My late great Godmother Joan's bequest is picking up the tab for FFU 297's rebuild!


  2. I have read a couple of the LTC autobiographies and Railway Adventure, the story of the Tallylyn. I spent a couple of weeks holidays years ago on the Ffestiniog and Tallylyn railways volunteering on restoration, a good time, an exchange visit from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where my father and I volunteered. The Tallylyn has an engine named after LTC Rolt in recognition of his work. I now occasionally help out at the Mid Suffolk Light Railway.

    1. Rolt was a great writer.

      It's amazing to look at all the restoration stuff that he was involved in back then. Without visionaries like him, so much of our heritage would have been lost.

      As a teenager, I volunteered on the Mid-Hants Railway, aka The Watercress Line.

      Happy days.......