musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: commuter

Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival 2018

 [ TCVF2016 ] [ TCVF 2017 ]

The Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival is held around this time of the year pretty much longer than I have lived here. I missed the 2015 event as it was cancelled because of heavy rain, but this year, 2018, is probably the last time I will be attending the event. It is fascinating to walk through because so many of the vehicles are cars from my past, and my parents past too. It did not seem that there were as many vehicles on display this year, and of course the weather was grey and cloudy some of the time. But, it was still packed and cars were still arriving by the time I left just after 12 (and the sun was making token appearances too). 

How to not repeat what I have posted before? duplication will creep in, and many of the cars on show were here in the previous years too, so unlike last time when i posted 4 pages, this time I am going to try to keep it at 1. I am really going to try post the odds and ends that interest me in this post instead of the usual vehicles.

There were 2 speed merchants to see this year, and it’s kind of hard to picture them hurtling along because they will just be blurs in the lens. The first was the Bloodhound SSC,a British supersonic vehicle currently in development. Its goal is to match or exceed 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h), and achieving a new world land speed record. The pencil-shaped car  is designed to reach 1,050 miles per hour (1,690 km/h).

The vehicle was supposed to be tested on the Hakskeen Pan in the Mier area of the Northern Cape, but it appears that the record attempt has been put off till 2019. Maybe one day we will hear that it happened, but this glimpse at the needle nosed speed merchant was a unique one,

Speed merchant number two was a dragster, and its the first one I have ever seen in real life before. Its an impressive beastie but seems almost fragile. I know nothing about these vehicles but the fastest competitors can reach speeds of up to 530 km/h and can cover the 1,000 foot (305 m) run in anything between 3.6 and 4 seconds (on a good day?).  

Fortunately I prefer a more sedate drive and one of the many oldies I saw was a fabric bodied Austin 7 from 1928.

The British weather played havoc with the vehicles and I don’t think there are too many survivors around. The fabric used was called Rexine’, a cloth coated with a mixture of cellulose paint and castor oil and formerly used in the manufacturing of WW1 aircraft wings. I was quite fortunate to see this old lady and hear about the unique body. Truly a rare gem of a vehicle.

Two other oddities that tickled my fancy were a pair of milk floats in the Cotteswold Dairy livery. I cycle past the Dairy every morning and it never occurred to me that they would have operated floats too. 

How many of us used to collect Matchbox cars as children? and how many were thrown away by our mothers? quite a lot of them end up in boxes like this one…

Spot the blue Mini… I almost had to have a dual with a munchkin over the contents of that box, and we both left satisfied and clutching our 50p toys in sweaty hands. Phew, these muchkins can play dirty though. On the subject of Mini’s, yes there were quite a few there, and I have probably seen most of the ones on display, naturally some caught my eye, although the pink one was kind of jarring. It was for sale too, but I had spent my last 50p so was skint.

The other Mini that hurt my eyes was this orange 1970 Mini Clubman Estate (the turquoise one was quite nice too), I will post the new Mini’s in my famous Mini Minor with two flat tyres gallery at some point.

Another interesting find was this Ford Escort that did not come from the factory like this. It is a four seater, 3 sleeper motor caravan based on the Ford Escort 8 cwt deluxe van. 

The odd love of camper vans was also evident from the many VW’s Kombi’s around in various states of quirkiness.  I believe the windows in the roof were for viewing mountains with. 

Next to this old lady was a Beetle Cabriolet from the 1970’s. I was not too keen on the bubble gum colour, but she was a nice vehicle and her own was justifiably proud of her.

And you can always enjoy your travels on 2 wheels if the need takes you, and there were some interesting bikes on display too. The show stopper however was this beaut. It was a seriously large bike, but I have no idea how the rider manages with it.

There were a few other vintage machines, the first one in this trio is a 1914 Triumph Roadster.

although I kind of liked this Lambretta step through scooter in spite of the colour.

Chrome was evident in many of the vehicles though, and that reminds me, have you seen my Figureheads and Hood Ornaments post yet? I started it way back in 2017 and was finally able to complete it in 2018. 

Dream car? besides a Mini? there are a few that really make me ooh and aah, and right at the top of the list is the Morgan and this red example is perfect. Sadly I did not see any 3 wheel Morgans around this year.

There were not too many small commercial truck and van variants around, but there were two that made me smile.

I could probably waffle the whole day about the 400 images that I took, but I wont. Suffice to say I enjoyed this blast from the past. What I did find quite odd though was that there were a number of vehicles that are still in production on show (Golf’s and Mercs and Beemers), and I cannot quite class them as vintage or even classic. But if you look at it rationally, the VW Golf has been in production since 1974, and those 1974 models are now over 40 years old and technically are classics. What I do find hard to think about is that in 50 years time car enthusiasts may be looking at some of the plastic rubbish on our roads and discussing the merits of the internal combustion engine and a pre 2000 VW Golf, or the merits of a three wheel vehicle over a hoverspeeder.

And as usual I shall leave you with some random cars. In no particular order and with no favouritism anywhere. 

 

 

And that was it for the Classic Vehicle Festival of 2018. It was fantastic and special thanks to all those who keep these oldies running and in such a great condition. I probably wont see you next year, but I have many memories to carry me forward of the event that I have seen this year and in 2016 and 2017.

 [ TCVF2016 ] [ TCVF 2017 ]

DRW © 2018. Created 19/08/2018

Updated: 09/10/2018 — 19:48

London Transport Museum

On my voluminous lists of places to see was the London Transport Museum.  I was hoping it would have a lot about railway history, but ended up being more about transport in London from the olde days to today. The London Tube recently celebrated its 150th year of existence and it would be interesting to contemplate “Then and now.” It is situated in Covent Garden Piazza,WC2E 7BB. But that meant nothing to me as I bailed out of the tube at Leicester Square. I suspect Charing Cross would have have been a better choice, but by then it was too late.

My view from the station was of the Hippodrome Casino, but a quick map look put me more or less in the right direction.  The streets are really labyrinths and finding anywhere isnt as straight forward as I thought it would be,

Eventually I found it and soon discovered a modern, bright and interactive facility. It was also very full and there were gazillions of children and their parents pulling and bashing everything in site. My grandmother grew up in the Southwark area, and she probably experienced a lot of what I saw between when she was born and when she left the UK in 1919. Surface transport would have been via horsedrawn cabs or carriage or even omnibus, while below ground steam powered trains would have been travelling in tunnels filled with choking smoke.

 
 
 
The museum is divided into a number of levels, the ground floor is more about road transport whereas the second is more about below ground transport. The James Hall Museum of Transport has a better collection than this museum has, but the condition of the exhibits here is top class. 

 

It is hard to imagine what it must have been like to stand on the footplate on this steam engine while it rattled its way through the tunnels. There is no enclosed cab either, and the crew must have really suffered. Behind them the coaches have an almost Sherlock Holmesian feel about them with their upholstery and woodwork. I have no idea how they ever managed to keep them clean.

londonb 032

 

Eventually some sort of sanity must have prevailed and the electric loco made its debut and things should have been much cleaner below the streets.

Still, compared to todays plastic and formica trains these were still very opulent. I did find this interesting electric loco that seemed like a very dangerous thing to work on. The carriage behind it was severely lacking in windows, but nevertheless very nice inside.

londonb 059

 

 

 

The red tube train was boasting the Northern Line badge, which co-incidently is the one I use. It has a totally different look to what I see today, and was probably just as functional.

Modern Northern Line Train

Modern Northern Line Train

 
What was really interesting is that they had set up a simulator inside this train and people were able to experience driving one. Unfortunately, when Johnny of the grubby paws gets his sticky hands on something like that nobody can get close. Then it was time for a quick look at the luverly red Routemasters and the head off elsewhere.
 
My next destination was the St James Park area via Trafalgar Square, but that’s another story for another day.
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 26/03/2016
Updated: 26/12/2017 — 15:58
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