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Thread: Reefton

  1. #1
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    Reefton

    28th February 2107

    I wake latish after a good night's sleep. I paid off all but some loose change off my mortgage yesterday evening (apparently the last details have to be done by post or some such nonsense, so I'll deal with it when I get home).

    It was a good feeling.

    I had a haircut yesterday afternoon, as it's been about four weeks since it was last done. Unfortunately, no-one in the world except Kate, who has been cutting my hair for over 15yrs, seems to be able to do anything with it. When Sheree (no, really) was finished and blow-dried it, it looked fine - but it soon stuck up at all angles, leaving me looking like a gibbon who had got too inquisitive at a weed-whacker demonstration. God knows what I'll do if Kate ever gives up hair cutting. Still, it's soon going to be encased in a crash helmet, so it's not really a priority...



    I quickly shower, get kitted up and then take a stroll into the already warm morning to the Lambretta Bar that I spotted yesterday. It had been my plan to have dinner here last night, but I dozed off after beer at lunchtime and woke late...



    There are a couple of customers at the tables outside, but I opt for the slightly cooler table inside. Cooler temperature, that is - I have no chance of being any other type of cool with this haircut...



    Predictably, I order the full works (I missed breakfast yesterday )



    It's probably the best breakfast I've had since I got here - really tasty with coffee so strong that it's still propping my eyelids open several hours later...



    I like the Lambretta Bar - it's got a lot of genuine old stuff and the service and food is top notch. I also like the fact that the mosaic in front of the door has been repaired with duct tape - how much more like a Lambretta can you get?



    Remember these? Those zany, fun-loving Germans...



    I stroll back to the hotel and pack the bike. The apartment had a washer and dryer (with free powder!), so I'm fully laundered and ready to go by just after 1000.

    I set off, following Bettie's directions south out of Nelson, spotting this old chap on the left...



    It looks original (ie unrestored) and is in tip-top condition...



    ...I had an estate version of this as my first ever patrol car when I joined Traffic Dept on the Motorway at Almondsbury, north of Bristol, in 1980. What a turd of a car it was...



    I rejoin Bettie's route and the fairly busy traffic heading south.



    I eventually reach a garage stating that it was the last fuel for 100km, so decide it's time to fill up. I meet up with an old boy (didn't catch his name) who is visiting from Canada for a couple of months - he used to ride an Ariel Square Four. When I told him I'd seen a couple at the Invercargill museum his eyes lit up and he wrote down details. His wife got a picture of him sat on the Adv - I think it made his day...

    I fill up with 95 octane and check the tyre pressures - the front has lost about four psi over the past 10 days, but it's been working hard off road on some fairly gnarly gravel, so I'm not too concerned. To my irritation, both pressure monitors now read 32psi, although they have just been inflated to 38/44. As I ride on, it dawns on me that 32psi is probably the default reading when the monitors battery is flat (my rear one has been reading 32psi for some days). I resolve to find some replacement batteries when I can...



    For now, it's just a case of following Bettie's route to the non-too distant Reefton, my target for the day.



    It's 82°F without a breath of wind - the sky is almost unbroken blue...

    ...it's a good day to be riding...

    In East Murchison I stop and manage to find a couple of the batteries I need for the tyre monitors. I fit them and it makes no difference...



    This piece of mutton dressed as lamb was disporting herself on the main street...



    For all her shiny paintwork and new hood...



    I think I prefer her older sister in Collingwood...

    Onward!



    Came across this prang not far south of Murchison - a tanker driver had somehow managed to get his trailer in the nearside ditch...



    Apologies for the pic quality - had to be a little covert...



    I know what you've been thinking - where are the bridges?



    There you go...



    Saw this lovely old shire horse just before getting to Reefton...



    I arrive in Reefton, an old town with a history of coal mining, and stop for a cold drink (and a slice of carrot cake) at a pavement café...



    ...when my attention is distracted...



    ...by the arrival of this old gent...



    Robbie, the driver...



    ...has owned the car for 50yrs and restored it long ago. He did all the work except the paint and upholstery. He is on a week's trip with a couple of relatives to celebrate his 80th birthday last Sunday - the car was born the same year he was...



    We chat for 15 minutes or so about the difficulties of finding parts and how much easier that has become with the advent of the internet. He is amazingly bright and spry for his age - he's inspiring to talk to...



    No prizes as there are too many clues - it's a 1937 Chevrolet 'Businessman's Coupe'. It has a straight six four-litre engine...

    As we are talking, another 1937 car appears...



    Any guesses?



    I drop into a local art gallery, as I'm trying to track down an artist that lives in Reefton...



    ...but unfortunately they can't help (which I find really odd in a place as small as this)...



    I ride the Adv across the road to the rather rudimentary accommodation I have booked for this evening...



    I check in and unpack - the WiFi is a little flaky, but after a while I get my pictures uploaded and make a start on the journal.

    Good day...

    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  2. #2
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    Morris 8 in Reefton.
    The Triumph 2500 would have been built in Nelson. If you got to the WOW exhibition I believe that was the old BL factory where they built all sorts of english cars
    http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/arou...d-new-zealand/
    I too had an Estate, it was a Mk1 2.5PI the only one in NZ till some twat wrote it off when I stopped at a rail crossing barrier and he didnt Stunning car when it was in one piece.

    Adrian

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    Today's fix - A good read from Mike and cup of tea.

    Now to face the UK roads

    I like the look of Reefton.

    Thanks Mike.

  4. #4
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    28th February 2017 (cont)

    So, I went searching for the artist that made these...



    You may remember them from the Flat Rock Café on 8th February. I returned there the other day because none of the web addresses on the cards by them worked - all resulted in dead-ends. The café owner gave me a name and a couple of phone numbers and told me the artist lived in Reefton, but was a bit flaky when it came to business. Neither of the phone numbers are in service, but I decided to try a visit to Reefton (as it's not a bad little town) and try to make some local enquiries.

    I got told by the café owner on the main street in Reefton this afternoon, that she might live in Coal Street, so rode the Adv over there this evening...



    No reason to post that at all, really.



    Anyone got any idea what this might be?

    So, anyway, I knocked on a random door in Coal St to receive a blank - they were certain she didn't live on Coal St. But they gave me a lead - if I went to the Wilson Pub, the owner - Jimmy Foster - (is that a great landlord's name or what?), knew everyone in town and may be able to help.

    Brilliant!

    Plus I can have a beer!

    I ride back and spot this weird old locomotive on display...



    Designed in Bristol, UK, it is a Fairlie R28 articulated locomotive, allowing it to be used on very twisty tracks.

    So now you know.

    Anyway, I park the bike at the hotel and go to the pub where I meet Jimmy Foster - who is immediately on the case and starts phoning around - and Howard Anderson, who is nearly 80 and has raced motorcycles for most of his life. We have a long chat and agree to meet tomorrow morning at his place so I can see some of the bikes he has there.

    Meantime, Jimmy manages to get the artist's partner's mobile number, but there's no reply - so I will text him and try to find out how to contact the artist.

    It's like fucking Poirot, isn't it?

    I also meet about six pints of Speights Pale Ale and a superb steak, egg and chips...



    Possibly not the best options when I'm sharing a bathroom with four other guests, but hey - what's the worst that can happen?

    And so to bed...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
    I set off, following Bettie's directions south out of Nelson, spotting this old chap on the left...

    Had one of those in a really really pale blue, which came off as dust when you touched the paintwork , in the late seventies
    A slow, heavy, gas guzzler that had seen better days but was more reliable than my DT175 for getting to and, more importantly, home from discos in the local villages
    There was very few young wans that would take a lift home on the back of a smelly 2 stroke bike...
    Just 'cos you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you !

    Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O View Post



    Any guesses?
    Rover 10?
    Golden Sprout

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockser View Post
    , in the late seventies home from discos
    A slow, heavy, gas guzzler that had seen better days
    yeah enuff about you what about the car

    ps nice one mike on the hunt the artist

  8. #8
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    been almost 10 years

    would like another that wasnt rusty

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairnet600 View Post


    been almost 10 years

    would like another that wasnt rusty
    Every owner wanted that...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
    Rover 10?

    Morris 8 I think...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockser View Post
    Had one of those in a really really pale blue, which came off as dust when you touched the paintwork , in the late seventies
    A slow, heavy, gas guzzler that had seen better days but was more reliable than my DT175 for getting to and, more importantly, home from discos in the local villages
    There was very few young wans that would take a lift home on the back of a smelly 2 stroke bike...
    My patrol car was on its last legs when I got to Almondsbury. It wouldn't go over 85 or so (really!), but - being an estate - was handy for the load space. The trouble was, the body flexed so badly when cornering, even on Motorway curves, that the tailgate would pop fully open, much to the consternation of the motorists we were in the vicinity of. My crewmate and I discovered that, if you slowed to 50mph and then opened the front passenger door, the vacuum created would slam the tailgate closed. You could then asthmatically 'accelerate' back up to 85 (when all the valves began to bounce - turned out every one of the double valve springs was broken).

    As this was clearly unacceptable for a front line patrol car we kept snagging it. They fitted a new lock assembly - first fast run 'Whoosh/Fuck/Slow/Open door/Slam'. Snagged it - new striker plate - 'Whoosh/Fuck not again/Slow/Open door/Slam'.

    Eventually they drilled holes in the body shell and screwed two aluminium bog-door bolts into the tailgate. This worked fine until the first frost (two days later) when the salt on the road corroded them into complete seizure. Then we had to try and get all of the equipment out over the back of the back seats and through the rear doors.

    Did I mention it was also rusty? I mean rusty - it had an area about 6"x4" on one of the front wings with no paint and deep rust on it. It was an embarrassment...

    We ended up convincing the brass to sell it early and we got a brand new Range Rover to replace it.

    That was more like it...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
    My patrol car was on its last legs when I got to Almondsbury. It wouldn't go over 85 or so (really!), but was handy for the load space. The trouble was, the body flexed so badly when cornering, even on Motorway curves, that the tailgate would pop open, much to the consternation of the motorists we were in the vicinity of. My crewmate and I discovered that, if you slowed to 50mph and then opened the front passenger door, the vacuum created would slam the tailgate closed


    Brilliant, I can visualise that well enough

    85 ? MPH ??
    Holy gawd, bloody thrill seekers - I'd have been afraid to do anything over 60 in case it tore itself in two
    Mind you, we didn't have any of them newfangled motorway things...
    Just 'cos you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you !

    Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often.

  13. #13
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    still dont

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
    My patrol car was on its last legs when I got to Almondsbury. It wouldn't go over 85 or so (really!), but - being an estate - was handy for the load space. The trouble was, the body flexed so badly when cornering, even on Motorway curves, that the tailgate would pop fully open, much to the consternation of the motorists we were in the vicinity of. My crewmate and I discovered that, if you slowed to 50mph and then opened the front passenger door, the vacuum created would slam the tailgate closed. You could then asthmatically 'accelerate' back up to 85 (when all the valves began to bounce - turned out every one of the double valve springs was broken).

    As this was clearly unacceptable for a front line patrol car we kept snagging it. They fitted a new lock assembly - first fast run 'Whoosh/Fuck/Slow/Open door/Slam'. Snagged it - new striker plate - 'Whoosh/Fuck not again/Slow/Open door/Slam'.

    Eventually they drilled holes in the body shell and screwed two aluminium bog-door bolts into the tailgate. This worked fine until the first frost (two days later) when the salt on the road corroded them into complete seizure. Then we had to try and get all of the equipment out over the back of the back seats and through the rear doors.

    Did I mention it was also rusty? I mean rusty - it had an area about 6"x4" on one of the front wings with no paint and deep rust on it. It was an embarrassment...

    We ended up convincing the brass to sell it early and we got a brand new Range Rover to replace it.

    That was more like it...
    Going by the time scale, you probably inherited my old mans car.


    If quitters never win and winners never quit... What idiot came up with 'Quit while you're ahead'??????

  15. #15
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    The dead car after the Dick St sign photo looks like the remains of a Vauxhall Cresta PC.

    Adrian

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