Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Our Potholed Lane was Repaired Today

Potholes - The Failed Manhole Raised above Sunken Concrete Road Plates  

With around 50 potholes of various size which have formed over the years, including two major defects caused by heavy builders lorries breaking the concrete plates which form the roads bed, the County Council sent in the Repairs Team today .

The Raised Manhole which Thumps my Suspension when I Drive Over it.

 The Broken and Sunk Concrete Plates laid in the early 1950's

 Missing Thin Asphelt Laid of 30 Years ago Exposing the Concrete 

It was good to see the road empty of the usual Commuter Parking today and everyone responding to the Windscreen Notices and cooperating by parking elsewhere. 

The Repair Team were there reasonably early and got on with their work.

I was not quick enough with the camera to get better photos as I was watching them and expecting more machinery to come into view.

The 'Jet Patcher' Asphalt Spraying Machine 

I am no engineer, but I believe that this machine is a new system that the county seems to be proud of buying.

Using the Spraying Nozzle

The Process used with this machine seems to have only been in 3 steps.

1. Man with a blower, blows the dirt out of the potholes.

2. Man operating big 2 part pipe at the end of the lorry, liberally sprays the chippings mix into the hole and all around it and then spays some liquid (Pitch?) around the chippings.

3. Man with the blower, blows the excess chippings off of the footpath.

Then they drive forward to the next hole.

Strangely there was no sign of a roller to flatten it out. I assume it is left for the vehicles to do that.

I have never seen this type of pothole filling around the area, yet?

It does not look very durable and is somewhat messy, but only time will tell.

The Raised Manhole in the earlier photo is still quite a Hump to drive over.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Spotted on the Allon White, Morgan Dealers News letter

This photo is of the Iconic photo of Patrick McGoohan and the 'Lotus Super 7' 
The car was used in the making of the television series called 'The Prisoner'.

Lotus Seven - the one that got away?

Lotus 7

Continuing with our occasional series on different Lotus models, the subject of this month's newsletter is the Lotus 7.
The original Lotus Seven was first produced in 1957 and could be bought unassembled, avoiding car tax.  Nearly half the price of the built version, it came with "disassembly" instructions, a ruse of Colin Chapman's to get around the tax laws which forbade assembly instructions.
The original Series One was known as the Lotus Seven "F", due to its 1172 cc side valve Ford 100E engine.  Extremely lightweight, around 1100 lbs, with rapid acceleration for the time and sharp handling thanks to the chassis and suspension layout.  Its design was radical with limited creature comforts, but it gave motorists an exciting sports car experience for little money.
The car evolved with Series Two, Three and the controversially styled Four, incorporating various chassis enhancements, to accommodate increased dimensions and various drive train changes.
In 1973 the license for manufacture was sold to Caterham cars, who have been making them ever since based on the styling of the Series 3 version.
And arguably the most famous Lotus Seven?  The one in the photo, immortalised by Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner.
For more information on this iconic Lotus which has spawned many imitations, check out the Lotus 7 register website - see

The Opening Sequence

The Prisoner Episode 04 Free For All

The Final Part.

Why have I posted this you may ask? Well, while on my Around Britain's Coast Roads Trip, my route took me past Portmeirion Village in Wales where the Prisoners Prison was located and most of the series was filmed there as you can see by watching episode 04 above. Have a look at this wonderful website to see for yourselves.

Some History from the Website

Clough Williams-Ellis

Clough 90 And Lion 1973Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis, Kt. CBE. MC. LLD. FRIBA. FRTPI. FILA etc. (1883-1978). Born at Gayton, Northamptonshire on 28 May the second son of the Rev. John Clough Williams-Ellis and Ellen Mabel Greaves. Educated at Oundle School; Trinity College, Cambridge; the Architectural Association School, London (for three months, 1902-03).

The first article about Portmeirion appeared in The Architects Journal (January 6 1926) with photographs of scale models and preliminary designs prepared by Clough to impress potential investors. In this article John Rothenstein writes: "On the sea-coast of North Wales, quite near his own old home, Plas Brondanw, he has acquired what he believes to be an ideal site, and he is engaged upon plans and models for the laying out of an entire small township. The results of his scheme will be significant and should do much to shake the current notion that although houses must be designed with due care, towns may grow up by chance."

My Visit to Portmeirion

I managed to 'Blag' a free visit of just enough time to take some photos.  I based my request that I needed to drive their piece of Coastal Road for my quest.

While there, not only did I meet a large coach party from Scotland who made some generous donations to Help for Heroes.

One of them asked me if my car was like the one used in the filming of 'The Prisoner'. I could not mislead him so told him about the Lotus Super 7 actually used.

One of the few photos of me in the car.

 In the Village Square

Looking down the road towards the Hotel & Harbour.

The Kind and Welcoming Gentleman who obtained the permission for me to Drive into the Village.

If you ever find yourselves visiting Wales it is well woth making a visit to Portmeirion and maybe stay in the Hotel overlooking the estuary,

Friday, 15 March 2013

Just An Update on This & That

My Thousand Mile Trial planning is well under way. I have secured agreement with 11 of the 23 requested locations where I can fund raise for a few hours at Sainsbury's and Asda Stores.

Once Red Nose Day has passed I will get back to phoning them all again (the phone bill will be high this quarter). They are busy people with only one contact at each store.

I will need to get the balance right as the 100ish miles drive do involve at least one or two major Cities to drive through each day.

My accommodation is all booked now. So just some work to get the Car ready, Plaster it with Stickers, pack in half of the clobber I took last time and hopefully all will be well at home and health wise to set off on 29th April.

The local Newspaper put a nice piece in this week to give me some local advertising and hopefully, I will be able to arrange a local fund raising day at the Town Hall during the week before I set off.

On Monday I was at Heathrow Terminal 5 again strolling around, waiting, when I noticed the  Entrance the the large hole in the ground which in the entrance to the Heathrow Express.

As if I could have missed this sign before?

The Ticket Machines

Information Board

The Access Hall

 Looking down to the Lower Level Lifts.

Lastly, During another Dog Walking Day at Hedgerley.

The more we enjoy our dog walking, the more we seem to notice there. As Spring is upon us the Deer and Muntjacs are more active and can often be seen feeding.  There are at least two Foxes that we see regularly but the lack of a good camera with telephoto lens prevents getting an good pictures as most of them scarper if they see us. The Young Stag above sporting his new furry antlers just stood and watched go by.

Can you see the two deer grazing in the field?

I decided to take the Church in Glorious Sunshine then Sod's Law prevailed and a cloud took over.

There is a Muntjac in this pic somewhere - Like finding Wally

This pair of Ducks have begun to visit the pond.

Who denuded the Willow and emptied the pond weed? Quite a change?

How it used to look?

I cannot see that beautiful Weeping Willow Tree surviving such a viscous pruning. Only time will tell.

Primroses pushing through the footpath. Tough little plants.

Metcalf Farm is about to get a lovely display of daffodils.

Lastly, a Mystery in the Woods.

This is the pond that never fills. Out in the wood the little stream has been running for months with Gallons per Hour going in, but the pond never fills???

There must be an Aquifer under there somewhere but there are no lakes nearby? Perhaps the Water Board are drawing off more than it can provide somewhere?

Saturday, 9 March 2013

My Help for Heroes 1000 Mile Rally Route Maps

Here below is the route plan for my Help for Heroes 1000 Mile Rally Charity Run which is booked to take place from the 29th April to finish on 9th May. The Circles identify place where I plan to stop and hopefully Fundraise at SuperStores where I am currently seeking permission to stop for a couple of hours at each.

There will also be a number of 'Drive Throughs' of the City Centres and some possible visits to places of interest that the 1900's drivers visited. There were also four Hill Climbs on their route, mostly along the journey but at least two were diversions off of the main route. I will try and find those hills and drive them as well. Shap fell was an option in 1900 but as it is away from the main route I will not be going there.

As you study the route you may ask yourself ' Why such a convoluted route switching back and forth across the country'. 
I have no idea why other than to guess that organizer Claude Johnson, The Automobile Club and the Entrants themselves, would have some very influential friends living in these areas where they could make stops and get lots of help with their publicity for the Motor Car which was one of their objectives. There is a Book, which I have not yet read, about the Thousand Mile Trial, written by Elizabeth Bennett selling on Amazon for around £60.

Map 1 - Day One.
Beaconsfield to Slough to pick up the old A4 Road to Bristol

Map 2 - Day One.
Along to Bristol after a Visit to Bath and onto Cheltenham tomorrow

Map 3  - Day Two.
Cheltenham to Worcester via the Morgan Factory in Malvern - Birmingham to Tamworth overnight - Day Three onto Derby & Matlock

Map 4 - Day Three.
Buxton to Stockport and then Manchester overnight - Onto Wigan in the morning. 

Map 5 - Day Four.
To Preston, Lancaster and into the Lakes at Kendal - Windermere overnight

Map 6 - Day Five.
Windermere To Keswick, Cockermouth & Carlisle overnight. Then onto Gretna, Moffat and Peebles the next day.

Map 7 - Day Six.
Into Edinburgh and Mussleburgh overnight then on to Dunbar, Eyemouth and Berwick on Tweed in the morning.

Map 8 - Day Seven.
Berwick on Tweed to Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle overnight, then onto Durham and Darlington the next day.

Map 9 - Day Eight & Nine.
Nothallerton to York and across to Leeds and Wetherby overnight. Harrogate, Bradford, Hudderfield and Sheffield for the next night. 

Map 10 - Day Ten.
Sheffield to Lincoln via Welbeck Park. Then Nottingham overnight. Onto Leicester and Northampton on my last day in the morning.

Map 11 -  Day Eleven.
Blechley, Dunstableand St Albans before the drive into Central London through Grosvenor Place, the Original 1900 Starting Point and then along Whitehall where the Original 1900 Trial finished.
Lastly, back out of London along the old A4 to Slough before turning North and to Home.

 Map 12 - Day Eleven.
A More Detailed Map of the Central London Routes.

So that is my version of the 1900 Thousand Mile Rally Route. My version of the route is 1282 miles long at the moment with my diversions and may prove to be longer during the actual journey.

I hope you enjoyed studying the maps.

If you would like to support my event by donating to Help for Heroes to support me you can do this easily at my Help for Heroes website here: