Monday, July 21, 2014

Stripping, a driving dog and cool airplanes....

Its been nearly 4 weeks since my last blog update. I have no excuses - I have been lazy - at least in the blog department. Obviously dad dying has taken the wind out of my sails and meant that we haven't really done much of anything super exciting in the last few weeks. Its been mainly taken up with work and  trips to Skegness to see mum.  In both of these there has been things to talk about though - so I will endeavour to fill you all in now.

Before dad died, one of the last things I remember chatting to him about was the old 'Penny Machine', that has been sat in the loft for years. This is what used to  be known as an 'Allwins', machine. If you want to see some more machines, including one identical  to ours look here:-

Ours is called 'Patsy funfair', and has been in the family since before us kids were born. Dad was supposedly given it as payment for  job he did when working with Scrim (A really old friend and dodgy dealer!) in the 60's. As kids we used to play on it all the time and at some time dad painted it a horrible shade of purple - to match a toy box he also painted. Its been sat in the loft for years to be used only when the kids come around to stay.

However, during one of me and dads last chats in the conservatory he spoke about cleaning the old purple paint off it and making it look nice, with a nice varnish - just like it would have originally looked when new. I told him I would love to do it and the plan was to take it to Manchester with me on our next visit to Skegness. It seemed obvious to me after dad died that I should keep my promise and give the old thing a good clean up.

Horrible colour

Just beginning

The paint starts to come off
First thing was to see how easily the paint would come off  - and I was pleasantly surprised when with a little effort and some good paint stripper it started to look quite good quite quickly.
Unfortunately, the purple colour had apparently been painted over a white undercoat. This caused me problems as the paint underneath started to smear over the wood. It took a while but a couple of coats of paint stripper interspersed with cleaning the wood with white spirit seemed to get most of the horrible goo off.

A bit of a mess at first...

But it got easier
Eventually, the majority of the paint was removed. This was much easier once I had taken the door and hinges off the frame of the machine. All that was left was the intricate little bits. The beading in the door and the little awkward bits that were difficult to get into. It would only take me an hour or so.... wouldn't it?

You can see the awkward bits here still covered in paint

Getting there though...
Eventually, after three sessions of cleaning and about 6-8 hours with white spirit, wire wool, paint stripper and lots of different scrapers - I was happy with what I had achieved.

I got a tin of medium oak varnish from the local DIY shop and after another hours work in the garden - the machine was ready to be seen. Its not totally complete yet - I need to get some replacement glass for the front and give a few bits of metal a clean as the paint got everywhere - but I must admit that I am very pleased with how the machine has turned out so far and I'm sure dad would have liked it too.
In other news my new job seems to be going pretty well. I'm not officially trained on any of the equipment yet, but have been getting out with different engineers to get my hands in on jobs. Later this week I will be going on call and will be available at nights to go out and fix stuff. It looks like I am going to be learning on the job more than earthing, so lets see what happens. I'm actually on standby at the moment and its the second day in a row that I haven't been needed - I still get paid though!!

One of the best things that has happened in the last few weeks was a trip to the beach with Buffy and Mum. The Battle if Britain Memorial flight were due to fly over Skegness beach on a Sunday lunchtime, so we made our way down there and sat in a prime spot with an Ice cream waiting for the Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire to pass by. They were a little late but it was well worth waiting for and we loved seeing them fly over.
On the beach

Mum and the planes

Buff taking photos...
The first two planes pass....

                                                        What an awesome noise as it passes...

In other news - Taz has been learning how to drive my works van - He wasn't impressed when I sent him to work instead of me one day and no-one noticed!!
Have a nice day at work Taz
 I went to a place just outside Peterborough to earn how to control traffic if I ever need to set out traffic lights or traffic control - On the way there were ominous clouds but I ever got rained on!

The controls of mobile traffic lights  - a day in the life!!
I shall leave it at that for today. I will make you all a promise though that I wont leave it so long till my next blog update - Unless you want me too.....If you never want another update then comment at the bottom with a good reason and I'll stop right now..... Otherwise keep an eye out for the next update soon!!


  1. More Taz photos! I only read this blog for him ;)

  2. I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my desktop.