THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Marilyn »

With a face only a mother could love... :biggrin2:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

I think it's fairly safe to say that learning poetry and reciting it in class is Flatley Dryer territory nowadays and it struck me yesterday that singing certain carols might be going the same way.
One of my favourite carols when I was a chorister was 'Ring out wild bells' the setting of the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

I don't think I have heard it sung publicly for a long time. Perhaps it's a bit to apposite to the times we live in. Not a bad set of sentiments for a New Year I reckon and I hope this post drags it back a foot or two from oblivion.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

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The whole of the south side of Co-operative Street was taken up by the shop, bakery and Imperial Ballroom in the 1920s. Ballroom dancing fell out of favour and I have an idea that at one pint the upper floor was a squash court but I remember it best in the latter days as the Mayfair School of Dancing and you often saw mainly small girls being taken there by their parents. All gone now of course and converted into flats but I am afraid ballroom dancing was becoming Flatley Dryer territory before that happened.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by plaques »

The 'ghost' of the old Co-op sign can still be seen on the far end of the building.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

I like those ghosts Ken. They are Flatley Dryer made manifest!

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I did this pic in 2012 of the gable end of William Atkinson's gents outfitters shop in Church Street, seen above the brutalist architecture of the modern Barclays Bank. I have an idea some of the sign still lingers. The same William Atkinson that wrote 'Old Barlick' still to be found on the site.
The other examples I can think of are the fading ghosts of the Emergency Water Supply signs from WW2.

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Here's one in Burnley.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Whyperion »

Thats interesting I think on a couple of YT vids EWS metal signs have been noted, being black on yellow like fire hydrant signs I assumed water supply but never thought it would be WW2 related.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

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Thinking about transport in snow after watching a young man in the back street yesterday learning that snow can be slippy stuff, my mind went back to trams in the snow. They gripped well, such a lot of weight on a small area of wheel it melted the snow.
Here's the tram for Hazel Grove ascending the hill on Wellington Road South in Stockport in about 1950.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

I was pleased to see Wendy saying how her snow driving skills had come on in the last few days. I suspected they would. My mind goes back to my days on milk pick up for the dairy when we used to enjoy the mornings when the snow gods had thrown a bucket full at us. It was always serious stuff and dangerous but you got a lot of satisfaction when you had completed a journey others might have thought impossible.
Mind you, thinking back to being on the tramp in 1962/63 reminds me it could get wearing. My God, did we get fed up with snow and ice that winter....
I hear the opinions swirling round about the possibility of a repetition of the Beast from the East. I hope not! A far as I am concerned weather like 62/63 is best left in Flatley Dryer country.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

Sorry, can't help it. My mind goes back to early one very snowy morning some years ago.... I was coming out of Addingham up the hill to Draughton reservoir and it was serious snow but I was in the Yellow Shed, which was a small Ford van with a very heavy diesel engine over front wheel drive on narrow tyres. Just the thing for snow.
As I climbed the hill I came across a new 4WD urban assault vehicle on fat tyres sawing back and forth as it struggled for grip. The one cardinal rule of snow driving is wherever possible preserve your momentum so I sailed past the man.
As I went down the hill on the other side of the reservoir heading for Skipton I noted a plume of snow behind me, that's right, it was the 4WD and I don't think the driver was best pleased about having been passed by an old Ford shed. He roared past me losing directional control as he did so and ending up sliding sideways down the road. He was a very lucky man he didn't go in the ditch. He sorted himself out and proceeded quietly forward, I didn't attempt to overtake him and luckily he turned off left into Skipton while I went forward to the by-pass.
This was a common misconception, that four wheel drive meant you were snow proof. That's not the case, all other things being equal it's an advantage but it's amazing how a good snow driver on reasonable tyres can perform in snow. (An no surprise when a bad driver with all the equipment looses it completely.)
I'm not sure what this has to do with the Flatley Dryer but it came into my mind!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker »

My years through the 70's and 80's on field service in various vehicles and some pretty good coverings of snow that we used to get. We still had to tip out to the TV breakdowns no matter where they were. Drill was the same at our firm, the vans went on to Cecil Hardies at Colne who did our servicing. They had their tyres swapped for winter grade rubber at the same time as a winter service. We kept a stock of mill weights in the back shed at work and as the vans were rear wheel drive we had a few in the back over the back axle. A shovel and a pair of wellies and we were fit for service.

First wheels were Morris 1000 vans, followed by Vauxhall Viva vans then a Ford Escort Estate. Jobs took a bit longer but the three of us used to get round them all. A lot of the work was round the back streets which of course were never cleared. Outlying farms were half a day of a job. Getting over to Lothersdale or the farms above the top of Mill Brow were fun and would often involve getting the van as far as you could up the hill and then meeting the farmer and moving all your service kit and yourself to his transport and hoping you hadn't forgotten anything! No mobile phones, all arranged on the landline before you set off. We had some pretty heavy snowfalls back then as it was just about the runt end before proper global warming kicked in and buggered up all the seasons.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

"We had some pretty heavy snowfalls back then as it was just about the runt end before proper global warming kicked in and buggered up all the seasons."
That's a good point Ian. I can't remember a winter when we didn't have at least a couple of spells of heavy snow and a couple of years of course 1947 and 1963 that were exceptional.Getting snowed in on Shap and Beattock was a common occurrence in those days. When I was Open All Hours at Sough I had some rough winters going round the farms with the orders. In that respect, climate warming is a reality for some of us at the older end.

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Manchester Road in 1977.

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King Street in 1982. I could find plenty more....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker »

Aye, proper snowfall. An inch or so of settled stuff now and the country grinds to a halt! I cant understand it, front wheel drive cars are inherently safer in such conditions by design. I suppose it comes a shock to anyone who has never driven in snow. Drive out of a skid now rather than turn into it. :extrawink:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

I've told this snow story many times but it bears repeating I think...
"I was at Clinchyard sometime in late 1972 with the wagon and trailer to fill up with heifers from Hughie and I had a full load. We were just having a cup of tea and a bun when I noticed that the sky to the North had turned black, not dark but jet black! I asked Hughie if it was what I thought it was, snow, and he said I was right and the sooner I got away the better. It started snowing heavily as I left Clinchyard and by the time I got to Cross-roads and turned south down the A76 it was gathering on the road. As I got to Mauchline, six miles down the road, it was almost a foot deep, I’ve never seen snow fall so heavily. There is a steep hill down through Mauchline and of course the gritting wagons had been taken by surprise. I got to the top of the hill which is in the village itself and, getting into second gear, started creeping down, there was a van in front of me but he was moving as fast as me so I had no problem. Just then I saw an artic coming over the bridge at the bottom of the hill, he was fully loaded and came storming up the hill at about the same speed as I was going down, I watched him come and thought how well he was doing, this is often the case on fresh snow, you can actually get a grip on the snow itself.
Everything was going well until the van pulled into the kerb in order to make a bread delivery! This simple act entirely changed the situation, I knew that if I tried to brake, 60 feet of wagon and trailer was going to slide down the road and jack-knife and there wasn’t room for the steel wagon to avoid either hitting me or being hit. All I could do was gently apply the trailer brake to put some drag on the outfit. The driver of the steel wagon had seen what was going on but by this time he was too close to the van to stop, there wouldn’t have been enough room for me to get through if he had. All he could do was keep his foot down and clear the van as fast as possible. It was the correct decision but at the time I couldn’t see how I was going to miss him. The van driver had got out with his bread basket and I decided that if I was going to hit anything it would be the van. A gap opened just as I got to the van and I took a bit off the back corner of it as I went through. It happened so slowly that both the other driver and myself had time to open the window, reach out and pull our mirrors in to the cab to stop them clashing. He grinned at me when we passed about two inches apart, I suspect my eyes were looking like saucers! Neither of us stopped, we couldn’t and I suppose the van driver wrote his minor damage off to experience!
When I got to New Cumnock the police had closed the road. I pulled up at their road block and pointed out that I had a bit of a problem as I was loaded with cattle, there wasn’t room to turn round and I couldn’t possibly back a wagon and trailer half a mile back up the road in a blizzard! (We’ll get round to the difficulties of reversing a wagon and four wheeled trailer later) Common sense prevailed and the bobby let me through and said he would radio to Sanquar that I was coming and ask them to send the plough up to meet me. This isn’t as surprising as it sounds, remember that all these blokes came from farming stock and understood the problems. It’s about fifteen miles from New Cumnock to Sanquar and I set out to enjoy myself! It might surprise you to hear me say this but I had seen plenty of snow on milk pick up for Harrisons and we could never allow ourselves to be stopped by it. I had ideal conditions actually, the road was closed and there was very little likelihood of local traffic so I had a clear run over fresh snow, the best sort. Away I went.
The first thing to say is that a wagon and trailer is the best combination you can have in snow. The trailer is running in the wheel tracks of the wagon and so it doesn’t know there is any problem and if the combination is set up right with the trailer towbar sloping up to the hitch, the harder you pull the trailer, the more weight is transferred to the driving wheels of the wagon. I’d designed the outfit so the hitch was right! By now the snow was drifting but all that means is that you occasionally hit four feet of snow beyond which there was a clear or lightly covered stretch of road so as long as you have enough momentum to burst through the drift you are OK. It must have been an impressive sight if there had been anybody about to see me. Every time I hit a drift the dry snow burst out like an explosion and blinded me for a fraction of a second. My only worry was that I might come across a car abandoned in the middle of the road. There were a couple but being Scots they had got them well in to the side. In England, especially nowadays, I would never have got through because bad drivers would have blocked the road by carelessly abandoning their vehicles. I came down into Sanquar and met the plough at the fireworks factory so I pulled in and had a word with the driver and he decided not to go out until morning when I told him how bad it was. He told me that the ploughs had gone down towards Dumfries about half an hour before so I should have a clear run. He was right and the funny thing was that my overall time back home was about ten minutes better than usual!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

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Bagged coal delivery in 112lbs bags by horse. Flatley Dryer country now. For one thing the bags would be an illegal weight! Here's a chart of modern allowable weights. In my younger days I was handling bags weighing 160kg on a regular basis. No wonder I have a bad back!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker »

Stanley wrote: 07 Jan 2021, 04:46 In my younger days I was handling bags weighing 160kg on a regular basis.
Is that correct? 160kg is an Olympic weight lifting standard. In which case you were wasted driving a milk wagon. :extrawink:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke »

Someone has to protect today's poor little snowflakes!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev »

Do you mean 160lb? 160kg would be over twice your body weight...
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

No, I mean what I say, a Severn Side or railway hire sack if filled to capacity could hold about 3cwt of beans or Plate maize, the heaviest grains. 'Catch Weight' bags were common as it cut down on the number of sacks used. So bags weighing 300lbs were common. The heaviest thing I ever lifted was a rear spring for an ERF wagon, that would be about 400lbs. A 12 Gallon Milk kit weighed 168lbs when full and that was my body weight. I lifted hundreds of them a day, seven days a week.

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85 kits, minimum of two full loads a day plus a load of bottles.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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I went for a furtle and found I was wrong when I said 3cwt of beans in a hire sack. They held four bushels when not filled to the maximum and four bushels of beans weighs 264lbs. Because they were on hire the fewer used the better so on the farm they were always overfilled and sewn up instead of being gathered at the neck and tied. This meant that more than four bushels could be got in them, those were the bags we called 'catch weight' and as you can see could get up to 300lbs, not hundred weights as I said above.
At the time all bags were heavier, the standard size for a bag of cattle cake was 168lbsor one and a half hundredweight. Concrete was always in 1cwt paper bags, bagged coal was by law one hundredweight.
Flatley Dryer country now of course. I remember a woman once asking me if I lifted weights and I said yes but I got paid for it. We were strong lads but of course eventually paid for it.

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1976. I rest my case! 40 years of hard work have taken their toll, it was all downhill from here on.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer »

And tha's not comin in like that, get thi sel washed!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

You're right! I used to feel sorry for Vera but she saw my work clothes as a challenge! (Good job she did.....)

Image

Here's something that's definitely Flatley Dryer, same vintage. Anyone who ever had a Hotpoint gas refrigerator will recognise this, the chiller unit in the fridge. The small pilot light sized gas jet powered an evaporator system that fed cold Freon gas to the walls of this chiller in the interior. Notice it says chiller and not freezer. The system wasn't powerful enough to freeze anything and the inside of this stainless steel unit was the coldest place in the fridge.
Nevertheless this fridge was cheap to run and such a great improvement on not having one. Milk that used to go sour in 12 hours kept for a day! That was modern living.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

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This wasn't my car but at one point when we were really hard up I decided we needed a family car so I got two scrap Angle boxes and used the ordinary one to refurbish the Super. (I was so ashamed I never did a picture....) I finished up with a running car after one or two adventures like burning the wiring out and having to swap the wiring loom from one car to the other. (Surprisingly simple actually!) All was well for about 18 months until on the way back from shopping in Nelson Vera asked me what the noise was as we came past Sunnybank Farm on the way home. I told her it was nothing serious, the car had broken in the middle and the gear box was dragging on the road. A bit of patching got it on the road again but not for long and even I had to admit that once more, motoring was outside our budget,
I think we all may have been there at some point, interesting times and definitely consigned to Flatley Dryer!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley »

Memory fades over time and today's motorists can have no idea what running a car was like 60 years ago.
One of the main differences was that many cars still on the road had side valve engines.

Image

Here's a typical side valve engine block, in this case from the classic Willys Jeep. The important consequence of the design was that all you needed to do was drain the water, undo the cylinder head nots and you could lift the lid off without disturbing any other parts. This was a good job because due to less than efficient combustion the cylinder head, valves and spark plugs got a covering of black carbon and this had to be cleaned off regularly. It wasn't unusual for a 'decoke' to be recommended by the manufacturer every 5,000 miles. It could be done in half an hour and in many cases using the original head gasket.
Can you imagine an owner's reaction to this today? Definitely Flatley Dryer country.
Before you start laughing too much, engines like these went on forever with simple maintenance, they were so lightly stressed and you didn't need a computer to tell you what was wrong with them!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Stanley wrote: 13 Jan 2021, 05:12 Memory fades over time and today's motorists can have no idea what running a car was like 60 years ago.
One of the main differences was that many cars still on the road had side valve engines.

Image

Here's a typical side valve engine block, in this case from the classic Willys Jeep. The important consequence of the design was that all you needed to do was drain the water, undo the cylinder head nots and you could lift the lid off without disturbing any other parts. This was a good job because due to less than efficient combustion the cylinder head, valves and spark plugs got a covering of black carbon and this had to be cleaned off regularly. It wasn't unusual for a 'decoke' to be recommended by the manufacturer every 5,000 miles. It could be done in half an hour and in many cases using the original head gasket.
Can you imagine an owner's reaction to this today? Definitely Flatley Dryer country.
Before you start laughing too much, engines like these went on forever with simple maintenance, they were so lightly stressed and you didn't need a computer to tell you what was wrong with them!
Had one of those in my 1961 Ford Popular 105E, I replaced it with the OHV engine from a 1500GT MK1 Cortina, gearbox from a Ford Corsair 200E (with the Cortina bell housing) and the axle from a 105E Anglia (with the Cortina differential in it). Macpherson front struts from a MK2 Cortina with disc brakes. Apart from replacing the gearbox tunnel (used the one from the Cortina) it was a very straighforward fit.
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