THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Marilyn » 10 Dec 2019, 08:01

I always used to worry about supermarket Dog Food...but anything bought from a vet was too expensive ( and when we did have to buy it our dog wouldn't go anywhere near it. Absolutely nothing worked in our efforts to get our diabetic dog to eat any of the food pushed by the vet!)

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 10 Dec 2019, 08:07

The cheapest meat to feed a dog is the cheap ranges of sausages sold by supermarkets. Jack gets £5 worth of best mince plus sausages a week. How much would proprietary dog food cost? Then think of the fact that a properly fed dog is less likely to need expensive vet treatment. I always say never feed a dog (or a cat) anything you wouldn't eat yourself.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 10 Dec 2019, 08:31

Never had a problem feeding dogs and cats on bought pet food. Our first 3 cats lived to be 20 years old on the cheapest supermarket brands. In my opinion the worst thing you can do is to overfeed and under exercise pets. Stay off the cereal based feeds for diabetic animals of all types!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 10 Dec 2019, 08:41

We used to breed Great Danes, basic food was fresh tripes from the local butcher, bit of a chore hosing down and cutting up, but it was free !!, the dogs loved it and had great coats and health, the vet reckoned they were some of the healthiest dogs he looked after

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 11 Dec 2019, 04:19

Why does that not surprise me Bodge! Well done.
Running a wagon on tramp was hard work but interesting, you got the one-off loads the big hauliers saw as unprofitable or rush jobs where a sudden need had arisen. You got the really challenging loads as well, High loads of heavy timber with multiple drops, many a time from Glickstens in East London I delivered part loads to Remploy factories, multiple drops up country. I carted from Blind Workshops and found myself in strange and interesting places hidden at obscure locations like fell-mongers, sewage plants and once a memorable load to the new Dartford Tunnel where I was the first commercial wagon through the bore as they had finished the deck that morning and I had a delivery of steelwork for the ventilation tower at each end from Glasgow. The foreman wanted to be first through so he took me in, we had to shift some stuff to do it but made history. Once on the cattle wagon I had a full box and the trailer full of Shetland ponies! (Wendy would have loved that job, they were a delight.) Up to their bellies in straw and no trouble at all, in fact I think they enjoyed the ride.
I was pulled up by the police one day to tell me my load was on fire. It was raining and I had to show them that it was steam rising from an eight ton steel ingot that was still red hot from Dorman Long's at Middlesbrough. I delivered flashing to a big estate up on the Northumbrian coast which was like a piece of medieval England, no tarred roads, dry stone and grass and old cottages. (I've never been able to remember the exact location.)
As I say, cruel hard work but varied and always interesting, I never knew where I was going next. No good for home life, you never knew when you would get home but usually managed my job to be home one day at weekend. I wouldn't like to do it again but have never regretted that I had to do it at the time. Strange thing was that we were a community, tramp driving was a world of its own and you saw mates all over the country.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Dec 2019, 06:36

Seeing the wagon this week with an open flat and a roped and sheeted load reminded me that 60 years ago the only people using closed vans and containers were the big furniture removers and the railways. Indeed the railways had closed containers that were loaded straight off the rail cars onto flat trailers and delivered direct to the destination still locked and sealed.

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General haulage was exclusively open flats and roped and sheeted loads. The wagon loaded with sacks on this pic on Shap in about 1960 is a good example. If you were on the tramp you needed to carry ropes, sheets, chains and plenty of 3X3 dunnage. The chains were used for machinery and high risk loads like stacked timber. I remember in particular a roundabout on what was then the main road coming out of London on a steep hill with a very bad camber. If you had a high load of timber you had to tiptoe round it accompanied by loud cracks and bangs coming from the chassis and the body, it kept you on your toes.

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Loads of hay and straw were particularly challenging. Here's a load I delivered to Dick Lancaster at Paradise in Horton in Craven. I always roped at four courses before I put the next four on. Took a bit longer but valuable insurance. I remember fetching a load of straw out of a farm near Ripon one day. When I got there another wagon was using the elevator but as I settled down to wait a retired farm man who lived nearby came and offered to help. We quietly started loading and as usual I stopped at four and put three ropes on, front back and middle. The driver of the other wagon was shouting at us that we were Mary Anns and ought to load like him but we took no notice. (The old man thoroughly approved). The other wagon left long before we had finished but no matter.
A pot of tea arrived for both of us and we leaned on a gate surveying the world. I offered the old bloke my tobacco pouch and he produced a pipe with a bowl as big as a bucket! After he had lit it and we were enjoying our smoke he said that smoking wasn't what it used to be, if you were smoking your own tobacco you were always thinking of the price and if it was someone else's your pipe wouldn't draw! No wonder! He had rammed in enough baccy to last the rest of the day. Never forgotten that.
There was a sequel, I set off from the yard and as I reached the roundabout at Ripley saw the rival driver who had been jeering at us. His load had slipped and was all over the road. He came to me, called me 'mate' and asked for help. I shame to say I refused saying that he might like to consider roping at four courses and went on my way.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Cathy » 12 Dec 2019, 07:48

Haha. Twerp! Good on ya Stanley :good:
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Dec 2019, 08:02

Lovely to see you using that old and useful word Cathy. Twerp! I looked on t\he web and found this...
"twerp (n.) of unknown origin; OED and Barnhart give earliest date as 1925, but the "Dictionary of American Slang" gives a first reference of 1874 (but without citation and I can't find it), which, if correct, would rule out the usual theory that it is from the proper name of T.W. Earp, a student at Oxford c. 1911, who kindled wrath "in the hearts of the rugger-playing stalwarts at Oxford, when he was president of the Union, by being the last, most charming, and wittiest of the 'decadents.' " [Rawson]
"Mean to say you never heard of Sinzy? Why, he's one of the greatest characters in this town. He's a terrible twerp to look at -- got a face like bad news from home, but I guess he's the best jazz piano player in the world." [Julian Street, "Cross-Sections," 1923]"

No mention of what I think is an alternative meaning, a young Goldfish. but a go a bit deeper and things get complicated! (LINK)
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Dec 2019, 06:40

I seem to have been silent! Can this really be true?
I'm very lucky these days. I am not ruled by work, I don't have to go out in the early hours, get in my old AEC tanker and set off to deliver someone's morning Pinta. (There's word that has vanished!)

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In summer it was a delight but in winter on a bad morning it was a challenge because I was usually out before the streets were aired and gritters had got up! It was the same on the cattle wagon when I had the Scotch markets on Monday and Tuesday and a 2AM start. It could be interesting! Here's an example....

"David and I had some good trips up to Lanark but we had some hairy ones as well. We set off from Demesne one morning and the road was shot ice, this was often a problem on the first day of the week because the Council tended to cut down on gritting at weekends especially on roads that weren’t bus routes. David usually settled down to sleep straight away but he soon realised that I was driving a lot slower than usual. I told him we were travelling on ice and I was doing the best I could, it really was terrible, possibly the worst conditions I have ever encountered. I was literally creeping round bends especially where there was any camber but we were making progress, my hope was that when we got to Long Preston and the main road the gritting wagons would be out and we could find a bit of grip.
No such luck, if anything the main road was worse than the side roads had been. By the time I got into Settle I had decided that enough was enough, I pulled in quietly to the side of the road outside the Naked Man Café in the centre of Settle and as the wagon stopped it slid quietly into the gutter until it hit the kerb. David roused himself and asked why I had stopped, I told him it was too dangerous to go on and the best thing to do was wait until the gritting wagon had done its stuff which I reckoned wouldn’t be long. David hadn’t been driving and didn’t appreciate just how bad the road was. He said he would drive and opened the door and jumped out. He went flat on his backside, got up and almost fell again, he stood there hanging on to the door of the wagon and looked at me, give him his due, he wasn’t silly, he said “I see what you mean!” and got back in. I don’t blame him, he wanted to get on and there was no way he could know just how bad it was. Just then I heard a wagon coming from behind, he was fairly motoring and as I looked in the mirror I saw this Bedford pantechnicon coming up the middle of the road and going far too fast. When he saw us stopped he took his foot off and slid straight forward instead of taking the left hand curve out towards the viaduct and finished up two feet from the window of the TV shop across the road. He reversed out and set off again, if anything he was going faster than before. We could hear him fading away into the distance when there was a loud bang, a bit of a pause, and then we heard his engine again but this time he was coming towards us! Seconds later he swept round the bend and vanished down the road the way he had come! David and I looked at each other in amazement and I said I reckoned he had spun on the river bridge and hadn’t realised he was facing the wrong way, we couldn’t think of any other explanation.

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We poured a cup of coffee and sat there fretting, I was reassuring David for the third time that we were doing the right thing when we heard a wagon, this time it was the gritter. At this time Buckhaw Brow hadn’t been by-passed and by anybody’s reckoning, it was a bad piece of road so we gave him ten minutes start and then followed. What a difference a bit of salt makes, from there, right up the road to Lanark we were on gritted roads and didn’t lose more than fifteen minutes. We saw several motors off the road and through the walls and I think David realised that we had done the right thing. The funny thing was the pantechnicon that had hit the bridge in Settle overtook us again up past Carlisle, still going like hell and all the off-side of the cab stoved in. Just before Lanark we passed him again parked in a lay-by, David commented that he hadn’t gained much!"
So on this Sunday, as you roll over in your warm bed give a thought to the heroes who are no doubt out there doing the jobs that keep our world going. They have to perform their tasks whatever the weather!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Cathy » 15 Dec 2019, 11:00

Yes , and all the Rescue Services when things go wrong or people do silly things.
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2019, 04:43

Quite right Cathy.
The worst spell of slippy roads I ever saw was nothing to do with frost. We had a long spell of hot weather and it was just before the authorities rebuilt the stretch of road down Beattock as dual carriageway. They had been cutting back on the maintenance of the old tarred and chipped road and it had worn smooth. The hot spell had melted the tar and the road had quietly acquired a skin of oil and rubber and turned into a potential skid pan, all it needed was the water! The hot spell ended one Friday afternoon with a quick thunderstorm on the first day of Glasgow Fair. The road was full of holiday traffic and I forget now how many accidents I saw on that stretch, I remember I started counting them but gave up, there were well over fifty but none of them were serious. I have never seen as many cars and wagons off the road before or since, it must have been a bonanza for the local garages!
I hated fog! I remember setting off one day and there was a thick fog. David left for Beeston shortly after me but turned back, it was so bad on the M6. This was the day when there was the big pile-up on the Thelwall Viaduct. It was like a war zone and several people were killed. I drew on to the hard shoulder, got out of the wagon and sat on the banking listening to the mayhem, you couldn’t see anything, just hear the sounds. The main thing I remember about it is one big smashing noise followed by a lot of potatoes and a wagon wheel rolling out of the fog! One young driver was killed when he jumped over a fence to get away from the action, unfortunately it was a long drop the other side on to a road and he broke his neck, I don’t think they found him until much later. We were held up for about an hour, I was lucky, I was near the front of the smash and the police wanted us out of the way so they piloted us through. I went quietly down and got into Harry Laight’s yard at Droitwich about two hours late and with eyes like chapel hat pegs. He was surprised to see me but very pleased because he needed the cattle. After we had tipped them he gave me a pound note. Every trip I made after that he gave me a pound! This went on for a couple of years and in the end I told him that I was a bit worried, I was expecting the pound every time I went into his yard. He considered this for a moment and then agreed, he could see the problem. He never gave me a tip again! I know it sounds daft but I liked that and I think I went up in his estimation. Even so, that pound was nice… I told Richard the story and he laughed like a drain.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Dec 2019, 05:14

When I was a lad it was a given that regular services that made life easier were given 'Christmas Boxes'. The main recipients were the postman and the bin-men.
Old habits die hard and I still do it. I dealt with the bin men yesterday and they told me that there were very few people doing this these days and they were all pensioners. It shows how well I was imprinted as a lad because to me it is a duty and as long as I live I will do it. It's just a small sign that you appreciate what people do for you. You are recognising that they exist. I can't help thinking that it is a frame of thought that would improve life if more people did it.
I must be a dinosaur!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 17 Dec 2019, 10:12

We used to do that but now the `regulars' may not be on near Christmas. It's as likely to be people contracted in.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Dec 2019, 04:31

Another change, and I think it's because of greater regulation, is the complete absence of 'street traders'. The itinerant food sellers, door to door sales of household items, knife grinders, tinkers, news vendors and onion sellers. Even the rag and bone men have vanished. Strangely enough, milk chaps are slowly making a come back.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Big Kev » 18 Dec 2019, 06:11

Stanley wrote:
18 Dec 2019, 04:31
Even the rag and bone men have vanished.
There is still a 'scrap metal' collector in Barlick, he posts in social media when he is coming around...
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Dec 2019, 04:58

Yes Kev, but he is an exception since the new licensing of scrap merchants and the ban on cash trading came in. Mind you it was needed! Too much stolen metal was being easily disposed of no questions asked.
One thing that always strikes me at this time of the year is the amount of comment and discussion about seasonal foods. Mainly people talking about which foods they hate. I think I am very lucky, I was reared at a time when we didn't question food, we were grateful and we ate it! There are things I can do without but on the whole I am happy to eat just about anything and take it for what it is, some better than others!
It's probably a consequence of this that I dislike people making comments about food as they are eating it, especially if it's criticism. I was always taught to keep stum and not say anything that might put someone else off who was enjoying it until you stuck your oar in! Permissible to give an opinion if asked after the table has been cleared but until then, let people decide for themselves.
On a similar line, I often wonder about the 'fast foods' that people eat. They are almost always bland and tasteless until loaded with salt, sugar and spices. Think batter on Kentucky Fired Chicken. 'Finger Licking Good' is mainly the highly flavoured batter. I like spices but also like the clean taste of a freshly boiled sprout or potato with nothing but a small amount of salt. Most of the high end cooking you see on TV depends on complication and flavourings, contrast that with fish and chips with a bit of salt and vinegar eaten outside on a frosty night from newspaper! Dead simple and Proper grub!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2019, 04:53

80 Years ago at this time of year a popular activity was sending letters to Father Christmas. In those days we had a direct route to him, you wrote a letter lit it and allowed the draught of the open fire to waft it up the chimney. It made sense, we all 'knew' that he came into the house down the chimney!
Another activity was putting the tree up. We had an artificial tree that was pre-war. It was made up of a stick in an ornamental base with twisted wire for branches. The pine needle were strips of green paper incorporated into the twists and each branch terminated with a small candle holder.

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Very similar to this example but taller. I say taller, but thereby hangs a tale.... Incredible though it sounds we too had small candles in the holders and on Xmas Eve they were lit. One year it caught fire! A jug of water and a quick prune of the damaged bits restored it to life but that was the last time we ever lit the candles. It survived until the early 1960s but then Vera and I want over to the delights of a 'proper' tree and pine needles dropping all over the carpet.

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The kids decorating the tree in 1977 at Hey Farm.

These days I regret to say that I never have any decorations at all. Not that I don't like them but my mind goes back to making our own paper chain decorations and hanging them up and then the horrible bare look of the house after Xmas when they came down. I rely on other's efforts these days and suspect that artificial trees are making a come back. To me, Xmas is made by the kids and all that is long forgotten....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2019, 05:34

Image

How many of you remember these? The Pyrene fire extinguisher. (LINK)
Not mentioned in this article is the fact that the original small extinguishers like this one were filled with Carbon Tetrachloride(That's from memory but I think it's right). This is, as well as being a fire suppressant, a very effective degreasing agent and was the original solvent used for dry cleaning. It was also a very effective insecticide.
One of the quirks of being responsible for extinguishers was that you had to keep a close eye on these because it was very common for them to be milked by the workforce for degreasing or spot cleaning clothes! Because of their design this was very easy to do. I can't remember the date but they were outlawed as extinguishers because of the toxicity of the liquid.
I had one that had been made redundant and was aware of the dangers but one day it came in handy. We had a very large wasp nest in the roof of Hey Farm. I recruited my mate Ted Lawson, got the family out of the house at nightfall when we knew all the wasps would be at home in the nest and we went up into the bedroom underneath the nest with my .410 shotgun and the extinguisher. The game plan was that we opened the access trap in the ceiling, Ted blew a hole in the nest with the .410 and I jumped up and sprayed the nest and the whole of the roof space with the chemical. You can laugh but it worked like a charm! Complete elimination of the wasps. Problem solved!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 21 Dec 2019, 10:09

Yes, it was filled with carbon tetrachloride - which is a powerful liver toxin as well as being carcinogenic.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2019, 04:29

Thanks Tiz, as I thought. Funny that the Wikipedia article makes no mention of that.....
During the war and after I used to go with my dad to General Gas where he did his morning inspection as works manager. It was a fascinating place for me.
I remember the de-greasing plant. This was a large tank, probably holding about 400 gallons of carbon tet, it was heated and vapour rose off it but most of this was was condensed by pipes full of refrigerant round the lip of the tank. I remember father saying that they had to take one bloke off it because he had got hooked on the vapour, he had realised it 'intoxicated' him. I'd guess that that was literally true! I wonder what he died of? Safety was a bit lax in those days especially under the pressure of war time production.
I was given bits of scrap and encouraged to drill holes, spot weld and grind them, lovely and in hindsight illegal now!
One thing they made was large flare casings for the RAF. These had to have the body flash welded onto the domed end at one point in the process and it used so much juice that the lights in Denton dimmed every time a casing was welded. Nobody complained, it was the War......
One day we went out in the yard where there was a large rubbish fire. My dad had got hold of some defective Verey Flares (sometimes called Very Lights after the man who invented them) and we had great fun throwing them into the fire. As I say, attitudes were a lot different then!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 22 Dec 2019, 09:20

I worked at Sterling Mouldings Staybridge they produced polystyrene plastic , this was a two stage reaction, first in a steam heated stirring vessel, second stage the heated mix was drained into a long filter press, this was composed of aluminium frames and and plattens, these were steam heated to keep the reaction active, when the mix had solidified the press was opened and the block of styrene were dropped below the press, operators then had to sit on planks across the void and clean the frames and platten of the sticky styrene residue with rags soaked in toluene , we used to get as high as kites off the fumes,, the company gave us free bottles of milk to drink to prevent us from cancer from the fumes ?, must have worked i'm still here 60+ yrs. later. I doubt if it would be allowed today ?

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 22 Dec 2019, 10:38

The International Agency for Research on Cancer doesn't class toluene as a cause of cancer. It's good you weren't using benzene, that does cause cancer. Toluene began to replace benzene as it has similar physical properties but was safer.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2019, 04:35

I was struck when Coates Inks were building the Ellenroad facility how much care was going into making one building totally fireproof. Then I found out the nature of the solvents stored in there to make printing ink. Toluene was only one of the dangerous fluids.
Two things struck me. Everything in the building was protracted to Mines Safety standards, even the telephones. Then after it was 'finished' they found that they had wasted money on the flame proof fluorescent light fixtures as all the dangerous fumes were heavier than air and would never get up there. Then they found that one class of fittings didn't meet the code. It was the fire alarm buttons. Some very red faces and a quick change to very expensive ones!
Glad Bodge hasn't suffered any ill effects from the Toluene!
I often wonder about asbestos, I have buried too many of my mates and it can be a long time getting to you!
Incidentally, I always said that the 'safe' glass fibre insulation we used on boilers was more dangerous that the safety men had us believe....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 23 Dec 2019, 09:09

" often wonder about asbestos,"
Did quite a lot of "bull mucking" on steam lines in my early days as an apprentice and like you Stanley i seem to have survived the bad effects . bodger.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2019, 09:28

Funny isn't it Bodge. Some of us seem to have charmed lives! Doesn't stop me wondering occasionally.
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