Well Hello everyone! I hope you had a very enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend and are looking forward to the next one, it will be here before we know it! My adventures consisted of a water park, where I must add I have a lovely bruise on my arm off the water log and I went to Truckfest however, I shall not bore you will the details however, I did see Todd from Ice Road Truckers now on with the show!
Tonight, Barry brought us Part 3 of his Model Mania series, this time we are focusing on Heavy Haulage, he stated that some of the models have made an appearance before in previous showings however, did have a wide selection which have never been shown before.
The wagons were set out in sections showing vehicles from a few haulage companies starting with Pickfords Removals, actually if you go onto Google Images and type in ‘Pickfords Removals’ two photographs of Peter and Barry’s Pickford’s vehicle show up, both are at shows, one is definitely the Tyne Tees Run (I know this because it’s the picture that I took…goodness knows how it made its way onto Google!)
Barry started with a lovely framed photograph of his and Peter’s vehicle, which I believe was taken when it was pulling into Bents Park on the Tyne Tees. He has a model which is a close replica to their vehicle however, the model is an O Type Bedford and theirs is a M Type Bedford. The difference between the O Type and M Type is that one has a 3-ton chassis and the other has a 5.
During the war production of the usual models ceased and a ‘cheaper’ model of the vehicle was produced for the army’s use; these wagons had a flattened front and were fitted with large heavy-duty bars.
In the 1950’s production began again and in came new designs for the Bedford and so the S Type was born and later the Bedford TK. Barry believes that over half a million Bedford TK’s were produced.
Barry shared with us that his Uncle used to own various removal vans, one of which Barry has a replica of on the table, which we are told was rather rare! Now on the front line was a very tiny vehicle, a Little Reliant (three-wheeler) or as I like to call them ‘broken cars’ thank my younger self for that! Showing that over the time Pickfords had quite a variety of vehicles in their fleet, ranging from Heavy Haulage to steam locomotives.
The company did not always use Bedford’s for their choice of wagon they also used vehicles produced by Scammell, Foden and the like. Barry recalls an early memory of watching the rather large vehicles going down his street. They had a bit of a hard time going around the corner in those days, not like today where it is a lot easier. Barry used to watch them from his bedrooms window having to go onto the other side of the road to turn the corner without damaging anything.
Along with Pickfords Barry had vehicles in the livery of A.L.E whom we weren’t too sure whether this company was still around, Sunters and Siddle Cook, whom is now well known as Elddis. Barry had the pleasure of been invited to a function and talking with Sunters himself, they had a lovely conversation about the heavy haulage in which the company used and what equipment they had, before everything became modernised!!
This brought conversation about a new trailer which had recently been on the television a one which was driven via remote control. Our members enjoy a wide variety of Heavy Haulage television programs including ‘Ice Road Truckers’ (see Truckfest tided in somewhere), ‘World’s Dangerous Roads’, ‘Outback Truckers’ and ‘Logging the Russian Way.’
Thanks to Dick and Google for looking up about A.L.E it is in fact still a company which is in business today!
Barry then invited everyone to come and have a closer look at the collection, ask questions, handle the vehicles however, no playing races with them! I would like to thank Barry once again for bringing his collection along tonight for everyone to have a look at and whilst in conversations with him I found out there could be a Part 4!
Now on a different note our Barry likes to play a certain instrument and has taken this up as a hobby of his and has played in various shows I believe mainly in Blackpool. As you know our Queen recently celebrated her 92nd Birthday at the Royal Albert Hall. Barry made an appearance as part of the George Formby Society at a prelude to the celebrations at Blackpool and was shown during the program. Barry is the gentleman on the far left in the bottom corner, there is a gentleman pointing his mobile phone at him.
Thank you to everyone who has entered or enquired about the Tyne Tees Run it is swiftly approaching! If you follow us on Facebook, you would have seen our count down we are currently on 4 weeks until the event! If I do not see you before I shall see you there! Don’t forget to come and say hello!
North East Secretary
Wow, I have just noticed as I selected the file marked HC News on my memory stick and made a new file that this is my third year of writing entries for HC News, thought I would share that little bit of trivia with you!
Well I hope you all had a jolly holiday and have come back all refreshed and ready to start a new year! The highlight of my Christmas was travelling to London to see The Christmasaurus Live by Tom Fletcher, for anyone who doesn’t know who Tom Fletcher is he is a band member from McFly/McBusted and is now a children’s Author.
Anyway enough about that, Barry our Treasurer rang in our very first meeting of the new year with Part 2 of his model series. This time the table was set in the tradition ‘wagon trail’ which circus’ were set up as back in the day. With the Big Top tents being at either end with caravans and wagon trains around the outside forming a circle or square.
Barry’s models were in the livery of both Billy Smart’s and Chipperfield’s, Billy Smarts being to the right in green, where Chipperfield’s was to the left in red. Showmanship has very much been a part of Barry’s life since a very young age. He recalled being on a trip to London and seeing the circus coming in in convoy. Another memory he shared was when his Uncle Jack took both Barry and his brother Peter to Darlington as Billy Smarts was in town! He recalled about seeing the show and being fascinated with the magic that the high wire trapeze artists, animals, clowns and Ring Masters produced under the tents roof. Unfortunately, by nightfall it was time to leave, but seeing the lights and hearing the sounds as he was walking back to the car with his family, sparked an interest which has never left him!
Prompted by Barry our Chairman, Barry took out a model fire engine which had been tucked behind one of the circus tents, as far as Barry knows Billy Smarts was the only circus which had its own fire engine to hand during the shows. He had a very informative book which was passed around the members to view. The book detailed Billy Smarts performances across the ages showing illustrations of their advertisement photographs, promotional photographs, newspaper articles and their performances for Royalty.
Barry recalled a trip he had taken in the seventies to New York, he was staying in Manhattan at the time, he was lucky enough to attend Madison Square Gardens when the famous Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show was at the venue.
He recalled how the show ran for two and a half hours, producing a magnificent show on in which he would never forget to this day! His luck continued however, when travelling down to Washington DC Barry witnessed the famous mile long circus train moving across the country. Taking equipment, staff and animals from place to place during their tour.
This sparked a memory with Paul who shared that whilst he was at sea, he recalled the ship carrying the cargo for a circus on board.
Speaking of ships, Barry’s luck once again paid out as whilst cruising he had the pleasure of going to see Button’s the Clown holding a presentation on board the ship. Recalling stories about his life and his experiences in the circus. One of the memories he shared was of having his shows cancelled as Pearl Harbour had just happened that very day! Barry’s Mother had a bit of a surprise that night whilst she was playing bingo little did she know that that night she would be sitting next to the gentleman whom was on stage just hours before!
Unfortunately, Barry has not visited a circus in quite a while however, he always thinks about what it would be like to step inside a modern-day circus, would it still feel the same? What would happen now that all the animals have gone? Is their new stuntmen or stilt walkers? None of us could comment on that as neither of us has been to a circus of late and I must admit I have never had the pleasure of going to the circus.
The Greatest Showman staring Hugh Jackman is in cinemas now, telling the story about P. T .Barnum’s life, it is very good!
Thank you to Barry for coming forward tonight and sharing his interests and bringing along his models. On talking to Barry after his presentation he just might have a part 3 sitting waiting for us! I see a series coming on!
Once again thank you to those who have handed in their Tyne Tees Run forms both via email and post. There is still time to hand them in, if you have not got a form and wish to come there is a form available to download from the HCVS website or if you have any questions regarding this year’s event please do not hesitate to contact me!
North East Secretary
Well it is February, Happy Pancake Day, Valentines and Chinese New Year to you all! This month our meeting fell on Valentine’s Day and what better way to celebrate by attending Bede Lodge and taking a trip down the Beamish Museum cobbles with Malcolm Paul.
Now as you may know Beamish is a large Victorian open-air museum situated in County Durham. The museum is highly popular and welcomes thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. The only museum quite like this one in the UK is Blitz Hill in Telford which is part of the Iron Bridge Museums.
The buildings in Beamish are either buildings which have been taken down brick by brick and then rebuilt or they are replicas of buildings in the North East. Malcolm informed us how Beamish is currently undergoing mass developments installing a new 1950’s town, which will have a Cinema, Police Station and much more!
Throughout the year Beamish are hosts to many events which Malcolm regularly attends. He displayed a wide variety of images from his visits to the annual steam event where the legendary Iron Maiden was in attendance…and no not the band but the steamer! As well as steam events Malcolm has attended many car rally’s, as well as other vehicle events.
Of course some of his photographs showed the transportation which Beamish themselves own and which you can go on to get from place to place whilst at the museum. These include cars, buses, locomotives and of course the trams!
Coming from either a mining, industrial or farming backgrounds Beamish holds a very special place in the hearts of those in the North East!
Our Chairman Barry, whom I call Dad used to work there before I was born He shared with the members his memories of installing the cobbles in the 1820’s town, helping to install the large printing press in the printers where you can go and buy a newspaper and lending a hand in the installation of ‘The Hammer’ which is situated at the very entrance of the museums car park.
Dick one of our Committee Members attends The Agricultural Show yearly, giving talks to visitors, children and teachers on educational visits. Dick also displays and demonstrates items he enjoys making such as whistles and tongs.
Some of our members are Friends of Beamish, pass holders and some have even donated items to the museum for display itself. Now the museum has a vast amount of archived items which can now be viewed by the public in the large Dunlop building, there is even an Iron Lung in there which is rather interesting as well as other interesting items.
I would like to thank Malcolm and Les for coming along this month and we hope to see you both again for a future presentation!
Join us in March where Ron Henderson will be presenting us with Emergency Vehicles through time! Once again, I would just like to thank those who have entered their vehicles for the Tyne Tees Run (which is swiftly approaching!) still plenty of time to enter your vehicle!
North East Secretary
Paul gave a very good introduction for our speaker tonight, they have known one another for many years, originally meeting in 1974 and have been firm friends since then!
As the lights in our meeting room were turned off, the screen illuminated picturing an illustration of a Fire Engine, appearing as if a child had produced the slides title page. Ron took to the stage and gave a little back ground information on how although he was born with a talent to paint, he never picked up the brush until his mid-thirties. Ron, like many people did fear what he was good at for a good few years before blowing the layer of dust off his watercolour set which had been sitting in a cupboard, for ten years, left but not forgotten!
The newly undusted water paints went on to paint a drawing which Ron had spotted in Paul house when he came to visit him. Soon Ron moved from water paints and onto oil paints, now I do not know if many of you know that a small tube of oil paint will set you back around £6+ and the brushes a small one for small details can cost you around £4+ and canvas boards do not come cheap either.
Ron showed a beautiful Fire Engine which he had painted and shared with us a few troubles which he had with the painting. See the Fire Engine in question had a rather unusual colour, it was an almost purple/brown colour. Now, I have done this myself and wasted paint, but experimentation left Ron with a pallet covered in a big splodge of muddy coloured paint, which had to be scrapped from the pallet straight into the bin! As Ron perfected and became more confident with pallet mixing the colour soon came!
As Ron’s paintings became popular and well know, he began to receive commissions for retirement gifts for men who had served in the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service! The people would contact Ron, give him a little bit of background information about the person, where they had worked, what vehicles they had worked with etc…
The next job is to then sit down and plan this all out onto a canvas board. A lot of his retirement paintings pictured a building or badge in the centre with different vehicles over the years around the outside. Many of the people whom these paintings were for were long serving people in their field, some serving for 40 years. Ron will then spend time lining everything up, making sure the vehicle will be sitting in a line, that they balance one another, that the building is set right and above all make sure the lovely clean white canvas is not marked in any way. As the painting process begins he likes to start in the very top corner and work clockwise around the board, he stated that it takes approximately an afternoon to paint two vehicles.
Ron stated that some of his commissions can become a little bit tricky especially when someone would like something on their painting which is a little unusual. For example, a painting was done for someone who worked in Hartlepool (some of you might know where this is going!) The painting pictures, buildings, vehicles, a World War Plane and…the MONKEY! Here Ron had a little bit of a problem, how could he paint a monkey being hung on someone’s painting, what happened if a child saw it and found it quite distressing however, this is what they person had asked for, so to make light of the subject Ron painted a cartoon monkey at the top instead of a real one! Now for those of you who do not know about Hartlepool and the Monkey, please feel free to use that search engine we all know and love, Google! For those of you who DO know what I am referring too, I apologise for mentioning the Monkey!!
Over the years as Ron perfected his skill and gain confidence he does occasional little exercises, some of these exercise paintings have been sold on and some are still in Ron’s possession. He likes to capture each little detail as much as he can, and you can see the development of this in his works, each nut and bolt is showing, details on gage faces, on the badges which cannot really be seen until really looked at is all pictured in his works. Ron shared that sometimes after he has painted a painting he would go back and edit bits out because he felt they did not quite work. He showed us an example of this of the river, with a ship and the series of bridges on the Tyne. This painting hangs in Ron’s living room however, the ship is no longer in the painting. Ron felt that it was not proportioned right to the rest of it so edited it out instead. One exercise is from the Eagle comics, this is one of his favourites as it is an Engine which was in service whilst he was working in the Fire Brigade.
Some of these exercises include, trains, planes, ships, boats, horses, butterflies (although you must paint them quick before they fly away!) One painting of a Life Boat was commissioned to help raise money, Ron journeyed out it a little boat to take photographs of the Life Boat in action, unfortunately his camera lens had a close encounter with some salt water and sadly it never worked again however, Ron said that it was all for a good cause!
He painted a replica of the famous painting ‘Saved’ for tea towels to be printed. A Gentleman once bought over 20 paintings of ships which Ron had painted. Sadly, the gentleman died however, the paints were all sold to a hotel in South Shields and they’re now hung pride of place up the main stairway. Not only are his paintings in a hotel, he also has paintings in both Newcastle and Heathrow Airports!
Knowing that Ian would be in attendance tonight Ron added in a painting of a Durham Dennis which Ian worked on when he served as a Fire Fighter!
It was lovely to see Ron’s work and you can see the real passion he has for his paintings, he is not afraid to state when something did not go according to plan and sees it all as a learning curve! I would like to thank Ron for coming along to tonight’s meeting and we do hope to see him again in the future!
You can now find HCVS on Facebook, look for the group Historic Commercial Vehicle Society – North East
Happy Easter everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend! I had quite an enjoyable time, I went to an air rifle shooting range (I best add that it was in a highly controlled environment), a cat show, the garden centre and my new book came which I was quite excited about! The book however, was not about vehicles but the other v word….vampires! It did not let me down and I am now waiting for the next one which is out next year!
But enough about my little update, tonight Ian brought along one of his eBay Quizzes. This time there was twenty vehicles in the quiz, the aim of the game is as follows, Ian shows us some photographs of the vehicles up for auction and then gives us a little bit of back ground information. Going from that you then have to decided how much the vehicle was sold for, now this can go anywhere from £1 well into the thousands! The key is not to be fooled…especially if the vehicle has been graced with a lot of rot and rust over the years, like the very old but might I say quite original Bedford which has been sitting in a field for quite some time! Unfortunately, due to its time in the field the weather has not been kind to this vehicle and it was quite rusty!
There was a beautiful Leyland Octopus which went for £12,500. Now our Chairman had quite a few good guesses, he was on the money on two of the vehicles and only £5 away from the final price for two others!
Unfortunately, like many items on eBay a lot of these vehicles made a reappearance back on the site not long after bidding came to an end. Probably due to the reserve not being met or someone may have dropped out of the final sale.
As we know Ian was a Fire Fighter for Durham, now one of these Fire Engines on the list was the sister Engine to the very one which Ian used to drive! In the mix we also saw an ET6, Themes Trader and an Austin K9!
I would like to thank Ian for hosting our quiz tonight as always it is very well received and was especially enjoyed by some of our new members who said that it was nice to see something a little bit different!
In other news as I sit here writing to you all, I have sitting by me our Green Forms for this years Tyne Tees Run which shall be filled in and sent soon. However, do not worry if you have yet to enter the run you have plenty of time to do so!
See you all next month!
North East Secretary
Outright concours winner Frank Willis with His Commer TS3