Sunday, 26 June 2011

VATCo meltdown, the good, the bad and the ugly !

Sadly there isn't much 'good'; its been a pretty bad & ugly week. 

I turned up at VATCo last Wed, expecting to see the FC with her new axle, wheels & towhitch fitted only to find that Pete Ritchie had done a runner with his two showman trailers, ERF towtruck, all his tools and any deposits paid by Airstream or other trailer owners. 
Luckily the landlord (also owed a lot of back-rent) is a really decent guy & very helpful, so we managed to get in and start sorting out the ugly mess.
 We've managed to contact all but one of the owners of Airstreams in various states of restoration and they've all been moved off-site
Luckily with the help of Ron, the welder, and Mark, from Cats Hill Plant Hire, I've managed to get the axle, wheels and a temporary hitch onto the old girl. And while I'd much rather be seeing the view of her in my rear view mirror, I'm more than happy to see her out in front for now...
 ... and get her moved to a much safer place.
Despite this nightmare, I don't think Pete was all bad, he'd just seemed to have got himself into a mess financially and rather than stay & sort it, he's taken the cowardly option & run for it. I only wish I'd seen the signs earlier but its always easy to be wise after the event. 


  1. you can rent some space from me....

  2. Chris - I hate to needle you, but since I know you can delete my comment, here in Alabama, Mr. Google tells me VATCO is concerned with being an "international food broker, importer and agent serving Canadian food distributors - canned tuna, canned sardines, canned mackerel, canned seafood."

    There was no mention of Airstream. Is it different on your side of the pond?


  3. Oh, Chris, what a mess. I don't think I'd be having nearly as forgiving thoughts about Pete as you do.

    Glad you got the trailer out of there, anyway.


  4. Thanks Frank... but luckily she's in safe hands.
    Tom - I rather doubt that the two VATCos are related, though I suppose were just restoring our own 'cans' !
    And Steve - I'm no saint and probably think the best of people too often but I prefer to be that way. Out of pocket, yes, but at least the old FC is safe & maybe we'll manage a coaming trip before the snows come this year.
    Thanks for all you good wishes - worse things happen at sea !

  5. Hi Idler,
    I am the bloke who bought the 70's tradewind off Peter. Please go and have a look at the comments on the UKAirstreamers site
    It looks like a few people are in the same boat regarding money and broken dreams etc. You maybe able to help. I might also have a ceiling light. Contact me through my mail and I can send you a picture.

  6. Catching up on things, and my heart sank as I was reading this post. What a huge disappointment. Chris, I so hate to hear this has happened. Your attitude and helpfulness to others in this mess shows great character. So glad you have your girl off site and safe.

  7. A Langston Hughes poem comes to mind...

    What happens to a dream deferred?...a raisin in the sun...or an Airstream trailer still reflecting it nonetheless?

    Persevere, Mr. Vile. Your dream deserves it.