Saturday, 13 October 2012

Separated at Birth !

 A couple of weeks ago I was on a filming trip to up-state New York (to film, of all things, an expert on Neolithic stone construction for a programme about Stonehenge) and found myself staying in Plattsburgh.
Now as a long-time listener to the VAP (Vintage Airstream Podcast - as if I need to tell you) - that rung a bell !
Home to Colin Hyde's Trailer Restoration shop... And despite a busy schedule, we found time on the morning we travelled back to the Uk to swing by.
Only a few clicks out of the old town on Trade Rd, a small aloooominum treasure trove hove into view.
And the man himself... Colin

They were in the middle of last minute checks & prep for 80s Caravelle (correct me if I'm wrong), that Colin mentioned on the 7th anniversary show - with orange & red decals - they don't come across well in the b/w but take my word for it she looked stunning & nice to see an 80s (though it had very much the feel of the late 70s) interior restored rather than replaced.
But he was kind enough to give us a tour of some of the trailers on his lot.
From a side-windowless custom trailer which had been Henry Ford 2nd's wardrobe trailer !
To other curious adaptations & modifications - the 13 panel slide-out
He's got a few projects of his own

...and lots for other clients
And though he was busy & I had a flight to catch, clearly we could have talked for hours (or days !)
He even showed us pictures of his work on the 'Breakwind' - sadly, despite all his vision & work on it, he had to leave it with his previous company 

So if you're after some great restoration work or advice, or you find yourselves heading for the Adirondacks or on the shores of Lake Champlain, do swing by & see Colin in Plattsburgh.

Lovely guy doing great restoration work &, like me, clearly suffering from advanced Aluminitus ! 
Either that or we were separated at birth !

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Camping !

Time to take the Flying Cloud down to Cornwall for a fortnight under aluminium rather than canvas
Canoe on top & everything we might need (almost) inside the Airstream
She towed fine down the A30
...never a shimmy or a sway
The chair & table are a temporary substitute for the dinette which will now be a winter job
 Our usual haunt in the wilds of Cornwall and after so much rain - some very welcome sunshine !
 Interestingly, when dismantling the inner skin, there was no sign of there ever having been a dinette or bench seats fitted, so she probably was supplied with fold-out table and chairs before the typical end dinette became standard.
A view of the estuary from the bed 
Cupboards, wardrobe, drawers and magazine rack refitted - the end one is the space for the Marvel fridge (still a work in progress) 
Our friends Shepherd's Hut 
 Morning coffee - Atomic style ! 

Now, we'd normally like to escape the news & TV altogether but camping had coincided with the Olympic fortnight... so we fitted a temporary TV !
 The wiring is all there but I haven't fitted the electrical system yet, so (apart from the telly) we had candlelight...
...and firelight (with the odd cowboy !) 
...and illuminated steps ! 
Coffee grinder & aluminium containers

Curtains - a re-issue of a Sanderson design from the 50s 

at low tide 

with some freshly picked samphire 
The family glued to the Olympics 
...another win in the rowing for Team GB ! 
In the great lottery to get Olympic tickets, we came up empty-handed but luckily my brother lucked-out & had enough spare for us to make a family jaunt up for a morning's athletics 
 So we all headed up from Cornwall on the train to Olympic Central
...arrived early ! 
Fantastic atmosphere - intimate & vast at the same time 
the brilliant Mo Farrah about to win his 5,000m heat 
and the Thomas Heatherwick flame
Stunning wildflower planting around the stadium and all over the site 

Home on the train over Brunel's finest creation; the 1859 Tamar Bridge - undergoing a bit of an overdue restoration.
 Polishing still at an early stage but getting there...
Awning still to come but instead we rigged one next to the fire 
Hehr Standards looking good...
... & working well 
And despite not having resealed the outer seams, no sign of any leaks 
My favourite gravestone - clearly carved by a typographer way ahead of his time (or possibly hers)  
It wasn't all sunshine but in what has become Britain's wettest summer since records began, we had a pretty good fortnight
Its become traditional that I'm expected to build 'club fenders' around the fire bucket (unsurprisingly, this year's model has an Olympic theme) 
... so we can all sit back with feet at the right height 
 for gentle toasting  
Changeable winds meant that we weren't always upwind of the fire ! 

Time to sit, relax & read - I can recommend the A303, Highway to the Sun 
 Sailing in our old friends Enterprise dinghy
Lunch on the beach 
Friends round the fire 


Sandy with his Powerisers - boing ! 
Coming back with the incoming tide 
Clearly an ex-member  of a dodgy Country & Western combo ! 
 Early evening fix of the Olympics 
Heading home 
 She does tow like a dream
 ... even on 'Impracticable' roads !
Hope to see some of you down the road in your Silver Sheds before long