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Spalding area's John Ward: "Home delivery is always possible - even a working engine"




On a frequent basis we get ‘junk mail’, like most of us do that own a letterbox as having one does make us collectively a target for such deliveries at the best of times. Quite pointless printed material as it goes straight into the recycling bag.

A regular flyer is for the home delivery of pizzas, but due to our location they don’t deliver in ‘our area’, although delivery of their flyer/leaflet can arrive so perhaps if they joined forces with Royal Mail they might strike gold.

Meanwhile, we are keeping the stocks of recycling paper material up in our keenness and unselfish manner, but nobody of the saving the planet, rain forest, Notts forest is jumping up and down to ban such stuff as being a waste of resources which seems quite odd as normally they don’t miss a trick.

John Ward (16810334)
John Ward (16810334)

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I can honestly say we have had no reported case of protesters/attention-seekers gluing themselves to pizza flyers in this area but if they read this, it could change, but will keep you updated on that one.

Home delivery is the big thing nowadays from pizzas (if in the ‘right’ area, natch) to washing machines to virtually anything with a plug on it in general to clothing that may or may not fit, but if not then it would go back as fast as it arrived via the same process but the list is endless as its ever growing.

If it can fit in a van or on the back of a lorry it can be yours if the price is right but helicopter delivery by arrangement with possibly drones soon to appear.

The best and so far unbeaten one happened to a friend years ago when his wife’s car engine went ker-bang, at the traffic lights no less, when an horrible noise came suddenly above the radio which then turned into loads of steam and smoke from under the bonnet as the car turned itself into a road block.

Once towed back home a quick eyeball under the bonnet was enough to suggest it was dead, never to run again under its own power as cost of a new engine outweighed its worth.

For those of a technical mindset, it was mark one Ford Escort, rear wheel drive breed, but then you had room under the bonnet to actually work on the engine, unlike today’s modern motoring marvels where everything is crammed in so you need fingers twelve inches long, thin as razor blades to work on them almost.

Back to Brian and his wife’s power plant, now beyond all hope as a factory exchange engine was prohibitive cost-wise.

Visits to scrap yards were verging on high comedy in claims as to assorted engine’s mechanical state - one belter was being led to believe: ‘the car drove into the yard powered by that engine, squire’ and if it did, quite how considering the large hole in the side of the engine as it not being a factory option as far as we knew.

After a fortnight of time wasting, sustained laughter and eyebrow rising he placed assorted ‘wanted’ adverts in the local press plus small ads in shop windows.

A few days later somebody rung him as he had one for sale that was the right size and calibre, but great joy of joys, he could hear it running before buying plus - oh it got better by the earful - he could deliver and fit it, for a small additional cost by ‘skilled mechanics’.

The price in theory was agreed over the phone and so where could he go to ‘see it running’ then to clinch the deal?

Answer was swift - it comes to him - a running engine delivered then, which certainly outweighed us nowadays getting a humble pizza delivered.

The following Saturday morning was agreed for the engine being delivered-examined and Brian asked if I could be there based on the time honoured ‘just in case’ idiom of things going not to plan or as thought.

Nine thirty arrived as shortly after so did a decrepit looking Ford Escort that coughed and lurched itself to a halt just outside Brian’s home as we stood there possibly both mentally thinking ‘what’s going on here?’

Wayne got out the Escort with a big grin - it was his wife, ‘Stash’- as she stood there staring around as she said they ‘always wanted to live in that area but couldn’t afford it just yet’ (sell this engine and probably you still couldn’t either).

He flicked the bonnet open as amid the oily haze or fog, was the engine but despite the noises and general appearance it did seem to function as we all clambered aboard and went for a spin down the road as it did go rather well.

Based on this trial flight the price was firmly sorted as moments later, or as if by magic, a breakdown recovery truck arrived - possibly the one we saw parked around the corner we noticed on our trial run/flight - with two oily overalled individuals in the cab.

This was the ‘fitting crew’ or Arron and Seppy we learnt.

They immediately set to strip the engine out by the side of the road with basic tools as in about five spanners, a few screw drivers and for those difficult moments a large hammer and chisel lay in the bottom of their ‘tool box’ I noticed.

Not too sure about the pair of nutcrackers and corkscrew though.

Our role in this was to ‘get the kettle on, Guv’ as Brian went to the kitchen as instructed.

I stood and watched over the antics of the mechanical equivalent of ‘Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men’ in action with Wayne as ‘Little Weed’ offering encouragement such as ‘stop messing abart! - it’s only a bit of hot heat, innit!’ as Seppy was trying to get a recently hot exhaust undone with his bare hands.

The tea duly arrived as everybody stopped to drink it as Seppy announced that from his hot exhaust encounter he had now got ‘a blipper ona me fumb’ (translation: a blister was forming on his thumb).

Stash said she would’ve ‘kissed it better’ (!) but he had oily hands - caring or what?

Wayne said his ‘team’ would also remove the offending broken engine and replace it with his newly acquired one for an ‘extra tenner, Guv’.

This gesture surprised us and obviously also Arron and Seppy judging by their joint sudden stone-like facial expressions on hearing that.

Once the job was completed and everything basically running as it should, money changed hands; the remains of the ‘donor’ vehicle were winched on to the recovery truck as away they eventually went.

The replacement engine went on for nearly three happy years before the car itself failed its annual medical - the MOT test - and was scrapped due to being uneconomical to repair.

One thing that Brian never bothered his wife with was one of their neighbours later said, while walking his dog during the removal/refitting engine session, noticed that the ‘donor vehicle’ had different number plates front and back.

Brian explained it was possibly due to being a ‘change over’ model for the year at the time of production hence the mix up or was a ‘Friday afternoon’ model.

PS: Wayne and Stash never did move into the area oddly.


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