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22 hours ago, PhilJ W said:

Probably former taxi's.

 

The taxis were nearly all Mercedes; it was only us underpaid servicemen who ran the rust bucket Fords.

 

Dave

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2 hours ago, J. S. Bach said:

Thank you for the link; however the Hatton's are class 57xx at £199.75 inc. VAT which would be deducted on my order to the US. That is a significant difference.

 

The difference is that the Lionheart ones are metal, not plastic.  Quite a chunky job too, no great difference in detail level to the Dapol loco, a little more crisp perhaps, but higher quality manufacture.  Mine isn't weathered yet.

 

20200902_161010.jpg.fb9ad36cec280f5fb49171f39a4ce7ff.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, J. S. Bach said:

The road number reminded my of a trolley line in Pittsburgh, PA; the 77/54 NORTHSIDE CARRICK via BLOOMFIELD, called the "Flying Fraction":

 

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/pitts/htm/usr_h_pit_pcc_1419_7754northsidecarrick_rhkj.htm

 

 

It was (is - its preserved) a loco sold out mainline service to the national coal board.  The model was a special for a company that deals with the Dapol warranty work, and is a much too bright green, hence it was cheap, and is now so heavily weathered.

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7 hours ago, New Haven Neil said:

The difference is that the Lionheart ones are metal, not plastic. 

That explains the price difference.

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Posted (edited)

Returning to the theme of my old Fords when in Singapore in the late 60s, they were kept going by a gent called Mr. Hong, who had a garage just outside the airfield. Hong and his lads could perform minor miracles with cars and I had cause to thank him on more than one occasion. For instance, my Consul developed an alarming stutter and kept cutting out one evening when I was on my way home. I managed to get it as far as Hong's where it was diagnosed with a cracked baseplate for the points and I asked if he had a spare. No, he replied, but one of the lads would fix it; would I like a beer while it was done? The outcome was that while Hong and I sat in the sun and chatted, one of the lads made a new baseplate, fixed all the bits to it and had the car running again in about 45 minutes. The cost was minimal. Oh that such service could be available here today.

 

Dave

Edited by Dave Hunt
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Dave Hunt said:

 The outcome was that while Hong and I sat in the sun and chatted, one of the lads made a new baseplate, fixed all the bits to it and had the car running again in about 45 minutes. The cost was minimal. Oh that such service could be available here today.

 

Dave

Sometimes job descriptions do not do the person doing it justice.

 

My grandfather was a railway fitter TVR then GWR.  His brothers were all equally qualified.

 

But they didn't just 'fit' things, they would repair them: Not just a case of replacing a part, but often making that replacement part from scratch.

 

It's a far cry from today's society where broken parts are just stripped off and thrown away rather than be repaired. These days it cheaper to strip a part off and replace it with a new one rather than repair it. 

 

As a result skills are being lost. (Well, actually they have been for some considerable time:  Probably over the last half century.)

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
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Picking up on Dave's story, when I was at sea we had a very large electric motor destroy itself, this was a 440hp job driving an LPG compressor, it was about three feet in diameter to give scale and weighed several tonnes.  It completely destroyed the windings and blew a hole in the steel casing you could get your hand through.  It was taken ashore in Singapore, and was returned rewound, the hole repaired and ready to go, in 32 hours. Un-believable.  

 

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Both those tales remind us of just why SE Asia is now a popular place for manufacturing. A can-do mentality, nimble fingers, a joy in achieving. Having your expensive camera made in Thailand rather than Japan is no slur.  

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7 minutes ago, Winslow Boy said:

Combination of cheap, skilled labour. Something especially the cheap bit, which  even Chinese are now starting to feel the pinch with.

 

Agree.  As a retailer for the 7 years pre-covid closing, the increase in prices for Chinese made goods was astonishing, as we commissioned models the costs were spiralling.  We were told there was some kind of labour agreement in China that increased workers wages by a set large percentage (IRC 20%) each year for 4 years, as the adjusted their place in the market.  We stopped commissioning models as the returns disappeared as the ceiling retail price for them had been reached, and we needed to eat!

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43 minutes ago, New Haven Neil said:

 

Agree.  As a retailer for the 7 years pre-covid closing, the increase in prices for Chinese made goods was astonishing, as we commissioned models the costs were spiralling.  We were told there was some kind of labour agreement in China that increased workers wages by a set large percentage (IRC 20%) each year for 4 years, as the adjusted their place in the market.  We stopped commissioning models as the returns disappeared as the ceiling retail price for them had been reached, and we needed to eat!

This is evidenced by Dapol beginning to return the manufacture of their models to the UK.

 

It won't completely happen overnight, but it has started.

 

By the time you add the ever increasing production charges to the shipping costs:  Container charges are ever increasing, it makes financial sense.

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And the really sad thing is that while prices are spiralling in China etc. we in the western world are losing (have lost?) the skills and wherewithal to be able to resurrect the manufacturing and repair facilities we used to possess. I guess that this is all down to the bean counters who have concentrated purely on today's balance sheet/profit with wilful disregard for the future. As my Grandad used to say, "Think what you're doing if it's just for today; it can bite you on the bum tomorrow if you aren't careful."

 

Dave

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When I was restiring the horse tram, one of the best bits was finding excellent and skillfull craftsmen in a variety of trades. Spring making, rubber enginering, fabrication and foundry skills come to mind. Often in parts of old mills.  Universally they all seemed cheerful and it was a joy to work with them. The spring maker was great. I had to get some brake pull off springs made, shaped, something like a question mark. When I went to collect them he said how lovely they looked. He told me that he had got his senior apprentice  to make them, and they made an extra one to display on the wall in reception as an apprentice  piece. 

 

Jamie

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I have said before on this forum, if not this thread, these skills never disappeared from the UK, they became less common but more than that, they just became obscured by the growth of everything else.  You no longer notice the industrial estate full of small engineering companies, because the half of it next to the by-pass was demolished in the 1980s and is now a retail park.  The specialists are still there.

The (non)importance of manufacturing is often attributed to the small proportion of the workforce employed in it.  Actually this is very misleading; in 1970, a car plant may have employed 10,000 people, all of whom worked for one company which was classed as a manufacturer.  Fifty years later, due to modernisation - yes Mr Trump, the jobs were modernised out of existence, not exported to China - that same car plant now produces three times as many cars per annum using 3000 people (and probably fewer).  However of that 3000, there are perhaps 500 employed by the caterers, IT support, engineering maintenance, transport, cleaning etc.  These jobs are all contracted out to companies that all call themselves service companies, which they are, but which are wholly or largely in existence because of manufacturing.  Their workforce's role hasn't changed but they have been re-classified.

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1 hour ago, Dave Hunt said:

And the really sad thing is that while prices are spiralling in China etc. we in the western world are losing (have lost?) the skills and wherewithal to be able to resurrect the manufacturing and repair facilities we used to possess.

 

 

Bear attends (or did - thanks to C-19 :sad_mini2:) a model engineering class at a local college; the college was interviewing for another Tutor.  The applicant was asked why are there three taps in a set (first, second and plug).  The reply:

"In case you break one"

He didn't get the job, I'm very pleased to say.

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29 minutes ago, polybear said:

 

Bear attends (or did - thanks to C-19 :sad_mini2:) a model engineering class at a local college; the college was interviewing for another Tutor.  The applicant was asked why are there three taps in a set (first, second and plug).  The reply:

"In case you break one"

He didn't get the job, I'm very pleased to say.

I thought it was hot, cold and cider!

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There was a film on Farcebook showing a far eastern gentleman restoring a large lead acid battery. To begin with he pulled the terminals off with a pair of pliers. Then he eased the lid off of the battery and then proceeded to pour the liquid contents down a drain. No protective gear, not even gloves. He then removed the lead plates for cleaning and then re-assembled them in the battery case, re-attached the lid and terminals and refilled it and put it on charge. If I find the film again I'll post it on here.

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2 hours ago, Dave Hunt said:

I guess that this is all down to the bean counters who have concentrated purely on today's balance sheet/profit with wilful disregard for the future.

Accountants (aka Bean Counters) know the price of everything and the value of very little ie they confuse price and value. I gave up (& retired) trying to convince management (in the MoD Civil Service) of the folly of putting all the work out to contractors rather than 'in-house'. "But look at the money saved by reducing MoD staff", came the reply, a few years later no internal experience left (not even enough to monitor the contractors effectively) and surprisingly the costs rocketed, quality/ performance dropped.

Yes, I'm old enough to write MoD rather than MOD.

**Rant Mode Off***  

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Canal Digger said:

Accountants (aka Bean Counters) know the price of everything and the value of very little ie they confuse price and value. I gave up (& retired) trying to convince management (in the MoD Civil Service) of the folly of putting all the work out to contractors rather than 'in-house'. "But look at the money saved by reducing MoD staff", came the reply, a few years later no internal experience left (not even enough to monitor the contractors effectively) and surprisingly the costs rocketed, quality/ performance dropped.

Yes, I'm old enough to write MoD rather than MOD.

**Rant Mode Off***  

I remembering having a slight argument with a civil servant in the provisioning branch.  He could buy in xxx nuts washers and bolts far cheaper than my team.  Again, it was cost over content as he was totally ignorant until I enlightened him, that rather special nuts, washers and bolts are required to stop parts of helicopters falling off when they are in flight.

 

My team, both male and female civil servants, were fastidious in cross checking who was getting what and why, especially if specialised parts were needed.

 

They spent quite a bit of time ensuring the stuff we  were going to buy in matched the technical specifications required.

 

While I'm on the logistic side, all this would have been for nothing if the people running the storage and distribution had screwed up and issued the wrong item.  It did occasionally happen as inputting a NSN (Nato Stock Number) incorrectly could have consequences...

 

Many years back the Paras were in Zimbabwe as part of the monitoring force and they indented for a lot of bush hats.  Somewhere the NSN was mistyped and they ended up with an airdrop of sanitary towels:laugh_mini:

 

Well I suppose they were bush hats of a sort...

 

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
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2 minutes ago, Happy Hippo said:

I remembering having a slight argument with a civil servant in the provisioning branch.  He could buy in xxx nuts washers and bolts far cheaper than my team.  Again, it was cost over content as he was totally ignorant until I enlightened him, that rather special nuts, washers and bolts are required to stop parts of helicopters falling off when they are in flight.

 

My team, both male and female civil servants, were fastidious in cross checking who was getting what and why, especially if specialised parts were needed.

 

They spent quite a bit of time ensuring the stuff we  were going to buy in matched the technical specifications required.

 

While I'm on the logistic side, all this would have been for nothing if the people running the storage and distribution had screwed up and issued the wrong item.  It did occasionally happen as inputting a NSN (Nato Stock Number) incorrectly could have consequences...

 

Many years back the Paras were in Zimbabwe as part of the monitoring force and they indented for a lot of bush hats.  somewhere the NSN was mistyped and they ended up with an airdrop of sanitary towels:laugh_mini:.  Well I suppose they were bush hats of a sort...

 

 

Similar story - when I worked in the part of an MoD Agency that specified "oily stuff", we were made aware of the person in the MoD procurement department who was congratulated for saving about N% on compressor wash fluid.  Unfortunately what they'd purchased wasn't salt-free and the mistake wasn't spotted until the first Pegasus engine had gone through overhaul.  Very approximately, their £10k saving became a £1M unplanned overhaul of a Harrier engine. 

We didn't put those extra lines in the specifications for our health, you know.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

I thought it was hot, cold and cider!

Over here the 3 taps on the wall of an essential supplier are labelled, rouge, rosé and blanc.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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57 minutes ago, Happy Hippo said:

I remembering having a slight argument with a civil servant in the provisioning branch.  He could buy in xxx nuts washers and bolts far cheaper than my team.  Again, it was cost over content as he was totally ignorant until I enlightened him, that rather special nuts, washers and bolts are required to stop parts of helicopters falling off when they are in flight.

 

My team, both male and female civil servants, were fastidious in cross checking who was getting what and why, especially if specialised parts were needed.

 

They spent quite a bit of time ensuring the stuff we  were going to buy in matched the technical specifications required.

 

While I'm on the logistic side, all this would have been for nothing if the people running the storage and distribution had screwed up and issued the wrong item.  It did occasionally happen as inputting a NSN (Nato Stock Number) incorrectly could have consequences...

 

Many years back the Paras were in Zimbabwe as part of the monitoring force and they indented for a lot of bush hats.  Somewhere the NSN was mistyped and they ended up with an airdrop of sanitary towels:laugh_mini:

 

Well I suppose they were bush hats of a sort...

 

 

A colleague of mine had been in 45 Commando and they were deployed at short notice to Tanganyika  on a sort of peacekeeping mission.  There had been a SNAFU somewhere as when they deployed, the only ammunition they had was what they already carried on their person. Fortunately they didn't have a need for extra ammo.

 

As to Bean counters, I once soent some time at a Model Railway Show tslking yo a vet who had played a senior role in the last big Foot and Mouth Outbreak.  He was incandescent about cost cutting in the Civil Service that had reduced the number of vets who knew how to deal with such outbreaks. All in the name of cost cutting but no regard to keeping essential knowledge  alive. 

 

Jamie

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I'm afraid its not the meek who shall inherit the earth but açcountants.

 

And strangely enough you never see a poor accountant they always seem to come out on a full pension when they retire.

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