Page 4.   SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Winter 2021.

S & D Memories No.5.By Barrie Woods.

This photo of preserved 1972 TN Pakamatic in 1999 at Newark was sent in by Peter Thorner. It was restored by the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council and is in the Livery of Keighley Corporation. It is on display at the Keighley Bus Museum & owned by the Museum Trust. Barrie was a regular driver of a TN Pakamatic.

I continued to drive both the Artic and deliver/demonstrate RCV’s as the workload directed. Several minor incidents occurred during these journeys.

The Forest of Bowland Rural District Council was probably the most enjoyable demonstration week of my stint with S & D, although it wasn’t without its problems. I took the TN 20yd Pakamatic, which I tended to stay on most of my time there. Primarily as more often than not it was the rural councils where I would be asked to go, much nicer than a busy urban town. My digs were with Harold and his wife, he was the driver of the vehicle we were up against, a side-loader. It was a five-day demo. Staying with Harold and his wife was sheer joy, I was made very much at home, she was an excellent cook and fed me very well, they had a wonderfully friendly Border Collie dog. Each night Harold would take me to his local pub in Gisburn where, with some of his colleagues, we’d play darts and sup plenty of ale –far too much if the truth were known –as I would find out to my cost later in the week.

Each day’s route around the area was an absolute delight. Broadly speaking we were picking up around 100-120 bins a day and travelling about the same amount in mileage. The tip was simply a pile of refuse left by a field, which was set fire to at the end of each day. After three days and nights of this rather boozy week I was beginning to suffer as I was driving. I believe it was the Thursday morning, one of the first calls was to one of the few large mansions in the area. To gain access meant driving through a pair of tall stone gate posts, which led one into the lengthy driveway, normally not a problem of course. However, the rather intoxicated state I was in, it did prove a problem. I remember aiming the TN specifically to get through the posts which I achieved, then in the euphoria of achieving that completely lost it and sent us all into a ditch alongside the drive! We were tilting well over, but fortunately, we could clamber out through the driver’s door. Having achieved that we assessed the situation. The vehicle was more or less empty, which may well have prevented it turning right over. There was no way I would be able to drive out of this mess. So Harold strode off and found a local farmer with a tractor and chain who came to the rescue. With the chain attached to the TN 3cwt heavy duty bumper, I asked the farmer to go very slowly in case we turned the vehicle further over. He was great and we gradually inched our way back up on the drive. A careful study of the underside of the vehicle seemed to prove there was an awful lot of mud adhering to it but not other damage, which was quite remarkable really. We collected the bins, and as I was in a bit of a state by now, Harold suggested we go to a local cafe and have a cuppa for half an hour or so. That done, we carried on with the day’s collection with no further problems.

To save work on a Saturday morning back at Letchworth, we often cleaned down the vehicles before departing from the Council yard. As the Friday collection was only a few hours in the morning I decided to do that, with the only ‘tools’ available, a broom and buckets of water! I particularly wanted to clean off the underside of the chassis to remove any tell-tale evidence of my misdemeanour!

I returned to my digs to collect my case and say goodbye to Harold and his wife, only to be presented with a lovely fruit cake and tray of 2 dozen eggs. Fortunately my somewhat reckless exploits during my visit to Bowland didn’t filter back to George Dawson. It was quite a week!

Barrie C. Woods 24th August 2020

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