Technological update: As some of you noticed and kindly informed us, publication of the November edition did not go quite according to plan, so apologies to Glenn and all the others affected. Did get it sorted out after a couple of days, but we are still struggling with the change over and new method of working, so if the December offering does not look quite right straight off, we will get it sorted (hopefully) and eventually figure it all out, but until then, please bear with us. Update on the update: Thanks to all of you that have contacted us over the non appearance of the Dec edition, which has been delayed due to the difficulties mentioned above.
There is a degree of dispute over which is the most depressing of the winter months. By November most of the reflection over the previous season’s activities is done and the business meeting have resolved all outstanding issues, possibly. December brings that two-week festival of indulgence advertised, publicised and promoted since the end of August, yes you know what it is, but we were fed up with it by mid September.
January and February though, are reckoned to be the worst, yet offer the perfect opportunity for planning the new season with all that is involved. Nothing better than mapping out the trips and events for the best part of the next year on a wet and windy December 25th, with endless repeats of programmes that you never wanted to watch in the first place? With the new calendar open and the lists of dates for the tethered hydro, tethered car, Retro Club and Old Warden events the juggling can start. Sometimes, as if by a magic hand, the dates fit seamlessly, yet equally often the clashes abound, and that is before any other commitments are considered. It never ceases to amaze, when looking through the results on speedmodelcar just how many meetings some manage to attend in any one season, and even more remarkable when the distances and travel costs are taken into account.
We have clocked up over 6,000 miles on our various jaunts, and that was before any private motoring was taken into account. Wouldn’t work if the car was on a leasing agreement. Amounts to a goodly few nights in hotels as well. Gone though thankfully are the days of roughing it, camping or the delights of the great British B&B, although these have provided a fund of stories, humorous and otherwise over the years. Probably the most liberating elements have been the rise of the reliable and decent budget hotels and t’internet to find and book them, along with Google maps to see where they are. The revelation that our hotel for ten days for the hydro World Championships was in a service area alongside the main autoroute from Bordeaux might have put many off, but having faith in the brand it was a thoroughly enjoyable time. So instead of Eastenders does Strictly or Totally Pointless Celebrities it will be Ipad charged, credit card in hand, calendars on the table and off we go. Off course there is the small matter of boats and cars to run at these meetings, but they can wait until next month, can’t they?
December sees the final instalment of the Oliver article and most importantly, the acknowledgements of all the help we have received in putting the material together. It really was a combined effort from so many generous sources that enabled us to publish such an extensive appreciation and our thanks go to you all.
Pitboxes have had a good run, but new discoveries are getting fewer and further between, so how much longer we will be able to maintain this feature and how we present it remains to be seen. Still one or two cars on file and the odd engine if the parameters are stretched a bit, but with hydros it is definitely a case of keeping the fingers crossed and hoping. For the car this month we are revisiting a previous entry that was a collection of bits at the time. Sold on, it has now reappeared complete but something of a frightening prospect if ever run. The Hydro is actually a part thereof and shows the lengths some would go to in alternative ways to install an engine. The parts of the engine have been featured in the past, but thanks to a couple of enthusiasts from the north east have now been brought back together.
Update: As you will have seen, we did manage to publish on time, after a lot of anguish, so now it is the next stage and attempting to put an update on line. Through all the machinations and our timescale, we were unable to process and publish Glenn Bransby's extensive report on the Australian Championships at the Sydney Track, hence the update (fingers crossed). Thanks to Glenn for all the hard work put into his report and to Scott Clydesdale for additional photos.
Important Notice: If you are reading this prior to the 1st of the month then all well and good and something of a miracle. If it does not appear until a later date then our apologies. After eleven years our web host and provider is upgrading all his servers and transferring all existing websites to these. Inevitably it has caused us all sorts of problems that we hope have been resolved. The other major change is that our mail server has also changed so that the website has a new email address if you wish to contact us, the new address is firstname.lastname@example.org The old 'admin' one will cease to work eventually.
Empty Spaces: Given that we are currently publishing our Oliver article, we were saddened to hear of the death of Tom Ridley who was producing Oliver engines with the blessing of the late John Oliver using the original tools, dies, jigs and equipment. With the death of John earlier this year, 2016 really does bring down the curtain on the 'Oliver era'. Our condolences go to Tom's family. A full obituary of Tom will appear in the next edition of Aeromodeller.
Racing tends to dominate our summer months, both in participating and reporting, so with just the conferences, AGMs, EGMs and the Lucia Race to go perhaps it is a chance to reflect further on the worlds of tethered cars and hydro’s over the past season? Both are currently experiencing politics, both big P and little p variants. The situation regarding the future of the MPBA could be resolved this month with all the implications that might have for boating in general and hydroplanes in particular. Affiliation to NAVIGA is also a hot topic, as some disciplines have decided to go their own way and others no longer take part in NAVIGA sanctioned events. With greatly reduced entries this does throw the whole concept of participation in World and European Championships into question. Very little in terms of small p with the hydros, although the loss of venues and the impact this might have on competitions and trophy distribution made for a lively conference last month? In terms of regattas, ill health has been the major factor in low entries for domestic events. Performance wise we have seen a whole string of personal bests and 3 new records, but also a depressing list of no runs, especially at the European meeting where 80% of the attempts in some classes failed or were not called. Not a good advert.
With a new President in place, FEMA and the tethered car fraternity has a few minor issues to resolve, both at local and international level. A move to unify the FEMA and WMRC rules is ongoing and given the dwindling support for International classes outside Europe should be possible to accomplish to everyone’s satisfaction. Personal philosophies about national classes continue to cloud the issues there but we are steering well clear of that debate. The double Championship at Pila was a huge success, with an incredible number of entries and an organisation that could cope with them. The live streaming of the event and the way it was run should be an object lesson to us all, even if their timing system sensors do need a tweak. The consistency of performance in the classes is also a stark illustration of the differences that exist between the boats and cars. Michael Schmutz had a series of runs all above 340kph at Pila and in all classes it can be very tight at the top. Having said that the A2 hydroplane class seems to have been revitalised with very consistent and fast runs with fractions separating four competitors, although still well short of speeds from ten or more years ago.
We do have some personal thanks and gold stars to award. Oliver Monk for all his work with the tethered cars, both in terms of organisation and engineering that inspires so many through his ‘Workshop Ramblings’ and ensure the sport carries on in this country. Ron Hankins for his continued quest for speed and records with his 15cc boats and the help, encouragement and advice that has kept OTW competing this season. Tony Collins for giving us an aiming mark, so far missed by a country mile, and the work he does at Althorne Lake events along with Steve Poyser and Norman Lara who both also do a tremendous amount for tethered hydros in general. Ever since we have been involved, John DeMott, Arthur Wall and Dave Singleton have kept Kingsbury running and put on four meetings a year, so we are particularly grateful to them for all their efforts over the years. As well as being secretary for both the section and MHC, Sonia Collins is frequently to be found looking after the timing desk at Althorne and Kingsbury, so we are all grateful to her for carrying out this task so selflessly. George Sayell for his unique take on Retro and Old Warden events. Finally, to Glenn Bransby for his regular reports from Sydney, often under difficult circumstances and time pressure and everyone else who has provided material or items that we have used on the site. Its existence is largely down to you all.
Following the well-received first part of the Oliver article part two deals with the iconic Tiger MkII twinshaft and the incredible impact that had on tethered car racing at home and abroad. It is also probable that it is the most copied engine ever.
The Pitboxes start with what must be the oldest hydro artefact that we have seen so far and a wonderful record from the very earliest days of 'model speedboat racing'. The trio of cars were sent to us a long while ago by one of our then correspondents. Due to a lightning strike many moons ago, we are still finding files that were on discs, sticks and friend's computers, whilst we were out of action. Due to this we have no other information about the cars other than a name, so apologies. The seriously deranged engine is still immediately recognisable but it is the traumas it has suffered that make it worthy of inclusion.
All roads lead to Market Harborough and to Gildings on Saturday the 5th of this month for their mammoth Model Engine Sale that has now become a twice yearly event. Again a heady mix of the exotic and more mundane catalogued in fine detail as usual by Dick Roberts. Our Pitbox engine might have commanded £1,000 or more there once upon a time, but not now!
The last regatta of the season at Althorne almost fell victim to the northerly winds, but not before Tony Collins put in the second fastest ever A3 run in this country. Agonisingly though, he fell short of the Speed Championship by the smallest of margins, only being beaten by a British record run. Between Tony and Ron Hankins they have clocked up the twenty fastest runs in the country this season. An amazing record and congratulations to them both. It has consequently been a battle royal for the Speed Championship. Norman Lara and Angela Gullick have kindly put together a diary and photos of the European Tethered Hydroplane Championships, which we have added to the results we published earlier.
Hardly had the last exhaust notes died down before the FEMA calendar for 2017 was published. Change in format here as FEMA sanctioned Grand Slam and championship events are now listed separately to other international races. Calendar can be viewed on the speedmodelcar site as usual
On to the Midland Model Engineering Exhibition the following weekend and for the first time for ages, not a single tethered car or hydroplane to be seen but the chance to stock up on all those items that might be needed for the winter projects.
The last weekend of the month saw the MHC AGM and tethered hydroplane conferences. Thanks to Arthur Wall, John DeMott and the Kingsbury Club a new venue for the St Albans and International regattas was made available for next year, still on the traditional August Bank Holiday weekend. For details of this and the entire 2017 season's calendar, this is now published on the Racing page. The revised and updated tethered hydroplane rules are now available in digital format from Norman Lara. There is also a facebook page being set up for tethered hydroplanes as a means of communication as well as the continuing content on OTW.
Another super edition of Oliver Monk's 'Workshop Ramblings' with more examples of 'problem solving' engineering, taking on jobs that to many of us would seem impossible in the home workshop. Close to home, Oliver's set-ups and instructions have enabled jobs to be undertaken that would have had to be 'farmed out' in the past'. Does clearly illustrate the advantages of having a friendly and highly skilled welder near to hand. The 'Ramblings' finish with a wonderful image, resulting from an encounter at the Midland Exhibition. Thanks to Oliver for continuing to support OTW.
An old friend, the magnificent Vee Four flash steamer that we have featured on several occasions, reappeared on eBay again in October with a starting price of £6,500. Not bad when it was bought out of Bonham's for £850?
Reminder that all this year's regatta reports and results will be taken off the site at the end of the year, so please download and save as required.
Somehow another year has whistled by and the calendar of events is down to the last few knockings. For most it is the New Year that brings an annual review, but for us it happens in October when we mark another year of publication. Our main task over the last sixteen months has been to update and reformat all the pages on the site. This was a mammoth undertaking and clearly illustrated how thin some of our early articles were. We have intentionally steered clear of whizzie things, clever graphics and wallpapers to concentrate on content, and luckily, new or additional material is still appearing, which is both gratifying and amazing at the same time.
A term that has come into common usage recently, and not always for the best of reasons is the ‘back story’, yet that is something we have been endeavouring to include in the articles we have published and the research we carry out. Technical info is OK, but that can be gleaned from many sources, it is the how, who, and often why that intrigues us, and can frequently add immensely to the body of knowledge of a person, product or company. Adrian Duncan is following this route so admirably on his website, which to us makes any article much more readable and informative, especially the little titbits that might have otherwise been ignored or forgotten. It is probably true to say that behind any marque of engine or tethered car manufacturer is an enthusiast for whom it all ‘got out of hand’. Sometimes they were highly successful and might even have made a bit of money, but all too often changing circumstances and economic conditions or the product not being quite good enough resulted in them disappearing or diversifying. In many ways the situation is not much different now, with most of the motors, tethered cars and accessories coming from enthusiasts that have morphed into cottage or larger industries.
Whilst the tethered car scene is very healthy at present the hydros are going through something of a ‘lean’ period. The European Championship's was thin on entries and with no other countries offering to host events seems likely to stay in Bulgaria, restricting entries further. Locally, illness, retirement, loss of another lake and incipient ‘crisis’ at the MPBA in filling official positions raises the whole question of the future of the sport? For the second year running the International meeting at St Albans was cancelled because of the danger to health through poor water quality, and this ongoing problem for the council puts this venue at risk as well. Tethered hydro racing will continue, but in just our short time of involvement the challenges to its future have become very evident.
We are delighted that the Pitboxes start with the timely arrival of a hydro and quite remarkable, as it may yet turn out to be one of the very oldest that we have ever featured. The 15cc hydro engine was a chance find at Old Warden and a bit of a mystery at present but very well made. For the cars we have gathered together some of the Buck 2A clones that have appeared, many of which may have originated from Electra Pioneer kits?
Thanks to Oliver Monk and prolific photographer Diana Kochanauskas for a very 'different view' of the more recent World and European tethered car championships in Poland. We were particularly taken with the 'sale table'
Sadly, the SAM 35 organised tribute to the late John Oliver at Old Warden On the 25th of September, was not well supported and hardly fitting for a man held in such high regard. Difficult to believe that only one Oliver car was on display, although John Goodall did have a couple of interesting examples on his stall. By way of recompense we are publishing the first part of our appreciation of the Olivers, father and son, and their very significant and enduring contribution to the world of tethered car racing.
Short on race reports from hydro meetings at present. Tony Collins has produced yet another 136mph run and a couple more at 135+, surely the most consistent series of high speeds in recent hydro history. He has been overtaken in the race for the Speed Trophy though by Ron Hankins with his second record of the season, this time with his AB/R. With Victoria Park in the reckoning as well we have also seen the fastest runs so far this season in classes A1,A2,A3, B1, B1S and Sport 40.
Empty Spaces: We were saddened to hear of the death of Max Zaugg at the end of July. Max was another of the competitors at the 1958 World and European championships in Zurich and Basel that we were privileged to be able to meet. Max passed from tether cars to racing motor cycles, where he was still competing on his beloved MVs until a near fatal accident just a couple of years ago brought an end to his activities. Our condolences go to Christoph, Raphael and the Zaugg family.
The whole tethered car, hydroplane and engine world, with the associated discovery, identification and collecting, acquisition or otherwise owes far more to luck, the famous ‘hadnabinfa’ or being in the right place at the right time than to detailed planning. In the main we have been able to relate the successes, but sometimes it is the disasters that we have to report, and even on occasions, the near misses. What set of circumstances had Jack Morgan’s Vixen and Lucy Gascoigne’s MG in a shop in South London at precisely the same time as an enthusiast from the US happened to be walking along the same street? No more strange than a car sold without its original motor in the 1980s being in the same field as the missing motor 25 years later but with neither owners being aware of the connection? Luckily a knowledgeable third party was able to broker a deal to get them reunited. On the same theme and even more bizarre was an exceedingly well-built car and its separate but equally well-engineered motor sold to the same person who then sold them on individually, not realising that they belonged together. Another of these odd quirks of fate ensured that the engine now resides in the car, but again, several years on
Sometimes it is not such a happy ending as we have related before such as the surveyor who arrived at a house to find that the late husband’s collection of 200 or so motors had gone in the bin recently, or the collection of vintage boats that went to the tip. Closer to home was Ian Moore’s pitbox that had pride of place in a house near Sheffield. It was known about and its future safeguarded, except it wasn’t there when the person tasked with collecting all the model items arrived, again, probably in a skip. Most engine enthusiasts in Britain are well aware of the valuable and rare motors that were on their way to another tip some years ago, carefully hidden in domestic appliances, recovery of these was a very close run thing.
There is also the ‘I could kick myself’ syndrome and these happen to the best of us, which is when the stark realisation hits that you have sold or scrapped some unidentified bits that turn out to have been the missing items from a unique and important car, engine or boat. One wonders if the famous hydro stolen from a garage survived and is still around, unlike those that provided the fuel for a very large and spectacular bonfire some years ago?
It is seldom that we see a commercial car from the 40s that can be attributed to a particular owner, but our Pitboxes start with an example where we know exactly who owned and ran it, but even better that he was the owner of the company that built them. We have delved into the archives a trifle for the hydro related item and a couple of the original MPBA trophies, now over 80 years old. The engines this month are a celebration of a legendary engine designer, and a builder and tuning wizard who was held in equally high regard.
Just over a year ago, we set ourselves the task of updating the site to accommodate widescreen, tablets, smart TVs etc. It was also an opportunity to do some housework and update earlier pages where new information and material had come to light. We have to accept that with all the devices now in use, the site 'ain't going to look perfect on everything, but we are just about there now (we hope).
There have been several instances in the past of 'hydro rage' when failure to get a run has resulted in a boat being jumped on or some other act of revenge wreaked on the recalcitrant motor. Doesn't do any good, but does clearly illustrate the degree of frustration that sometimes creeps in. Luckily, no boats were subjected to such an ignominious end at Althorne Lake at the end of July, but it must have been a close run thing for the bulk of the competitors? The Gremlins, or whatever other malevolent entities were at work were equally in evidence at Kingsbury for the August meeting with maladies aplenty.
It is patently obvious that the Gremlins are not just infecting recent British events as there appears to be a global pandemic at present with them creating mayhem at the European Championships in Pazardzhik at the beginning of August. Seldom can there have been an international event with so many boats failing to start runs or such a tiny proportion of completed runs, over 75% no runs in three of the classes. Not good publicity for the sport. Even the electro classes were not immune illustrating the spread of the little beggars, although the lecky boats are somewhat quick when they do go, the A1E recording the fastest speed of any of the A classes.
Congratulations to Aaron Monk on breaking the British Class 1 record yet again this season, and by an impressive margin as well, some 4kph. Full results from Basel on speedmodelcar as usual.
Tony Collins had his best run of the year at the Althorne August meeting just missing out on the lead of the Speed Championship by 0.3mph.
With the unfortunate cancellation of the International Event at St. Albans the various trophies are to be awarded after two meetings at separate venues meaning the reports will not appear until the October edition. Best laid plans and all that, high winds put paid to the Saturday, but Bank Holiday Monday saw some serious motoring, including personal bests from Tony Collins to put him back in the lead of the Speed Championship and from Lynn Blowers in A2. Bizarrely, there were also two of the slowest winning runs for many years, but they all count.
We had drummed into us from the time we set up OTW that it was incumbent on us to be accurate in whatever we published, which is what we have tried to do, as far as is possible with the resources we have to hand. Long time commentator and the font of all ‘correct knowledge’, Mr R T Pole, passed this dictum to us, which is engraved indelibly on our minds. Sometimes typos can be responsible for errors or temporary mental aberration where you know very well what you mean to say but what appears on the screen is totally different. With the historic content on the site we are very much reliant on material written or published many years ago and we are well aware that there are some very evident clangers to be found, either inadvertent or otherwise. When different sources vary then we do try and check and come up with what we believe is correct, but this is not always possible so it is with great pleasure that we can put right an oft repeated piece of disinformation.
One of the tethered hydros at the Pitsea museum was catalogued as Arthur Weaver’s ‘Wizard of Oz’, a name that had originally appeared on a hydro of his in the 1940s. Gerry Colbeck had owned it and reports in Model Boats show him and Stuart Robinson attempting to run it under that name. Further photos in MB are captioned similarly and when it was sold on after Pitsea closed it was as ‘Wizard Of Oz’. More recently we came across the catalogue for the 1974 ME Exhibition where one of the entries in Class H was hydroplane ‘Gwyneth’ by Arthur Weaver, which went on to win the Willis Cup. Where it gets confusing is that the Exhibition reports show what we knew as ‘Wizard’. Oddly, the name was never disputed by anyone we contacted.
The only possible explanation offered was that as Arthur had died just before the exhibition this boat might have been a substitute. In April this year we were delighted to be contacted by Arthur’s daughter who had been alerted to material about her father on the site. She immediately pointed out that the boat was indeed Gwyneth, named after herself, and had won the Willis Cup in 1974, for which she had the certificate. The only connection with ‘Wizard Of Oz’ was the lovely 10cc four-stroke motor that had seen service in that boat in the 40s. So after nearly forty years of erroneous captions, we are more than happy to give ‘Gwyneth’ the correct identification. Even better news is that now we will be able to complete one of our long term projects, which was to publish a much more detailed article about Arthur Weaver, his racing career and the superb models he produced.
It is appropriate then that we start the Pitboxes with not just a motor but an entire gallery of Arthur Weaver’s engines in a unique lineup. The boat is already on the website, but it has now emerged from the collection it has been in for nearly 30 years and found a new and happy owner. We are also pleased to be able to feature one of the cars from the collection of the late Arne Zetterstrom that has a very British connection.
Having said all this, we have been taken to task for a couple of errors that crept into last month's Retro Club report. Pete Hughes hails from Warwick not Coventry as we believed and the hydro motor that nibbled Peter Hill's finger so badly was a Picco rather than a Webra.
The first of the two day meetings at Althorne turned into a one day event, courtesy of a forecast for strong winds on the Saturday. The Sunday looked much better and so it transpired although the day was a strange mixture of lifetime's best performances and a rash of no runs and breakdowns. To make up for the lost day, Norman Lara arranged a free training session later in the month that somehow attracted more entrants and entries than the scheduled event?
Silverstone had too much water, courtesy of a cloudburst, while Kingsbury just had too much. Anyone even slightly vertically challenged was in dire danger of water ingress via the top of the waders, but this apart it was pretty near perfect for running, even if the change in temperature and humidity from last week meant getting a needle setting was a real challenge.
By all accounts, summer is here at last, and certainly that proved true at Gt Carlton for the July track day. Circumstances, many and varied, kept too many people away, and they missed an absolutely delightful day in the sunshine, peace and tranquillity of Peter's garden, the air heavy with pollen and burnt castor oil. Many are those in the boat, car and plane worlds that sneak a touch of 'R' into the fuel just for that unmistakeable aroma.
Far too much of our weekend was spent watching the live feed from the European and World tethered car Championships in Pila. The organisation and presentation of the event was fantastic and a model for the rest of the world. The competition was somewhat exciting as well, especially in Class 5 where Michael Schmutz was consistently over 340kph. Congratulations to Aaron Monk who broke his own Class I record in the first round. All results and youtube links on the speedmodelcar site as usual. Congratulations to Michael on being elected the new FEMA president on the retirement of Otto Stroebel after a very long stint in charge.
Department of wishful thinking? A set of raw Oliver Ferrari castings appeared on ebay with a starting price of £440, someone trying to cash in? The Movo box has turned up again, now around £600 while the M&E Challenger and Special have made another appearance, both starting in excess of £2,000.
It is an inevitable fact of life, but sad nonetheless, that all too often these editorials start with ‘Empty Spaces’ notices. A colleague in the oil industry used to recite a long poem about stirring a bucket of water with your hand where the message was that the hole left in the water when you removed said hand was how much you would be missed after leaving the company. Whilst this may just have been true in that industry, in the model world it is the complete reverse. Apart from the immediate sadness and concern for families left behind, there is a stark awareness of what that person has taken with them and the contribution they had been making to the sport. This might be a practical and entirely selfish consideration if the departed person was a manufacturer, builder or supplier and the source of our motors, models and spares dries up. These could be replaced, but what in our view are irreplaceable are the untold years of knowledge, experience and memories that are lost forever. Some are of the opinion that this is unimportant, but to us the history is a vital element.
Tethered hydroplane racing was reported in detail for many years, allowing us to piece together the contribution of individuals, tethered car racing for a much shorter period. In more modern times much less has found its way into print or into digital records leaving future enthusiasts only the memories of those involved, but the time span on these is sadly finite. How often is it heard said ‘oh I wish I had asked, written down or got the person in question to commit their experiences to paper’. Adrian Duncan with his website is doing some sterling work in digging out the stories behind engines and their builders, whilst we carry on our declared path resolutely, although it is becoming ever more difficult with the passage of time. We have been reminded of this all too recently with the death in April of John Oliver and the loss in little more than a year of three attendees at the 1958 European Car Championships. Les Williamson, one of the last British competitors in Europe until the late 70s, Walter Meier and Arne Zetterstrom, who held the distinction of competing in every class at that meeting.
What had been published about tethered car in Britain since 1958 would not trouble one pocket file, and until Peter Hill came on the scene in the late 80s, about the same for hydros. It does seem though that in Europe and Scandinavia much more was put into print in some superb Association and Club magazines and newsletters. The greatest loss to the community though is when there is no one close to hand to salvage any items, memorabilia, notes, letters etc that might be translated into a permanent record and to prevent it all ending up as landfill.
At the start of the year the cupboard was bare of items for the Boat Pitbox, yet thanks to regular contributor Mark Russell and a trio of enquiries from other sources we have been able to fill the spot each month. For July we have something special and what to us is the perfect item, a vintage hydro that has a name and a documented history. What is even better is that its survival has brought into question one of the long held ‘urban myths’ of the hydroplane world. The Car and its engine are from the other extreme however with a history waiting to be discovered but with the quality of workmanship evident in each there is certainly a story to be told. The Engine offering this month is somewhat unusual as it is from a very limited series that were produced but with this example came all the patterns.
Some while ago Miles Patience acquired a huge quantity of important material and rare items from the Bedford family relating to the development and prototyping of ETA engines. Although ETA 29s were used in cars and boats, most of the material was more relevant to aeromodelling and in particular team racing. We have mentioned John Lichnerowicz and his excellent galleries before but we are delighted that he has added another dedicated entirely to Miles' discoveries. Well worth a look if only to see what might have been and understand the true extent of the late Ken Bedford's thoughts on engine design, which unusually encompassed both diesel and glow motors.
Cynical selling or what? a very nice steam powered straight runner from a well respected design appeared on eBay. So did the boiler, burner, motor etc, but all as separate items. Might yet backfire as a selling ploy?
Summer weather at last and a great turnout at Althorne Lake on the 5th. Something that has been in the offing for a long time, but now a reality is a Sport 40 hydro that prospective runners can 'have a go with' to see if tethered hydros are for them. Norman Lara is to be congratulated on this exercise to expand the sport and Ron Hankins for supplying the boat and engine. We know it works as one half of the OTW team gave it a go.
It has been a while since we have had an update from Sydney, which was hardly surprising considering what Glenn Bransby has been dealing with over the last year and a house move with all that entails for a committed tethered car enthusiast. We are therefore delighted that Glenn is 'back on track'. We were also delighted to see that Mark Osborne managed to have a day off from work to get back into the swing of things.
It is exactly twenty years ago this month since Peter Hill published the first ever Retro Racing Club newsletter. Happily the Club, newsletter and of course Peter are still going strong with Peter still hosting regular open days at his Lincolnshire track. June saw one of the best turnouts ever at a track day and the prospect of a full day's running for all, with lots of interesting cars and other items to browse. Unfortunately, the good old British weather brought it all to a premature end but not before some impressive performances on the track.
Oliver Monk updates progress on his latest projects and development work on his cars and engines in his Workshop Ramblings and also includes some fascinating photos and details of design ideas, new cars and manufactured items that he has photographed on his trips to race meetings around Europe. We have been impressed by just how much tethered car equipment can be bought, either on open sale or bay asking the right people, does make the sport more accessible than with the hydros.
For a variety of reasons, some of a more serious nature than others, the first meeting of the season at Kingsbury Water Park had a somewhat depleted entry. The weather we are experiencing throughout 'flaming June' did not help either. The sun did shine for one day, and happily, that coincided with the second meeting of the month at Althorne Lake. Ron Hankins took full advantage of the early conditions to break his own B class record yet again to continue with his remarkable string of record breaking runs.