Veteran and Classic

Veteran and Classic that’s me.

The extreme knitter and the feral daughter wanted to visit a local garden centre on a bank holiday weekend. I ask you?

Luckily for me we found the only parking space left in the car park and there was a Veteran And Classic car show going on, so I headed that way and they headed the garden centre way.

After a while walking around the beautifully preserved cars I realised that I had either owned or driven most of the models on show. The Ford Anglia, my first car. The Triumph Herald my second and a Hillman Imp like the one we used on our honeymoon.

VW Beetles and Minis, it only seemed like yesterday that I would be on the road side carrying out get me home repairs using a baked bean tin and a wire coat hanger on these classics. They weren’t classic at the time. They were just run of the mill cars that needed a lot of TLC to provide daily transport. Some were and always will be right pigs that should never be on the road.

They all now possessed two common traits. Good looks and character.

This Bedford CA Dormobile with sliding front doors has a cuteness that would melt hearts.



And here I am with my Triumph Herald and hair all those years ago

me and herald1


Having a Ball

Look away Deb, this is going to be boring.

Just Kampers delivered the gear linkage bushes as promised and I set about changing them this weekend.

Firstly I removed the Swivel head by releasing the two 6mm bolts that hold it to the Selector lever on top of the gearbox.


Once the Swivel head was removed it was obvious that the nylon ball on the end of the shaft was badly worn. The ball came off the shaft with little effort.


The old and new ball


Once everything was cleaned up and the replacement ball was soaked in boiling water to soften it. I managed to lever the new ball into place. (no photos as I needed both hands)



The Swivel head was refitted with a dollop of grease to aid lubrication.


A quick test drive around the area was a delight. The gear change was so smooth and easy. Better than it’s ever been.

To do the job properly I should have got underneath and removed all the gear linkage from the gear lever and methodically replaced all the many balls and bushes, but I didn’t have time to faff about with any major work as we are going away next weekend and I was looking for a quick repair.

I had checked the ball and the bush on the opposite side of the linkage rod for wear and it was Ok, so I just replaced the badly worn ball. A full replacement of the other bushes is on the cards for autumn/ winter.


Top Gear Cancelled

We were leaving today.

After using the last of our bacon supplies to make sandwiches for breakfast, we broke camp. It’s amazing how after only two days you forget how the awning was folded to get back into its bag. It’s at this point that you consider just wrapping the damp fabric into a big ball and hope to dry it at home.

No I didn’t. I folded it neatly into its bag, only to have to get it out again at home to dry it.

After all the arduous work repacking and two nights camping we perhaps should have invested 20 pence each in a shower or even shared a shower for 20 pence.

Oo!! Ere missus.


Puffin fired up first time with gusto using her new battery and it was time to see if my gear linkage bodge had worked.

Ha ha. First gear selected easily and we were rolling. Out the campsite gate and on to the open road. Second gear slipped in silently, then third and fourth. Unfortunately fifth gear was unobtainable. You can’t have every thing and it’s a lot easier driving without fifth gear, just a little slower, as 50 mph was the comfortable limit for the fourth gear.

O the joys of running a twenty year old campervan. If everything went exactly as planned where would the adventure be.

Chilling in the Glade

Tuesday morning in the glade.

A lazy, late start to the day with a full English breakfast. Last nights rain showers continued until after lunch time. The awning fared well without any leaks or problems and gave us some extra living space whilst it rained.


The campervan gear selection problems meant we were camp bound for the day.

Today was a fettling and lazing day, when I do lots of adjusting and tweaking of guy ropes and things. We read, eat, napped and knitted.

It’s very difficult to spend the day doing nothing without feeling guilty for wasting time that should be used constructively.

It’s a problem we need to overcome.

I studied the problematic gear linkage to see if I could do a bodge (did I just say bodge? I meant a technical modification) to make the drive home easier.

Ruby had several walks through the woods on this quiet idlyic campsite.


I think this site has grabbed us without us realising it, as we were saying things like “next time we come we will do this” or “we must remember to bring a so and so next time”. The site is open all year round, so perhaps a winter camp may be on the cards.


Escape to the woods

The school holidays are on us and It’s nigh on impossible to find a camping pitch at the weekends and if I could it was horribly expensive.

My searching for a camp pitch to escape to for a couple of nights proved fruitful as a small site just 30 miles away from home looked promising, but we would have to visit on a weekday.

Monday morning and the camper was packed with way to much stuff for 2 nights camping.

Pulling of the drive highlighted a problem. There was no way I could select first gear. Being an old slogger of a diesel engine she pulled away in second gear, but obviously there was a fault.

It’s quite a common fault on the VW T4 for the gear linkage bushes to wear with age. A quick check under the bonnet and the linkage was flopping about.

As we were only travelling 30 miles and I had booked the campsite. A joint decision was made to carry on. (Hey who needs first gear anyway)?

We arrived at Eriba Glade which is a 10 pitch site just off the Fosse way 10 miles north of Leamington spa. It is set in a woodland glade.

Eriba Glade

It costs £15 per night with electric hook-up.


The small toilet / shower block consists of two toilets one with a shower. These were immaculately clean.

The shower is coin operated taking 20 pence coins.

As we were staying for two nights we decided not to bother showering as we didn’t smell too bad.


The new Sunncamp awning was erected without the usual disagreement, so that in itself was a plus.


The mifi was switched on and low and behold we had wifi, just a tad slow, but still wifi.

I knew that there was a branch of TPS in Coventry that was only about five miles from the campsite were I could get a set of new gear linkage bushes.

My Google search showed that the branch was now shut down.

Ok, no problem I contacted Just Kampers and ordered a set of bushes that would hopefully arrive at the house before we got back. This meant we would be staying on the campsite as driving about would be a pain.

We had our usual previously prepared meatballs in a home made tomato sauce for our first camping night supper. I not sure if this turning into a tradition or are we taking the easy route as it’s a one pot heat up dish. Tastes good though, so who cares.

This is the closest to home we have ever camped. It seems strange that only two days ago we were at the dog show just three miles away from here.