North East

Area Secretary: Emma Gordon

Our venue is at Bede Lodge Social Club, Finchale Road, Framwellgate Moor, Durham City, DH1 5HL.  Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, except August, starting at 7pm.
Visitors and guests are more than welcome to come along and join in the fun! 

Area Focus
North East

13th February - Quiz Night
13th March – TBC
10th April – TBC
8th May – Show and Tell Part 2
2nd June – Tyne Tees Run


January Meeting

Well may I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year, I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas, I had a quieter Christmas to what I had last year but it was nice to have a long break.

We certainly came back with a bang, this month our meeting was all about Show and Tell, our members were invited to bring along something they had at home, which they would like to share with the group, of course this could be anything!  Each one of our members who braved the stage brought along something different however, when we got to the bottom of it there was a running theme through the whole thing, I wonder if anyone can spot it along the way!  Anyway, enough from me and on with the show!

Miners Lamp and a Brass Pig:

The miner’s lamp has been in Colin’s possession since 1972/73 and has stood proudly on his mantel piece ever since.  When the mines were working and open here not too long ago, Colin was an apprentice at the colliery in Boldon.  Now during the strikes Colin, being an apprentice at the time did have to attend work, where he was put in the lamp cabin, fixing all the lamps whilst the miners were on strike.  The Gaffer (that’s the Boss) at the time was a very laid-back gentleman by the name of James Trotter who also kept pigs, I think you can see where the brass pig comes into this!  James is someone who Colin held and still holds in high regard and got on really well with.  When James’ lamp was replaced with a new one, his old one was up for grabs now Colin asked if he could have the lamp and it was then given to him, the lamps number is number 32.   Once acquired Colin spent a long time restoring the lamp back to its former glory and spent a good few hours polishing it for tonight’s show!
Colin shared with the group that his Gaffer always brought to work Kitty Cat sandwiches, at the time Colin did not quite believe that is what he was eating, until he saw and smelt for himself.  Yes, you are right he was eating cat food sandwiches.  Pit men always did have a taste for odd things, my Grandfather used to like yellow dog biscuits, it is just something they did!

When Boldon mine finally closed Colin went back and helped to cap the shaft, which he said was a very interesting job and nice to return to where he once worked.
Over the years Colin has many people come to him asking how much he would like for the miners lamp and of course, Colin turned them all down, things like this are priceless and hold very dear memories!

Side Story: Our Chairman’s Father and my Grandfather also used to work down the mines.  When the mine which he was working at, at the time closed all the miners were instructed to throw their lamps down the shaft.  So, we do not have my Grandfathers lamp, but we do have a couple of his helmets!

Brown Suede Tool Bag, but what did it contain:

Now, Dick started his presentation off apologising that he was going to bore us for the next 7 minutes, before pulling out a rather early looking drill, I am pleased I was sitting at the back, just encase he decided to bore some holes in us!

This first drill Dick believed was factory made and not in a blacksmiths where they would of originally however, did carry markings that it had in fact been forged by hand.  The nick name is the belly brace as to create leverage on the drill itself it was easier to have the drill resting on your stomach, then press all your weight into the drill for the holes to be made.  As well as this he also had a selection of heads, all with different ends and some were used for hard wood, others for soft.  Now, Dick has a bit of a problem with one of the bits, it was blunt.  He passed the piece around the members to see if they could solve the problem of the blunt drill.  Now the outer edge of the drill piece could not be sharped but the inside…question is how do you sharpen the inside of the bit?
The next drill Dick names, the ‘original cordless drill’ now I remember using one of these in woodwork class at secondary school.  I can remember that it was rather hard to keep the drill piece in place and turn the wheel to make it bore a hole.  I do recall slipping with it quite a bit!  Especially when the wood I was working on was balanced on one of those wooden blocks.
One of the drills which Dick had actually was quite a sophisticated piece of machinery, not only was it a drill but it also controls which you adjusted with the wheel.

Some of the suggestions to sharpen the drill bits were, to use files and other tools, along with wire wool and a brush.  As I have mentioned a few times before Dick attends Beamish Agricultural show at the museum every year.  One of his friend’s who also goes may be able to shed some light on how this task can be accomplished, he has promised to come back and tell us what the answer is once he finds out!

A pig:

You may need to be sitting down for this story as it is rather funny!
When Peter was a ;ad after school and on the weekend he used to help in a relatives haulage company around the yard and then making deliveries.  Now during one delivery they were delivering groceries, they gentleman at the other end had a little bit of a problem.  See they kept pigs and needed to take this pig up to the abattoir however, they did not have a vehicle to do it, so they offered that after they had finished all the deliveries they would come back and then deliver the pig.  Finishing up for the day the lad decided that the pig would fit in the car, so they drove back to the gentleman’s’ place only to find that the pig was not a piglet and certainly was not a small pig, it was in fact very large!!  So large in fact that it hardly fit in the car, but with some elbow grease and sometime later the pig was in the boot and the lads were merrily on their way to the abattoir with the pig.  Now the abattoir is up these rather windy roads with a lot of blind bends etc…  Unfortunately, some way up this windy bank the boot springs open and out shoots the pig!  What do you do now, there is a pig on the loose!  Of course, you get out the car and chase after it!  Up and down the lane they ran after this pig, over and in the fields!  Finally, after a while the pig was once again caught, much to its displeasure and once again safely back in the boot.  BUT, on shutting the boot lid, the lid was broken!  The pig could not stay in there and there was no rope to tie the lid down.  So, with some more elbow grease the pig ends up sitting one the seat, with Peter!  Merrily they travel the rest of the way up to the abattoir with the pig protesting in the back and Peter being covered head to foot in well…you know what!    Once they reached their destination the pig once again shot out of the car!
Since that day the pair have had a standing joke with one another and often purchase pig memorabilia for one another, for Christmas Peter gifted a biscuit tin in the shape of a pig’s head and the biscuits inside were all pig shaped!  The pair have had some rather wonderful adventures together, but I must say this one is one of their top memories!

Side Story: Colin also used to take pigs to the slaughter house in his van, which became fondly known as the Pig Mobile!


Now not many people know this about Ian, but he is a classically trained pianist so was his father.  Unfortunately, like some musical teachers one but him off playing the piano and he fell out of love for it, but not music, Ian has always loved music.
A 18 Ian’s musical attention turned to jazz.  Seeing a band at The Pheasant at Pressing Grange, from that meeting with one of the artists they encouraged Ian that he himself could play.  Taking on the challenge Ian found himself his very first saxophone and took it up as a hobby.
As Ian was sharing his experiences on the jazz scene, attending gigs he showed up how the different part of the instrument fit together, what the parts down and how some of the parts in the mouthpiece differ from person to person.  In order to play you must find what is best suited to your mouth, which also makes playing a lot easier.  The instrument is not difficult to play, just difficult to master.  The saxophone Ian brought a long tonight had gorgeous engravings going do the main piece of the saxophone.  The saxophone’s leather pads are made from Kangaroo hide.
Not only has Ian attended Jazz clubs he has also played with an alongside fellow musicians, which he is very grateful and feels blessed to have played with them.
During one of these evenings the gentleman sitting next to Ian sadly dropped and damaged his instrument.  So, purchased another one just to use whilst his was in for repair.  When the gentleman’s instrument was returned, he offered Ian the chance to buy, which he did!
Later, Ian sold this very instrument on eBay and the gentleman who purchased it personally picked it up.  Selma who makes Saxophones keep records of all the instruments they have made.  On selling the instrument did Ian then come to learn that he had his hands on a vintage saxophone.
The saxophone was created by Adolph Sax around the 1840’s and like all instruments over the years has been developed from the original.
Ian likes nothing better than blowing away a few hours in his conservatory, he says the hours fly by whilst he is playing.
Unfortunately, tonight we did not get to hear Ian play, but one day we just might!


Denis brought along some photographs which he had to salvage from the bin when they were thrown away, not only were there photographs in the discarded paper but cigarette cards too.
The first photograph which was handed around showed Denis at work, the photograph was taken in 1956 and was published in the Northern Echo.  In the picture Denis is raking hay and adding it to the pile on the trailer.  He tells us that the trailer was pulled by a little Grey Fergie which is not seen, there is also two gentlemen standing on the top of the pile.
In amongst all of the photographs was headed paper from Denis’ Uncle Andrew’s Haulage company, the paper is very soft, almost velvety and the heading is embossed, you do not come across things like that anymore and if you do it is not very often!  A photograph soon followed of Uncle Andrew at his coal depot, the wheels of the wagon which he is standing in front of is made of wood.

Next, were coal invoices one dating 1929 and another 1930, they were in very good condition and have definitely being well looked after!  Other photographs included a haulage yard with all the vehicles parked in a neat row and two beautiful steamers.

As you can tell anything is precious to the individual, whether it is a purple rabbit which has been with you since you were 5 and you used to get upset when it was washed and hung to dry by his ears on the line (PLEASE NOTE: It was a toy rabbit!), to a ring someone has had for years, “My precious!” these items are priceless and cannot be replaced!  I would like to thank everyone who brought something along to night and to those who share little side stories along the way!  I think we will have a Part 2 where we can see some other items!

There is still time to get those Tyne Tees Run forms in, please return via post or email.
                                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary

October Meeting

Our usual Barry did not open the meeting tonight, but our other Barry.  As some of you may know our Tyne Bridge celebrated its 90th Birthday yesterday (11th October).  When the Tyne Bridge Celebrated its 60th Birthday the North East Area was invited along to join a parade along the bridge to celebrate the birthday, sadly this year we were not invited along, but you never know we may be for its 100th Birthday.  I believe that some of the vehicles made an appearance on the television, as well as appearing in the local newspapers!

**WARNING** You all know what is coming every time there is a warning disclaimer!  Please not that some people may find these images and descriptions distressing.  This is all Special Effects Makeup and although is made to look realistic is 100% fake **

Once again our Chairman (the first Barry) happily took on the role of Guinea Pig for tonight’s demonstration, may I add that I did not ask him this time, he just offered to take up the role of victim!
Now this look is rather controversial because some say that it is offensive for people to mimic this happening, as it is a terrible thing, which it is.  However, this is NEVER made up to make fun of ANYONE, EVER!  Of course, I am talking about a burn. 

The burn was created using the same main product as the boils from our last makeup class however, this time the gelatine contained a small amount of fake blood, to colour the gelatine a nice pink colour.  This gave the burn a nice base colour, which could then be built on later.  You can keep the gelatine is natural colour however, the already coloured gelatine also projects the translucent colour that a burn sometimes has.  Of course, this is a burn which has just happened, a healing burn or healed burn would of course look much different.  If you would like a picture of what this looks like, just think of the river of slime underneath the streets of New York in Ghostbusters 2.  Unfortunately, when you played music it did not jump about!

First I layered down a thin layer of gelatine before adding stretched and ripped cotton balls, before layering more gelatine on the top.  Once the arm was covered the way I wanted, and the gelatine had begun to set then I used the tongue depressor to dab the gelatine, which gave it a nice stringed texture and created what looks like melted skin or ligaments which may have been exposed.  This of course can also be created by layering strings of red wool down; the fibres would create the fleshy/muscled texture.  Once this had dried further then I went in with a tool, which our Chairman insisted was a needle, it wasn’t, would I do that to him?

With this tool I poked and pulled holes and hollows into the cotton to deepen and widen the holes which I had already laid down as well as changing the consistency of the gelatine, giving it a more mixed up look.
Once the whole thing had dried totally, unfortunately some had to be removed as it did not set, which can happen, something may of gone wrong in the making process where the ingredients just did not mix properly.  Just like being on the Great British Bake Off, just think Paul Hollywood, telling you that you had a soggy arm and not a soggy bottom!

Once that was removed then I could start on the paint job.  This time I laid down red to start with then went back and forth with browns and blacks to bring depth to the look, making it look more 3D.  As I was painting Paul asked, “Would this fool someone into thinking it was a real burn.”  The answer is both yes and no, the shock of seeing this on someone’s arm would at first make you think that this was real.  However, this is a whistle stop tour and this look would take 3-4 hours to complete, from beginning and end.  The process of painting the look takes the most time, as paints must be added and taken away throughout, this all depends on where you would like the highs and lows to hit.  Not only that but added colours can saturate other, meaning that you have to revisit and paint over.  The more time the better and the real it would become, not only that but you can bring other resources into it, such as using coffee or a gravel effect or doing this on the face rather than the arm.  It is amazing how much the face can be changed using the same products as I used on the arm.  Or completely changing it using more resources such as, eye guards and false nails.

Once the paint job was complete, I applied a light blended coating of foundation across the top, to highlight the high points as well as bring back a skin tone to the look.  I then scrapped some black eyeshadow from its pan and gently swept that across the surrounding skin, to create a charred, smoked effect.  To finish adding a healthy layer of lip gloss over the top to make it nice and…juicy! (you thought I was going to say it, didn’t you).
Our members had some amazing questions to ask whilst this was going on as well as sharing some war wound stories of their own, now I don’t mean injuries they received in the war, but you know what I mean, we are on the same page, well you are if you are reading this!

Remember, remember the 14th November, for Barry (the second Barry mentioned) is going to come up front with some Heavy Haulage.

Until then head over to our Facebook page: Historic Commercial Vehicle Society – North East for further updates and Tyne Tees Run news…they will be soon here!!!  I can hear the printers warming up now!
                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary


September Meeting

Well hello everyone, I hope you are all well!  Please bear with me, I have not done this for a while and my writing skills may be a little rusty!  I hope everyone has had a lovely summer!  I have been here, there and everywhere this summer.  I visited Cornwall where I went on a speed boat ride across the waves to see some marine animals.  We were lucky enough to see a Seal, a Sunfish and a pod of Dolphins, the Dolphins were busy hunting fish, so they did not surface as much as they normally would, but it was lovely seeing them anyway!  On coming back, I read an article which said that we are now getting some unusual creatures in our waters now, due to changes and one of those animals was a Sunfish!  The Chairman and I also went to see Iron Maiden, no not the steamer this time, the band!  At Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, as usual a fantastic show!  They opened with a Spitfire on stage just hovering above them, they also had a rather freaky looking angel, but the less said about that the better!

Anyway on with the show, Barry welcomed us all back and asked about our Summers, a lot of our members have been to various shows over the holiday period, unfortunately the weather was not so kind to some of them, but they still had an enjoyable time.

Tonight Paul opened us up with some home videos of past Tyne Tees Run, we visited 1985 and 1994.  The show in those days finished at Gypsy Green, where now we end up at Bents Park, just along the road.  A lot of Fire Engines seemed to come along to the show in 1994.  Paul shared that he recalls the weather being so hot and dry at times that the Fire Engines used to come down and spray water on the dirt path which the vehicles used to drive along, or else there would be rather large plumes of dust!  Not only that but he also recalls that at one point they had to pump water our of Gypsy Green because it was raining that much there was rather large patches of surface water!

Not only was there a lot of Fire Engines and a great deal of buses but there was quite a few unusual looking vehicles used to attend which, sadly we do not get to see on todays run!  I noticed two rather odd-looking yellow vehicles which I was informed was a Scammel.  Imagines of these vehicles brought a lot of conversation amongst the members, recalling those vehicles attending the run.  Not only that, but who owned the vehicles at the time, where they were sold onto if they were and if they had any problems on the run or before!

Suddenly good old static appeared on the screen, we must have had some kind of ariel interruption, we don’t see that now on the television!  The video came back on and jumped right into following a pair of Judges, clipboards in hand inspecting vehicles up for judging.
The judges were having an in-depth conversation about the originality of the vehicles, inspecting the engine, wheels, breaks, horn? And the body.

Barry S informed us that a lot of the vehicles who used to attend then came all the way from down south or right up from the north.  One of the vehicles used to raise money for the Guide Dog Charity.  On either side of the vehicle they had placed those Guide Dog collection banks you used to see in the shopping centres way back when, even I can remember them!

Suddenly, we are transported back in time to 1985, sadly we did not see Marty McFly or Doc on the video but we did see the vehicles going over the Tyne Bridge, which used to be part of the run and sadly is no longer!  The Tuxedo Princess, the floating nightclub was shown just peeking out from under the bridge, our Chairman once recovered that (upholstered).
Our members took a guess as to where some of the vehicles are now, so say they were sold on to other people, some believe they were scrapped, others believe that they’re standing in a barn or a garage somewhere.
Thank you to Paul for putting that together for us, it was very interesting seeing all the vehicles and what 1985 looked like!  I also really enjoyed your last video of how to prepare for the Tyne Tees Run, I may need a copy of that to put on our Facebook page!!!
  If you or anyone you know who used to attend the Tyne Tees Run way back when, please get in touch with us, we would love to know what year you attended and what vehicle you had then.  Get in contact via my email address which is on our Area Focus page or search for Historic Commercial Vehicle Society - North East on Facebook and give us a follow!

Join us next time at Bede Lodge where I will be taking the stage for our usual Halloween Special.
                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary


      36th Tyne Tees Run 2018                                                          

I would just like to say a huge thank you to all our drivers who has taken part in this year’s road run.  Without your participation we would be unable to hold our annual event!  Unfortunately, we did receive news that some drivers were experiencing problems with their vehicles this year and either had to fix during the run or leave at home.  I am one of these this year our flag ship ‘Nellie’ almost didn’t make it however, she pulled through in the end, she does enjoy the Tyne Tees!
Thank you to all of the teams who were involved securing our venues from Stockton Riverside College, Stockton Council, Durham Johnston, Durham Council, Bents Park, South Tyneside Council as well as Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria Police.
Our Facebook page seems to be growing from strength to strength, we have received more requests to join and followers are now contributing to the page, sharing photographs and memories of previous Tyne Tees Events!
See you all next year!

                                                                                                                                     Barry Gordon
                                                                                                                        North East Chairman

Now for something completely different!

Reports are in from…

What better way to start a Sunday morning than coming to the Riverside College, receiving a very warm welcome, grabbing a bacon sarnie from the van and having a catch up with friends!
It was lovely to see lots of old faces and might I add lots of new faces too!  Everyone was in high spirits and really looking forward to the day ahead of them!  The vehicles set away not long after arriving!
                                                                                                                                    Peter Summers
                                                                                                                        North East Committee

Our half way halt once again went very well this year!  We had a steady flow of vehicles entering the venue with waves of enthusiasm as well as some flashing lights and honking of horns, before parking up to make a wonderful display.  We had a few members of the public who were running, walking and cycling by asking all about the event we had on and what was happening, before entering the gates and spending some time inside.
Our Council Elect was very pleased with the selection of vehicles on show here today and really enjoyed looking around and having the opportunity to speak with some of our drivers.
                                                                                                                              Emma Gordon
                                                                                                                             North East Secretary


CLASS A: Double Deck Buses – Group 1
A2: 140 Preservation Group – 1964 Daimler 140.

CLASS B: Double Deck Buses – Group 2
B12: Mark MacKenzie – 1980 Leyland Atlantean Alexander AW68.

CLASS C: Single Deck Buses & Coaches – Group 1
C22: Douglas Scoular – 1961 Leyland Leopard.

CLASS D: Single Deck Buses & Coaches – Group 2
D31: David Warren – 1964 Atkinson Alpha.

CLASS E: Recovery Trucks & Special Vehicles:
E43: Ken Rodham – 1946 Bedford DWS

CLASS F: Fire Appliances & Rescue Services Vehicles
F61: Paul Pearson – 1938-9 Sigmund Pump.

CLASS G: Light Vehicles – Group 1
G76: John Claxton – 1959 Land Rover Series 3

CLASS H: Light Vehicles – Group 2
H87: John Arkley – 1971 Morris LCV Minor Van.

CLASS J: Light Vehicles – Group 3
None for Judging.

CLASS K: Four-Wheeled Goods Vehicles – Group 1
K116: G. Bourne – 1949 Bedford M Type.

CLASS L: Four-Wheeled Goods Vehicles – Group 2
L121: Jim Wilkinson – 1950 Albion FT37L.

CLASS M: Four-Wheeled Goods Vehicles – Group 3
M132: Robbie Ralph – 1971 Bedford TK Drop side.

CLASS N: Four-Wheeled Goods Vehicles – Group 4

N144: Alwin Harrison – 1983 Bedford TK 350 Turbo.

CLASS O: Multi-Axle Rigid Goods Vehicles:
O155: Frank Willis – 1959 Commer QX.

CLASS P: Articulated Goods Vehicles
P177: Raymond Hare – 1979 ERF B Series.

CLASS R: Tractor Units
R214: Andrew Thorpe – 1997 ERF EC Olympic.

CLASS T: Military Vehicles
None for Judging.

Special Awards & Overall Winners 2018

VEHICLE TRAVELLING THE GREATEST DISTANCE TO THE RUN UNDER ITS OWN POWER (Please note: this is a vehicle which has travelled the greatest distance on the DAY of the event):
C22: Douglas Scoular of Edinburgh.

A3: Aycliffe and Bus Preservation Society – 1964 Daimler CCG5.

R200: Max Ward – 1980 Scammell S45.

L123: Robert Westgarth – 1951 Thornycroft Sturdy Star.

D32: Julie Aylward – 1987 Leyland Royal Tiger Doyen.

R204: Allen Wright – 1986 Volvo F10.

R214: Andrew Thorpe – 1997 ERF EC Olympic.


L121: Jim Wilkinson – 1950 Albion FT37L.

June Meeting

Hello everyone!  I am going to keep this bit short and sweet as we have a lot to get through tonight.  I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended this years Tyne Tees Run drivers, venders, stall holders, commentators and volunteers! It was a very enjoyable day!
Now, lets jump in out telephone booths, dial that number and travel the circuits of time to the showground.  In the words of Bill and Ted, lets reach out and touch somebody!
Barry Summers took centre stage to introduce tonight’s speaker, who is a very good friend of his John Culine M.B.E.  John has come along tonight to share with us his family history in showmanship as well as talking about the part he plays in The Showman’s Guild.
John was born into a showman’s family, his Father being a showman himself, his Mother a mill girl from Darlington.  A photograph appears on the screen showing a park, a caravan and a tree.  This is the caravan where John was born, in Jubilee Park, Spennymoor Co. Durham.
At the tender age of 11 years old John let King’s Street School, Spennymoor and joined the family business.  He stated that he was born to be a showman, it is in his blood and a showman he would be!
John has many happy memories of his younger days, with his five sisters who were as John says his teachers in many ways.  Spending time together inside the rides when they were on a short break, teaching him all they knew about the world around them.
As mentioned before not only his Father but his Fathers, Father and his Father were all in the showman business.
Grandad Cliff threw knifes and tomahawks at Buffalo Bill.  His Grandmother Alice was a tightrope walker!  In 1890 she tight roped across Bridlington Harbour to raise money for Seagull Lifeboats.  She managed to raise £7 for the fund, the first time she walked across the Harbour though she fell in.  Assessing the situation, she decided to tighten her rope and managed all the way across without falling the week after, she made it into the newspapers!
A beautiful old poster appeared on the screen advertising the many acts and attractions the family had to offer people one of these acts were Prince the Fire Dog.  This poster can be found in the images section of Google if you Google John’s name.
Not only were John’s sisters his teachers but also his Uncles too, Uncle Fred taught him how to sign write the ride, vehicles and containers the family used to transport their lively hoods.  See, a showman’s life is not all lights and music, there is hard work to be done.  As John says a showman needs to be a jack of all trades.  Not only the operation of the rides but driving, moving, restoration and mechanical maintenance must be carried out.
At a local show John met a young lady called Davina who would later become his wife and mother to their daughters, Davina also came from a showman family from Yorkshire.  As a wedding present the newlyweds received a fairground ride called ‘The Octopus.’ 
Multiple photograph littered the screen showing The Octopus through the many stages of its life, John likes nothing better than stripping it all down, giving it a new coat of paint and sign writing.
When war was declared in Britain the showman packed up their things and joined the troops driving tanks or in the trenches doing the bit for King and County.  Those life behind at home also wanted to do their bit for the war effort, so they decided they would like to raise funds to buy an Ambulance.  Sadly, they did not manage to buy one…they managed to purchase twelve Ambulance’s!
During this time John’s Uncle William joined the Durham Light Infantry or the DLI as some of you may know, not long ago our Tyne Tees Run half way halt was held at the DLI Museum in Durham. But enough about Uncle William until a little bit later, this gentleman plays a big part in John’s life.
Not only did the showman raise funds for the First World War, they also raised money for the Second, this time raising enough money to purchase an aeroplane which was sent and used by a Polish Squadron.  Sadly, the aeroplane was damaged not long after its first flight however, was put to good use for other purposes.
It is clear to see that family and his family’s achievements are close to John’s heart, he is very proud of his family and where they came from.  Each member is spoken about with such admiration and love!
Now, returning to Uncle William, John’s Grandmother received a letter stating that William had been reported missing and known to be wounded.  Wanting to find out more his Grandmother sourced out some acquaintance which many have more information from one of their families who were also at war.  His Grandmother found out that William was on a bridge when he was wounded and not long after the German’s appeared, Uncle William never returned home.
Growing up with stories of his Uncle William, John was determined to know exactly what had happened to him on that fateful day, for his family, they had gone all those years without knowing if he was still alive…it was time to find out!
In 1984/85 John found out the William Culine was listed as deceased, the date of his death being 12th April 1918 (keep this date in mind, it pops up again later on!)

In September 1997 John with a friend visited Merville where his Uncle was last seen.  He visited the bridge where his Uncle was patrolling, coving engineers who were working there.  A historian met up with John as well as a local English teacher, where they had a private tour of a museum as well as visiting the bridge.


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May Meeting

Well Hello everyone!  I hope you had a very enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend and are looking forward to the next one, it will be here before we know it!  My adventures consisted of a water park, where I must add I have a lovely bruise on my arm off the water log and I went to Truckfest however, I shall not bore you will the details however, I did see Todd from Ice Road Truckers now on with the show!
Tonight, Barry brought us Part 3 of his Model Mania series, this time we are focusing on Heavy Haulage, he stated that some of the models have made an appearance before in previous showings however, did have a wide selection which have never been shown before.
The wagons were set out in sections showing vehicles from a few haulage companies starting with Pickfords Removals, actually if you go onto Google Images and type in ‘Pickfords Removals’ two photographs of Peter and Barry’s Pickford’s vehicle show up, both are at shows, one is definitely the Tyne Tees Run (I know this because it’s the picture that I took…goodness knows how it made its way onto Google!)
Barry started with a lovely framed photograph of his and Peter’s vehicle, which I believe was taken when it was pulling into Bents Park on the Tyne Tees.  He has a model which is a close replica to their vehicle however, the model is an O Type Bedford and theirs is a M Type Bedford.  The difference between the O Type and M Type is that one has a 3-ton chassis and the other has a 5.
During the war production of the usual models ceased and a ‘cheaper’ model of the vehicle was produced for the army’s use; these wagons had a flattened front and were fitted with large heavy-duty bars.
In the 1950’s production began again and in came new designs for the Bedford and so the S Type was born and later the Bedford TK.  Barry believes that over half a million Bedford TK’s were produced.
Barry shared with us that his Uncle used to own various removal vans, one of which Barry has a replica of on the table, which we are told was rather rare!  Now on the front line was a very tiny vehicle, a Little Reliant (three-wheeler) or as I like to call them ‘broken cars’ thank my younger self for that!  Showing that over the time Pickfords had quite a variety of vehicles in their fleet, ranging from Heavy Haulage to steam locomotives.
The company did not always use Bedford’s for their choice of wagon they also used vehicles produced by Scammell, Foden and the like.  Barry recalls an early memory of watching the rather large vehicles going down his street.  They had a bit of a hard time going around the corner in those days, not like today where it is a lot easier.  Barry used to watch them from his bedrooms window having to go onto the other side of the road to turn the corner without damaging anything.
Along with Pickfords Barry had vehicles in the livery of A.L.E whom we weren’t too sure whether this company was still around, Sunters and Siddle Cook, whom is now well known as Elddis.  Barry had the pleasure of been invited to a function and talking with Sunters himself, they had a lovely conversation about the heavy haulage in which the company used and what equipment they had, before everything became modernised!!
This brought conversation about a new trailer which had recently been on the television a one which was driven via remote control.  Our members enjoy a wide variety of Heavy Haulage television programs including ‘Ice Road Truckers’ (see Truckfest tided in somewhere), ‘World’s Dangerous Roads’, ‘Outback Truckers’ and ‘Logging the Russian Way.’
Thanks to Dick and Google for looking up about A.L.E it is in fact still a company which is in business today!
Barry then invited everyone to come and have a closer look at the collection, ask questions, handle the vehicles however, no playing races with them!  I would like to thank Barry once again for bringing his collection along tonight for everyone to have a look at and whilst in conversations with him I found out there could be a Part 4!
Now on a different note our Barry likes to play a certain instrument and has taken this up as a hobby of his and has played in various shows I believe mainly in Blackpool.  As you know our Queen recently celebrated her 92nd Birthday at the Royal Albert Hall.  Barry made an appearance as part of the George Formby Society at a prelude to the celebrations at Blackpool and was shown during the program.  Barry is the gentleman on the far left in the bottom corner, there is a gentleman pointing his mobile phone at him.
Thank you to everyone who has entered or enquired about the Tyne Tees Run it is swiftly approaching!  If you follow us on Facebook, you would have seen our count down we are currently on 4 weeks until the event!  If I do not see you before I shall see you there!  Don’t forget to come and say hello!

                                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary

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January Meeting

Wow, I have just noticed as I selected the file marked HC News on my memory stick and made a new file that this is my third year of writing entries for HC News, thought I would share that little bit of trivia with you!

Well I hope you all had a jolly holiday and have come back all refreshed and ready to start a new year!  The highlight of my Christmas was travelling to London to see The Christmasaurus Live by Tom Fletcher, for anyone who doesn’t know who Tom Fletcher is he is a band member from McFly/McBusted and is now a children’s Author.

Anyway enough about that, Barry our Treasurer rang in our very first meeting of the new year with Part 2 of his model series.  This time the table was set in the tradition ‘wagon trail’ which circus’ were set up as back in the day.  With the Big Top tents being at either end with caravans and wagon trains around the outside forming a circle or square.

Barry’s models were in the livery of both Billy Smart’s and Chipperfield’s, Billy Smarts being to the right in green, where Chipperfield’s was to the left in red.  Showmanship has very much been a part of Barry’s life since a very young age.  He recalled being on a trip to London and seeing the circus coming in in convoy.  Another memory he shared was when his Uncle Jack took both Barry and his brother Peter to Darlington as Billy Smarts was in town!  He recalled about seeing the show and being fascinated with the magic that the high wire trapeze artists, animals, clowns and Ring Masters produced under the tents roof.  Unfortunately, by nightfall it was time to leave, but seeing the lights and hearing the sounds as he was walking back to the car with his family, sparked an interest which has never left him!
Prompted by Barry our Chairman, Barry took out a model fire engine which had been tucked behind one of the circus tents, as far as Barry knows Billy Smarts was the only circus which had its own fire engine to hand during the shows.  He had a very informative book which was passed around the members to view.  The book detailed Billy Smarts performances across the ages showing illustrations of their advertisement photographs, promotional photographs, newspaper articles and their performances for Royalty.
Barry recalled a trip he had taken in the seventies to New York, he was staying in Manhattan at the time, he was lucky enough to attend Madison Square Gardens when the famous Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show was at the venue.
He recalled how the show ran for two and a half hours, producing a magnificent show on in which he would never forget to this day!  His luck continued however, when travelling down to Washington DC Barry witnessed the famous mile long circus train moving across the country.  Taking equipment, staff and animals from place to place during their tour.

This sparked a memory with Paul who shared that whilst he was at sea, he recalled the ship carrying the cargo for a circus on board.
Speaking of ships, Barry’s luck once again paid out as whilst cruising he had the pleasure of going to see Button’s the Clown holding a presentation on board the ship.  Recalling stories about his life and his experiences in the circus.  One of the memories he shared was of having his shows cancelled as Pearl Harbour had just happened that very day!  Barry’s Mother had a bit of a surprise that night whilst she was playing bingo little did she know that that night she would be sitting next to the gentleman whom was on stage just hours before!
Unfortunately, Barry has not visited a circus in quite a while however, he always thinks about what it would be like to step inside a modern-day circus, would it still feel the same?  What would happen now that all the animals have gone?  Is their new stuntmen or stilt walkers?  None of us could comment on that as neither of us has been to a circus of late and I must admit I have never had the pleasure of going to the circus.
The Greatest Showman staring Hugh Jackman is in cinemas now, telling the story about P. T .Barnum’s life, it is very good!
Thank you to Barry for coming forward tonight and sharing his interests and bringing along his models.  On talking to Barry after his presentation he just might have a part 3 sitting waiting for us!  I see a series coming on!
Once again thank you to those who have handed in their Tyne Tees Run forms both via email and post.  There is still time to hand them in, if you have not got a form and wish to come there is a form available to download from the HCVS website or if you have any questions regarding this year’s event please do not hesitate to contact me!
                                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary




February Meeting

Well it is February, Happy Pancake Day, Valentines and Chinese New Year to you all!  This month our meeting fell on Valentine’s Day and what better way to celebrate by attending Bede Lodge and taking a trip down the Beamish Museum cobbles with Malcolm Paul.

Now as you may know Beamish is a large Victorian open-air museum situated in County Durham.  The museum is highly popular and welcomes thousands of visitors each year from all over the world.  The only museum quite like this one in the UK is Blitz Hill in Telford which is part of the Iron Bridge Museums.

The buildings in Beamish are either buildings which have been taken down brick by brick and then rebuilt or they are replicas of buildings in the North East.  Malcolm informed us how Beamish is currently undergoing mass developments installing a new 1950’s town, which will have a Cinema, Police Station and much more! 
Throughout the year Beamish are hosts to many events which Malcolm regularly attends.  He displayed a wide variety of images from his visits to the annual steam event where the legendary Iron Maiden was in attendance…and no not the band but the steamer!  As well as steam events Malcolm has attended many car rally’s, as well as other vehicle events.
Of course some of his photographs showed the transportation which Beamish themselves own and which you can go on to get from place to place whilst at the museum.  These include cars, buses, locomotives and of course the trams!

Coming from either a mining, industrial or farming backgrounds Beamish holds a very special place in the hearts of those in the North East!
Our Chairman Barry, whom I call Dad used to work there before I was born  He shared with the members his memories of installing the cobbles in the 1820’s town, helping to install the large printing press in the printers where you can go and buy a newspaper and lending a hand in the installation of ‘The Hammer’ which is situated at the very entrance of the museums car park.
Dick one of our Committee Members attends The Agricultural Show yearly, giving talks to visitors, children and teachers on educational visits.  Dick also displays and demonstrates items he enjoys making such as whistles and tongs.

Some of our members are Friends of Beamish, pass holders and some have even donated items to the museum for display itself.  Now the museum has a vast amount of archived items which can now be viewed by the public in the large Dunlop building, there is even an Iron Lung in there which is rather interesting as well as other interesting items.

I would like to thank Malcolm and Les for coming along this month and we hope to see you both again for a future presentation!

Join us in March where Ron Henderson will be presenting us with Emergency Vehicles through time!  Once again, I would just like to thank those who have entered their vehicles for the Tyne Tees Run (which is swiftly approaching!) still plenty of time to enter your vehicle! 

                                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary




March Meeting

Paul gave a very good introduction for our speaker tonight, they have known one another for many years, originally meeting in 1974 and have been firm friends since then!
As the lights in our meeting room were turned off, the screen illuminated picturing an illustration of a Fire Engine, appearing as if a child had produced the slides title page.  Ron took to the stage and gave a little back ground information on how although he was born with a talent to paint, he never picked up the brush until his mid-thirties.  Ron, like many people did fear what he was good at for a good few years before blowing the layer of dust off his watercolour set which had been sitting in a cupboard, for ten years, left but not forgotten! 
The newly undusted water paints went on to paint a drawing which Ron had spotted in Paul house when he came to visit him.  Soon Ron moved from water paints and onto oil paints, now I do not know if many of you know that a small tube of oil paint will set you back around £6+ and the brushes a small one for small details can cost you around £4+ and canvas boards do not come cheap either.
Ron showed a beautiful Fire Engine which he had painted and shared with us a few troubles which he had with the painting.  See the Fire Engine in question had a rather unusual colour, it was an almost purple/brown colour.  Now, I have done this myself and wasted paint, but experimentation left Ron with a pallet covered in a big splodge of muddy coloured paint, which had to be scrapped from the pallet straight into the bin!  As Ron perfected and became more confident with pallet mixing the colour soon came!
As Ron’s paintings became popular and well know, he began to receive commissions for retirement gifts for men who had served in the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service!  The people would contact Ron, give him a little bit of background information about the person, where they had worked, what vehicles they had worked with etc… 
The next job is to then sit down and plan this all out onto a canvas board.  A lot of his retirement paintings pictured a building or badge in the centre with different vehicles over the years around the outside.  Many of the people whom these paintings were for were long serving people in their field, some serving for 40 years.  Ron will then spend time lining everything up, making sure the vehicle will be sitting in a line, that they balance one another, that the building is set right and above all make sure the lovely clean white canvas is not marked in any way.  As the painting process begins he likes to start in the very top corner and work clockwise around the board, he stated that it takes approximately an afternoon to paint two vehicles.
Ron stated that some of his commissions can become a little bit tricky especially when someone would like something on their painting which is a little unusual.  For example, a painting was done for someone who worked in Hartlepool (some of you might know where this is going!)  The painting pictures, buildings, vehicles, a World War Plane and…the MONKEY!  Here Ron had a little bit of a problem, how could he paint a monkey being hung on someone’s painting, what happened if a child saw it and found it quite distressing however, this is what they person had asked for, so to make light of the subject Ron painted a cartoon monkey at the top instead of a real one!  Now for those of you who do not know about Hartlepool and the Monkey, please feel free to use that search engine we all know and love, Google!  For those of you who DO know what I am referring too, I apologise for mentioning the Monkey!!
Over the years as Ron perfected his skill and gain confidence he does occasional little exercises, some of these exercise paintings have been sold on and some are still in Ron’s possession.  He likes to capture each little detail as much as he can, and you can see the development of this in his works, each nut and bolt is showing, details on gage faces, on the badges which cannot really be seen until really looked at is all pictured in his works.  Ron shared that sometimes after he has painted a painting he would go back and edit bits out because he felt they did not quite work.  He showed us an example of this of the river, with a ship and the series of bridges on the Tyne.  This painting hangs in Ron’s living room however, the ship is no longer in the painting.  Ron felt that it was not proportioned right to the rest of it so edited it out instead.  One exercise is from the Eagle comics, this is one of his favourites as it is an Engine which was in service whilst he was working in the Fire Brigade.
Some of these exercises include, trains, planes, ships, boats, horses, butterflies (although you must paint them quick before they fly away!)  One painting of a Life Boat was commissioned to help raise money, Ron journeyed out it a little boat to take photographs of the Life Boat in action, unfortunately his camera lens had a close encounter with some salt water and sadly it never worked again however, Ron said that it was all for a good cause!
He painted a replica of the famous painting ‘Saved’ for tea towels to be printed.  A Gentleman once bought over 20 paintings of ships which Ron had painted.  Sadly, the gentleman died however, the paints were all sold to a hotel in South Shields and they’re now hung pride of place up the main stairway.  Not only are his paintings in a hotel, he also has paintings in both Newcastle and Heathrow Airports!
Knowing that Ian would be in attendance tonight Ron added in a painting of a Durham Dennis which Ian worked on when he served as a Fire Fighter!
It was lovely to see Ron’s work and you can see the real passion he has for his paintings, he is not afraid to state when something did not go according to plan and sees it all as a learning curve!  I would like to thank Ron for coming along to tonight’s meeting and we do hope to see him again in the future!
You can now find HCVS on Facebook, look for the group Historic Commercial Vehicle Society – North East


April Meeting

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend!  I had quite an enjoyable time, I went to an air rifle shooting range (I best add that it was in a highly controlled environment), a cat show, the garden centre and my new book came which I was quite excited about!  The book however, was not about vehicles but the other v word….vampires!  It did not let me down and I am now waiting for the next one which is out next year!
But enough about my little update, tonight Ian brought along one of his eBay Quizzes.  This time there was twenty vehicles in the quiz, the aim of the game is as follows, Ian shows us some photographs of the vehicles up for auction and then gives us a little bit of back ground information.  Going from that you then have to decided how much the vehicle was sold for, now this can go anywhere from £1 well into the thousands! The key is not to be fooled…especially if the vehicle has been graced with a lot of rot and rust over the years, like the very old but might I say quite original Bedford which has been sitting in a field for quite some time!  Unfortunately, due to its time in the field the weather has not been kind to this vehicle and it was quite rusty!
There was a beautiful Leyland Octopus which went for £12,500.  Now our Chairman had quite a few good guesses, he was on the money on two of the vehicles and only £5 away from the final price for two others!
Unfortunately, like many items on eBay a lot of these vehicles made a reappearance back on the site not long after bidding came to an end.  Probably due to the reserve not being met or someone may have dropped out of the final sale.
As we know Ian was a Fire Fighter for Durham, now one of these Fire Engines on the list was the sister Engine to the very one which Ian used to drive!  In the mix we also saw an ET6, Themes Trader and an Austin K9!
I would like to thank Ian for hosting our quiz tonight as always it is very well received and was especially enjoyed by some of our new members who said that it was nice to see something a little bit different!
In other news as I sit here writing to you all, I have sitting by me our Green Forms for this years Tyne Tees Run which shall be filled in and sent soon.  However, do not worry if you have yet to enter the run you have plenty of time to do so!
See you all next month!
                                                                                                Emma Gordon
                                                                                    North East Secretary


Tyne Tees Run 2017

Outright concours winner Frank Willis with His Commer TS3

frank willis vaux commer