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Golden Oldie Snaps

Pete Lewis

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here i am 1965 ish  in my third year of a 5 yr apprenticeship at Commer Cars  in the Luton Apprentice School

3rd yr guys were sent there to help new apprentices.

We were sectioning a Commer TS3  our two stroke opposed piston  Diesel for a moving display stand at the 1965 commercial show

at Earls Court , the engine is currently held in the Coventry Transport Museum  


we used about three blocks before we got it right the top section was hinged up to expose the inside working of these remarkable engines .




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Gues a few were broken and I had a scraper for years but long gone,


No safety goggles just a copper hammer or hide mallet


we used goggles on the grinders, I remember the horizontal had a tempremental head which would drop when facing the wheel and the magnetic diamond base would fly off out through the window with a bang and sink in the presevative tank outside used to dip Walkthru van floor boards, so we had a magnet on a fishing line to retrieve it


happy days



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Sectioning engines  / gearboxes must have been a common apprentice exercise. I can remember doing a tractor 'back end' to show the working of the hydraulics at Massey's Banner Lane. (never go more than half way through a valve block or the valve will fall out ! )

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  • 4 months later...

Doug, shes on the back row on the right, left in 39 when married dad moved to Luton


my Grandad got a BEM from the King in 43 for working 54 years with only half a day off sick


my Dad did 51 years at Commer but ....I only managed 42yrs


Lots of lost industries had long serving families and social responsibility, just ask where all the darts table tennis football and cricket matches, choirs and bands have gone ....reliable employment and

a social scene who's value was never valued.

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In the late 70's I bought off a mate his MOT failed AH Sprite, with the intention of rebuilding it. Once stripped it was so bad that the simplest solution was to fit an Arkley body kit. I then ran it for several years - The MOT records website shows it last tested (and passed) in 2012.

This photo must have been taken shortly after it was finished. The 'cool dude' in aviator glasses and with hair, is me - sadly now with no hair and needing prescription glasses to drive. Happy days!


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