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Degsy

Ex Motorcraft employee

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Had a visitor in the workshop today, a friend now in his 80's who I hadn't seen for some time. For many years he was employed as a commercial vehicle mechanic by the local authority but apart from the fact that he was originally a Londoner born and bred we had never discussed his previous 'life'. My jeep was parked in the workshop and as he walked in his face lit up on spotting it, rather to my surprise his immediate comment was 'I've driven hundreds of them', as I was raising a somewhat cynical eyebrow and before I could say anything he carried on 'I know that's a French one' not knowing it belonged to me and and after only a quick glance at the side and rear from 15 to 20 feet away as he entered the building. There obviously being a lot more to this than met the eye I wanted to know more, a lot more.

As its now after 2am and I have to get up at my usual time of 6.30 am I will, hopefully, continue this story for anyone interested later today.:sleep:

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Had a visitor in the workshop today, a friend now in his 80's who I hadn't seen for some time. For many years he was employed as a commercial vehicle mechanic by the local authority but apart from the fact that he was originally a Londoner born and bred we had never discussed his previous 'life'. My jeep was parked in the workshop and as he walked in his face lit up on spotting it, rather to my surprise his immediate comment was 'I've driven hundreds of them', as I was raising a somewhat cynical eyebrow and before I could say anything he carried on 'I know that's a French one' not knowing it belonged to me and and after only a quick glance at the side and rear from 15 to 20 feet away as he entered the building. There obviously being a lot more to this than met the eye I wanted to know more, a lot more.

As its now after 2am and I have to get up at my usual time of 6.30 am I will, hopefully, continue this story for anyone interested later today.:sleep:

Keep it coming

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North Wales? That means it's about 11.15 am ! You must be up by now ? Or did you sleep in ?

Looking forward to the next bit old bean

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He is probably out on the hills tending his sheep

 

Wrong....in the workshop before 8am and didn't lock up and leave until 7 pm.;)

Edited by Degsy

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To continue, Ken left the Army in the early 1950's and went to work for Motorcraft at their premises in Chiswick, this was a Jewish family business specialising in refurbishing and selling WW11 jeeps managed by the owners son in law, a chap called Harry Beckerman. The owners father who was in his eighties at that time used to sit on a table in the rear of the premises hand sewing canvas for the roof and seats of the refurbished jeeps, according to Ken he was a millionaire who had made his fortune as a tailor to the Royal Navy following the fleet from port to port making uniforms for the Naval officers.Another old aged employee fondly remembered by Ken and described as a genius of a metal basher was called Aubrey. his speciality was re-skinning the floors and bodies of what sometimes were more colander than jeep and he would attach the hand beaten metal over what remained of the original bodies.This I found quite interesting as I remember comments by owners who have rebuilt jeeps in recent times finding this and speculating on who had done it and when this might have happened, perhaps this is the answer as at the time the company was refurbishing and selling large numbers of jeeps. Ken's main job was to drive a recovery truck to airfields all over East Anglia to collect jeeps and deliver them to Chiswick, two stacked one on top of the other on the truck and a third one towed behind, a practice which involved many a run in with the boys in blue who hated what he was doing but never managed to hang a successful charge on him.

Got to go and get my kit ready now in preparation for the funeral later this morning of a close friend and colleague, another mechanic and garage proprietor of the 'old school' highly respected in the trade in this area particularly for his expertise with carburettors and early petrol injection systems, he had served his time in a Ford main dealer in the 1960's.

More to follow as and when......

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Very interesting, this is the kind of information that usually is not recorded, look forward to the rest of it

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Thank you for the comments, judging by the number of views the thread seems to be generating a fair bit of interest so will continue with the info I have so far in another post.

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Crept into a packed crematorium chapel just as the minister welcomed the congregation to find Ken had kept me a seat right by the door, during the eulogy given by the minister he nearly brought the house down when he said that he had asked Steve's (the deceased) long term partner, Dawn, to describe him in one word she said cantankerous,:-D not a description I would have used but like me he didn't suffer fools gladly and we shared the same cynical attitude and dry sense of humour, in short he was a true, loyal, friend. RIP mate. Before hurrying back to the workshop I managed a short chat with Ken and a couple of gentle questions took him back to his early life as a genuine cockney, one of eight children of which only Ken and an older sister now living in Newmarket still survive. I have explained to him the interest his life story will be to members on this forum and although very surprised he will be happy for us to spend time together so I can record his memories. He is the perfect caricature of the true Cockney sparrow,short in stature, large in personality with dark hair, sharp features and quick movements, at almost 83 years of age he could easily pass as a man many years his junior. I have some more information regarding Motorcraft but am going to hold that back to use at the correct time in his story which I hope will record his early childhood in the East End before and during WW2,followed by his teenage years, apprenticeship, army service and subsequent career and family life of which I already know some rather poignant details. please bear with me until I can spend the necessary time with Ken to record the whole interesting story in chronological order. I am now off to the pub to sink a few in happy memory of my late mate Steve. I know he will be watching and approve.

Edited by Degsy
Edited for the second time, sorry, obviously brain not in gear before engaging fingers

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Crept into a packed crematorium chapel just as the minister welcomed the conversation to find Ken had kept me a seat right by the door, during the eulogy given by the minister he nearly brought the house down when he said that he had asked Steve's (the deceased) long term partner, Dawn, to describe him in one word she said crotchety,:-D not a description I would have used but like me he didn't suffer fools gladly and we shared the same cynical attitude and dry sense of humour, in short he was a true, loyal, friend. RIP mate. Before hurrying back to the workshop I managed a short chat with Ken and a couple of gentle questions took him back to his early life as a genuine cockney, one of eight children of which only Ken and an older sister now living in Newmarket still survive. I have explained to him the interest his life story will be to members on this forum and although very surprised he will be happy for us to spend time together so I can record his memories. He is the perfect caricature of the true Cockney sparrow,short in stature, large in personality with dark hair, sharp features and quick movements, at almost 83 years of age he could easily pass as a man many years his junior. I have some more information regarding Motorcraft but am going to hold that back to use at the correct time in his story which I hope will record his early childhood in the East End before and during WW2,followed by his teenage years, apprenticeship, army service and subsequent career and family life of which I already know some rather poignant details. please bear with me while until I can spend the necessary time with Ken to record the whole interesting story in chronological order. I am now off to the pub to sink a few in happy memory of my late mate Steve. I know he will be watching and approve.

 

 

 

 

Where's the Like button when you need it, fascinating story and you write well, looking forward to the rest of it.

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Thank you Snort and Richard, having returned from the pub suitably refreshed and having re read the thread I was embarrassed to read my own post and immediately spot the stupid mistakes.Having read it through originally before pressing the post button I realised how much my mind and concentration had wandered whilst composing the post. My apologies and I hope I haven't missed any more stupid errors and that the post now makes a little more sense.I will definitely continue with the thread as soon as possible if only for my own interest in Ken's story but obviously it will depend on when we can find a mutually acceptable time to meet for what I envisage will take several hours. Any suggestions as to the best type of small and hopefully cheap recorder to buy and the best supplier of same will be gratefully received as my knowledge of any recording equipment available after the mid 1960's can be summed up in two words, first word four letters beginning with F second word three letters ending with L:laugh:

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Thank you Snort and Richard, having returned from the pub suitably refreshed and having re read the thread I was embarrassed to read my own post and immediately spot the stupid mistakes.Having read it through originally before pressing the post button I realised how much my mind and concentration had wandered whilst composing the post. My apologies and I hope I haven't missed any more stupid errors and that the post now makes a little more sense.I will definitely continue with the thread as soon as possible if only for my own interest in Ken's story but obviously it will depend on when we can find a mutually acceptable time to meet for what I envisage will take several hours. Any suggestions as to the best type of small and hopefully cheap recorder to buy and the best supplier of same will be gratefully received as my knowledge of any recording equipment available after the mid 1960's can be summed up in two words, first word four letters beginning with F second word three letters ending with L:laugh:

 

Don't worry about it, you should see some of my posts with mistakes, beginning to rely on the red underscore to much.

 

A suggestion which I would commend to all members who are taking these kind of information is after posting them to put them together as a PDF

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B015H9JP6S/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477143117&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=digital+voice+recorder&dpPl=1&dpID=51LbD4L3zQL&ref=plSrch

 

Click on 'skip these details' (advert) when page loads to see the voice recorder.

 

Very much enjoying this thread 👍

 

Thanks for your help on that, have ordered one, hopefully it will do the job. Thank you for your comment, without this and other comments I wouldn't have continued the thread but would have just spent time meeting with Ken to listen to his story for my own interest.

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:tup:: Thanks Degsy fascinating read

 

My pleasure Chris, thank you for commenting.

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Cracking story, Degsy. Keep it up.

 

Hard to do at my age;) but will do my best.:-D

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B015H9JP6S/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477143117&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=digital+voice+recorder&dpPl=1&dpID=51LbD4L3zQL&ref=plSrch

 

Click on 'skip these details' (advert) when page loads to see the voice recorder.

 

Very much enjoying this thread 👍

 

The recorder has arrived from China surprisingly quickly however the instructions are somewhat iffy to say the least. Written in Chinese English the main point seems to be that whatever is wrong with it then it has nothing to do with the manufacturer and it should be dunked in water:???

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The recorder has arrived from China surprisingly quickly however the instructions are somewhat iffy to say the least. Written in Chinese English the main point seems to be that whatever is wrong with it then it has nothing to do with the manufacturer and it should be dunked in water:???

 

 

Reminds me of Benny Hill's Chinaman skit

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Further episodes of Ken's life will now be further delayed as he has departed for points South to visit his sister and a number of other people, there is no definite date for his return.

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Further episodes of Ken's life will now be further delayed as he has departed for points South to visit his sister and a number of other people, there is no definite date for his return.

 

Thanks for the update, look forward in anticipation

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