Reluctantly, we decided not to go to the Victory Show, as we had too many vehicle maintenance issues, including further painting on the K4 and a blowing head gasket on the Fordson (yet to be addressed).
The next weekend, we took all three vehicles to Rufford for the Eventplan 1940s show. The K4 was running very poorly, and it took us nearly 5 hours to drive 12 miles! We broke down 4 times. Firstly, we were misfiring badly and didn’t get beyond the edge of Lowdham before turning back home. A spark plug lead had come adrift after the head gasket rebuild, and a valve pushrod was out of place. That was sorted, and we set off again. The points were not set correctly, and a slight movement there brought us to a stop. We didn’t get them exactly right, so we came to a stop again. Then the SU fuel pump stopped, and needed a gentle hit. Then the misfire came back again. It got worse on the way home until we couldn’t maintain 15mph on the level. Turned out that the earlier misfire had sooted up the plugs. Cleaned, and returned the last bit at 40mph.
At Rufford, we did some drill at the camp area, including raising the TL Ladder, and slipping the Escape from the Fordson, and lowering it to the horizontal position for maintenance. We also did a scenario in the main arena with all three vehicles, and one of the ambulances from Papplewick. The scenario was that two ARP wardens were tackling an incendiary, which happened to be the one in ten which exploded, injuring one warden. She was rescued, and taken to safety in the ambulance, while the NFS came in to cope with the fire that was now out of control, including the TL. On the Saturday, there was no ambulance, and on the Sunday, we did not use the TL, as it seemed a bit contrived (there not being a 60′ building on fire in the field) added to the engine misfiring situation. Feedback from Eventplan, the organisers, was that they really appreciated the raising of the ladders, and are prepared to consider allocating us space adjacent to the old abbey buildings (shown in one of the photos), so we could do a continuous programme of ladder drill with both appliances, and subject to agreement from the authorities, do an ‘abbey on fire’ scenario, where we do smoke in the abbey, and spray water into it from above.
On the Saturday of 17th September, John took the K2 and a pump to join David Needham at Wollaton Hall for a small-scale 1940s event. It was well received, but there were not many people there. However, there is the possibility of making a bit more of it next year. Perhaps a larger NFS and AFS event, with the opportunity to demonstrate Green Goddesses as well as the wartime kit?
On Saturday 24th September, David and John joined Peter and Andy at Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge. Peter took a barrow pump, and we took the grey Coventry Climax pump. It hadn’t run for nearly a year, so it was a good opportunity to give it a run, although it it’s old problem of sticking inlet valves re-appeared. The barrow pump was successful, as were the stirrup pumps, especially with the children.