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The Basil .K. Splutterpipe wanderings - an occasional musing on life and it’s mysteries as seen through the eyes of a person not entirely there, or here either, all things being considered.

So I’m back for another musing. I can’t say by special request - specially when Crackleport has you by the writing hand, but I thought that with the advent of our new chum who has kindly volunteered to publish PAG on line, that it may at least be worth another bash. (Don’t let the wife see that or I certainly will get one - a bash that is)

Which got me to thinking about the strange and wonderful things that I’ve seen whilst getting the old girl (Old number.3.) MOT’d.

Has anybody else had some weird experiences at this time.

Getting the Pembleton MOT’d in the Bradford area is becoming quite a struggle, if it doesn’t have four wheels, and a sound system to frighten the Devil himself then it seems to be quite difficult.

So off he goes to the little garage where she was booked in - they used to test Reliants here - 3 wheels - oh yes !! Pulls in to a shocked look, what’s that ?? the wheels are the wrong way round. Huge pit and a little trolley to accept a single wheel - but Reliants are a lot higher off the road and the little trolley just wouldn’t go under the engine and axles at the front of the Pembleton. It had several large protrusions all to help with the testing and secural of your average Del Boy special. Including two plates to stop the single wheel rolling off and plunging the unfortunate Regal owner into the pit

Garage owner looks mightily perplexed - are we going to fail before we have even started - but no friends, the garage assistant, a somewhat pimply youth, has a “ Eureka “ moment. (That’s a bright idea by the way, well I think it was) Off he went with the trolley accompanied after a few moments by load banging/grinding sound - sparks flew. When he returned the trolley was minus all it’s fixing mounts, lumps/bumps and anything that was above the little wheels that ran along the side of the pit. Just a frame and four steel wheels.

That’ll do it he stated triumphantly - I can’t say the owner looked exactly thrilled, but do you know, it worked !! Picture the scene now, your hero driving his Pembleton over the pit for testing, single rear wheel at the back tied on to the trolley with a fixing strap and nothing to keep the little wheels travelling straight, along the edge of the pit. Terrified I was, even more so going backwards after the test was finished - but what about that for service. Goodness knows how long it took them to put their little trolley back together but they weren’t going to be beaten. The good old British garage. I couldn’t see Audi or BMW going for that.

So the next year comes around, the old garage has closed and we set off again on the hunt. Help came in the form of a Crackleport suggestion no doubt dug from the pages of his old Racing almanac. Another back street beauty.

Turned up on the day - pouring down - whilst on the subject, why does that always happen - it can, and had been beautiful for weeks. Booked yer car in and the day before and true to form it started raining. Fabulous. I just love the looks that you get in the rush hour traffic - from all the execs in their plush motors. Always makes me smile. (We’re smiling for two different reasons though - they’re thinking “ idiot “ - I’m smiling cos I’m completely barking)

So we arrive at the MOT station. There’s a small lady with a clipboard stood beside the garage proprietor who suddenly looks slightly askance. Over he comes - have you booked that in mate - Yep ! Oh yes I remember now. Erm, we’ve got the lady from the Ministry checking that we carry out our tests to the agreed standard (and you can see in his face that what he’s thinking is oh +@”* !! - this is going to be hell - I can’t plug this in anywhere). But bless him off we went - I have to say that at times in the past I’ve thought that I have had a reasonably easy ride - partly because the average garage has never seen anything like a Pembleton m uch less had any experience with them. Mot tests have never been a particular worry at all. She is very well put together, always clean and consequently a topic of conversation - which I have found does wonders - but today, no way Jose. By the book. We’re pulled .pushed, twisted, thumped - everything that could possibly be tested, and some besides, were tested - at times I thought almost to destruction. But the old girl didn’t let me down.

There was just one tricky moment - yer MOT testers tester (female) goes down into the pit with proprietor and I can hear some suitably impressed comments - this is clean - well built etc - up they come, and start on the headlights. Growing with confidence your hero starts up a conversation with said lady tester - just as whilst checking the offside headlight , it comes loose - well it’s only held on with the one bolt. Oh, I’ll tighten that up when I get home says yer now overly confident Splutterpipe - “ you shouldn’t be saying that in front of me “ says the now slightly stony faced one , making a note on the clipboard - whoops !! Mouth open, should be closed.

Anyway’s we passed. Mr Garage man is delighted because I think he really proved himself with a car that refuses to be pigeonholed. Splutterpipe is thrilled because if she’s passed that test, then she’s as safe as houses and as well built as I always thought. And your average MOT testers tester is thrilled because she’s had two grown men trembling in abject fear and misery.

I don’t think number 3 has shot home quite so fast before.

But the bruises have gone and she’s a little more confident now, and will shortly be coming out of hibernation to once again take to the high roads.

Where will we go and what will happen this year.

There we are, that’s bored you all. As I said, just the musings of an old and dis-orientated old man.

I hope to be writing to you all later - that’s if I’m invited back - but TALLY HO !! Get them there Pembletons out on the road, see you around,

Basil.K.


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