Here we are again, how Ya doing? Sad to here about the passing of Steve Gunning, an old friend to many of us that drive the by-ways on Salisbury Plain. Steve was the undisputed expert on the legal rights of way in this area and the go to guy for information. The family have asked me to help in disposing of his beloved Land Rover and his 300 tdi Discovery, which I will be happy to help them with. If you search the site there is an article within The Plainsman, which I did about Steve in 2009. RIP old chum.  

​On the home fleet things are moving ever onward. The 2 door Camel Range Rover Classic was a bit of a drama trying to get hold of the correct 38 year old nearside window winder mechanism, but I managed to get one at the third attempt. I didn't have a chance fiddling it back inside the door with my big ugly paws, so Danny England came to fit it for me. I noticed a drip under the front and it turned out to be a leaking power steering fluid reservoir, the old original tin type was split in the bottom. I was only able to source another plastic version. So I had to cobble up a bracket to fix it to the nearside inner wing, and then re route the hoses and fit them with new Jubilee clips. Having used the old nail off the road it’s looking a bit tatty just now so I think its time for a bit of a tidy up. It might be time now to retire it from the rough stuff, and use it only on a bit of more gentler off-roading. So I will take it to Gavin at ME-DUBBERS body shop first to get him to cast his expert eye over it. We can then decide how to progress to get it looking pukka again and then I will give it a good polish to protect it through this winter. Since I acquired it in June 2011, at this moment in time, it is running the best its ever been. Everything on the running, starting, and stopping front is spot on, and it purrs along lovely on LPG which I can get round my way for around 55 pence a litre. Its a mystery to me why the successive Governments we have to endure here that keep on bleating about vehicle emissions and doing everything in their power to price us all off the road, never got behind using LPG as a clean available fuel. I have in the past including the Camel, paid thousands of pounds to have 3 Land Rovers converted to run on this cheap clean fuel. If you buy a new car or van with it installed by the manufacturer there are tax benefits available, but nothing for the feller like me that wants to try to reduce his carbon foot print, and is willing to save up and pay for an installation.

The TD5 Discovery rebuild is pretty much done now. The CB radio is a bit naff reception wise, so I shall have to sort that out soon before we head out in convoy. Since I have had it there has always been an annoying rattle thumping away that seems to come from the front of the engine. Danny England spotted that the belt wasn’t running true so we replaced the pulleys and the tensioner, but that made it worse. Now that the belt was trying to run true the culprit was the large bottom crankshaft pulley. Not the pulley or the bearing but the track where the belt runs at the back of it. It had come adrift and as the engine turned it was clattering against the front of the engine block. It was a right monkey to get the big nut undone, Danny’s 1/2 inch Snap On gun wouldn't budge it. So we had to get our friend Paul to come round on his way home in his big HGV Service van with a massive on board compressor, and his mighty 3 inch socket whacked it off in a trice, and he whizzed the new one on as well love him. It took about 4 minutes all in. Right tool, right power, and right bloke to do the job. Thanks Paul otherwise we would have been well snookered up behind the black, still stood staring at it. 

Excuse I, just had to nip outside to see 2 Apache helicopters all tooled up in their rocket slings, cruise over our office. Makes me proud to see our brave boys. And whilst I'm on that tack I have always been a big fan of the bravest of the brave the Gurkha's. Every year I choose a charity (just like Smashie & Nicey really,) and I take out a monthly bank order to help the one I have chosen. This time its the Gurkha Welfare Trust. As you may be aware nowadays when a Gurkha and his family leave the British Army they can stay here if they wish. But back in the day they were repatriated (told to sod off more like) after many years of service to our army back to some hovel in Nepal, and these are the old warriors that need our support. Sent back to live out their old age in remote villages high in the mountains miles away from any medical help or support. If you think you might like to join me by making a donation or a monthly amount you can contact the GWT here

In any case take a look and find out about these little soldiers bravery and their vast haul of medals they have won over many years in our service. They saved lots of lives of British servicemen in the Falklands conflict for instance just by showing up. Because when they arrived there, the Argentinians were afraid of their reputation as fierce warriors and they laid down their arms in droves and surrendered. Its the old cold steel you see Captain Mainwaring Sir. They don’t like it up um.

The posh car I take Mrs Thorn in shopping in my Ford Ranger I suppose I had better mention it, I know some of you Land Rover diehard’s are a tad fanatical, but we love it and it suits my lifestyle. So there. I can bundle the Mountain bikes (both mine, Hazel never had a bike and can’t ride one) in the back and cover them up by sliding the top over, and its handy to go and get some logs for the fire as well. Its done just 4,000 miles now and it says in the bumf I got with it, that its not due for service until its done 20,000. Yeah Right. All I know is a very knowledgeable old school motor fitter, (this was before they all insist on being called Technicians nowadays) told me this. “Charlie Lad if your going to run diesels the best thing you can do is change the oil every 6,000 miles”.So shortly I shall be checking the specs to get the right oil and right amount and changing it.