Saturday, 14 July 2012

BEng at Leeds Poly

It was in 1986, that I started the long haul of 4 years on the Electrical Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering Honours only Course at the then Leeds Polytechnic (now LMU). A tough decision, as this was 4 years of day release from my job at BT. Day release meant, 12 hours days...9am to 9pm. This was the first course of its kind to be run here, it had replaced a BSc course which had been running for years. New modules and new ways of learning. However, the long struggle was worth it, I ended up with a 2nd class Hons degree. Here we are at Graduation Day in November 1990.

Banger Racing at Sunnyvale Garden, Hipperholm (circa 1978-1981)

All you do is go to your local scrap yard,pick up an old banger, take it to a track and race it...........actually it is not as simple as that,a few jobs need to be done first.

Initially all the trim (inside & out) and the passenger seats are removed, the radiator and battery are re-sited inside the car, a roll cage is fitted using scaffolding poles, the doors are welded up and a two gallon petrol tank is fitted (the original is punctured to ensure that no fumes remain during racing, or filled with water to give the car some ballast). Sometimes all the wiring is taken out and only the ignition and charging circuits are replaced. Some drivers do away with the charging system, they run on a fully charged battery the few extra bhp obtained is supposed to give them the edge. Luxury items such as electric fans are fitted, to prevent the car from boiling up whist stood on the starting grid.
At Sunnyvale no amour, is allowed on banger cars (or bomber cars as they are called), the exception being a small distributor guard on transverse englned cars- imagine what a small bump on the front of a mini can do. A special license is required to drive, this costs £ 1 per year, it acts as insurance for any injuries received.

On race day the competitors begin to arrive about noon and their cars are lined up in the pits. As only twenty-four cars are allowed in one race, then the first in line are in heat one, the rest in heat two, with the  numbers being made up to twenty-four with cars still running after heat one. Once on the track the cars are arranged according to roof colour, ie,white at the front,
blue next with red at the back, the gold top (last seasons champion) is placed at the very back. The colours indicate how many points the drivers have won at previous race meetings.

After the the usual half a lap rolling start the racing begins. The idea is to win with money and championship points as the rewards, but on the way to the finish line, cars, breakdown, boil up, have punctures, roll over, become written-off and burst into flames. when off the track all the drivers are mates, but when on....well....anything goes, but if the spectators enjoy the entertainment then they may cone again. 

This is taken direct from a magazine article written in 1982

Friday, 9 March 2012

Bewerley Street

Not his actual car
In the good old days, it was a three tier school system and from about 7 years old to 11 yrs old, I went to Bewerley Street Junior School until I left to go to 'Matthew Muck' and I thinking back these were the happier times of my school days. 

I do remember My Llewellyn, Mrs Rhodes (see the class pics) and Mr Blakeborough the Headmaster who had a love for the outdoors, and drove a Morris Minor Traveller, (a type of moggy 1000 estate car with wood trim around the windows). It was in this car that a few of us went to the school holiday in the Lake District. Staying at the Newlands Valley Holiday Fellowship (coincidentally, Newlands Valley Farm was where we camped with my parents each year (another blog entry later I think).

Other memories of this school was the 'Old Time Dancing', we used to have a lesson each week, and believe it or not, (and those who know me will not believe it)  I was in the 'demonstration team'. 

Of course (don't be shocked), I was also in the Cricket Team and we did quite well, in our first game in the Junior League, we beat Cottingley, we bowled them all out for a duck. 

We had a star bowler Gary Reynolds (I think), then later in the Cup, they beat us on their home ground. (I remember going for a catch and falling down the grass banking- base over apex.....missed the ball as well.

Sports Day at Colton Cricket Ground (more sports). We all looked forward to this, the only thing I ever won was the Sack Race, that's because everyone sat down in their sacks and on GO, you got up and hopped to the finish line...Well as I had done this before, I jumped up and got going, all the others started to shuffle along the ground...nobody had explained the rules......

Oh sports again.... we had a sort of Athletics competition with other schools (hosted at ours) could have been called the Schofield Trophy, all indoors, Cricket ball throwing, hop skip and jump, 2 strides and jump, long jump and high jump. It was practising the high jump where I sprained my arm (not broken), but I have cleared the target height of 3ft 6 inch. 

People I remember, Paul Thornton (re met up with Paul some years later), Gary Reynolds, John Barton, (all these are on the Cricket Pic)  We all thought John Barton's family was rich, as his mum brought him to school in the car.......

Good times....the best I think.......enough of learning here.....lets get to High School....ohh.....Comprehensive School for me, I did not pass the 11 fact I had no idea what the 11 plus was at the time...I might have done better....