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Re: Chairman's update
Posted by: Brian McMorran (
Date: August 21, 2009 01:34PM


Please don't get me wrong, driving fast or making your own parts should not be an issue. The meaning I intended was that we should all be allowed to undertake calculated risks. What we don't want is some nanny imposing so many rules and regs that the fun disapears.
Never had the experience of a steam car(so I'm building one) but have driven ICs with rear braking and it is all part of the fun trying to drive at speed with crash gearbox and fragile cork clutches.

Agree with your sentiment and use of loon for these oafs but afraid I used 'loon' in the original doric meaning of boy, ie boy racer. To be honest I was thinking of Mike Clark and his boy racing H5 and excellent engineering, so it was in no way a criticism.


Re: Chairman's update
Posted by: Mike Clark (
Date: August 21, 2009 07:02PM


Iím not sure whether to be cross at being a loon or pleased at being a boy!!!

You do make a serious point which is the need to drive appropriately for the capabilities of the car. Many steam car drivers have come from other parts of the steam world with no previous experience of driving an old car and may not make the kind of allowances which are second nature to those of us who have been playing with old cars since our distant youth. Speed is no problem in the right situation but just be damn sure you can stop within your field of vision.

As to engineering - I have seen some pretty horrifying bits on old cars and this is not confined to bad restoration, although I have seen a lot of that too. The following comments apply to all old cars not just steamers and mechanical failures due to fatigued parts are much more likely than failure on the pressure systems. Anything which is old can fatigue and a regular inspection of critical steering and axle parts should be part of our routine. Like Mark Drake I make much use of a dye penetration flaw finding kit - it may not find cracks within the component (i.e. not visible on the surface) and will not tell you if something is going to crack but it might just save you from expense or accident. Here is an 80 year old piece of cracked Bugatti which we found this way. We should be very wary of stressed bronze or brass parts in any veteran car - bronze is very easy to cast and wears well but it is not suitable for stress where it is being bent or in tension and is very suspect when it has been used for 100 years. Car manufacturers did not worry too much about this in the early days but I can recall at least three instances where bronze parts failed, fortunately only one of these lead to an accident. We should probably worry more about this side of things than about steam related failure in our cars and I think this is borne out by the mechanical failures which have occurred on SCCGB tours over the years.

As we keep on saying - it is down to personal responsibility both in the driving and maintenance of our cars.


Edited 1 times. Last edit at 08/21/09 07:17PM by Mike Clark.

Attachments: Dumbiron crack.jpg (73kB)  
Re: Chairman's update
Posted by: (78.145.59.---)
Date: August 22, 2009 04:43AM

Brian, rest assured, we all understand the context of your comments.

Most of us at some stage have had to make the decision between, making a roadside repair or abandoning the trip. The process is a risk assement, do we carry on with a roadside repair or do we retire to do the job properly. Many factors are to be considered,enjoying the day, passengers, you, the car, etc but the overiding one is always safety. Quite often it is safe to effect a roadside repair, sometimes a permanent one. I have also witnessed some welded temporary repairs that are still in place on the following years tour.
For some, the decision would appear to be between "Bravado" and "Safety", limping home on one cylinder and three wheels, something to tell your chums at the bar after dinner.
I wonder which factors Mr Williams used when he decided to repair a system containing a highly volatile liquid under pressure in the way that was reported.
Whatever; as reported it would appear irresponsible, an action that fits well with the G14's past actions.
All this from the man that is supposedly going to check steam car fuel systems for leaks at the GDSF,mmmmmmmmm!

Mike, I agree, if you play with steam there is a boy in there somewhere and every boy wants to play the "loon" at some stage. The trick is to keep the boy under control, something the G14 have continually failed to do. Apology for sounding sexist, the principle of course applies to both gender.
As to the future of the G14 it is only a matter of time before the various groups they are attempting to attach to, see them for what they are and what we know them to be. They will continue to try and cause trouble in the short term. Long term they are in isolation and will eventually fall out among themselves.

John H

Re: Chairman's update
Posted by: les nelson (
Date: September 13, 2009 07:10AM

The GDSF has now been and gone, we attended with an open mind as to what the mix of SCCGB & NSCA would be, and it came as no suprise to receive a cold reception by SOME of the NSCA, Peter Williams was quite welcoming and friendly as was Sally Ann Dod, but for the rest of their members things were quite different, cold stares were the order of the day, but after two days I decided I would show them that we (SCCGcool smiley are bigger than that and I would show the hand of friendship I approached G. Stoneman and offered my hand saying "I am offering you the hand of friendship, (which he accepted) just because we have a difference of opinion it does not mean we cannot be friends" his response was "I don't like being accused of being a thief by some of your lot and not having the right to reply" this was reason to back off and accept that the children were still in the schoolyard and were not to be reasoned with. goodbye NSCA
I did have a long meeting with Robert Herring (chairman NTET) more of that at a later date, I did get the impression from our GDSF steward they favoured the SCCGB
but that could have been good politics?

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