The French Blatting Company


March 2018



 Still no electricain and the hot water from the tank has now run out. No showers.. so I smell a bit :)


Electrician arrives at 0830. They get to work and wire up the controls. All done by 1200. we now have hot water from the tank. Problem is Lynne's shower is not pumping water. I put the hose to the floor and turn it on. There's a lot of air coming out then it's working properly. Howver my shower is only luke warm when on it's maximum heat setting. I suspect there's an air lock on the hot feed but as it doesn't have a flexible pipe to lower to the floor, it's a fixed head I've called the plumbers. I suspect Chris will pop over in the morning to fix it.


I've had a posting on my web site guest book from Rob Adams in the USA enquiring about a car owned by one of the chaps I worked with whilst at UM in the 60's. I thought I couldn't help him much because the owner Vic Drew was the tightest man I've ever met and used a motor bike to get to work. I never saw the car but was told about it. He was friends with John Cooper who built the car on, what I thought, was a TC chassis. By the look of the wheels it may be a TD. Rob has bought the car and restored it. I did help him as he believed Vic had built the car and now knows it was a MG-Cooper. it's being shown at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance next Sunday. Here's some pictures. 


I recieved an email from the trimmer who will be titting my new seat covers. I've asked him to fit the rear wheel arch covers and he's asked for a photograph. This is them. (I must clean my shoes)



I had a call from the doctors a week or so ago. I need a blood test so I'm booked in for this morning. I go along and Zoe, the practice nurse, calls me into her office. I'm made ready and she then asks me what the blood test is for. I respond that I don't know, just got called in for a blood test. She searches the computer and can't find anything, she rings the doctor and he looks and doesn't know. So she took some blood to do a blood/sugar level test. I go home smiling. From the doctor's I go to Halfords and buy a new battery for the Elise. The one on it will not hold a charge for more than a day or two.


There's a debate going on on the TABC Yahoo group about Whiworth and BSF spanner sizes. I thought I'd confuse things with pictures of this spanner.

Fitted the new battery to the Elise - completely flat, it's on charge. It's now 1410 and we're going out at 1700 for something to eat and then on to football.



I Continue fitting the rear sidescreens to the frames. 

You may remember I used pop rivets a month or so ago even though I was stepping over the chrome strips that are used, with special BA screws and nuts. I realised I'd done another plonkerism and looked for the screws I know I have but, along with lots of other things, they have fallen into that worm hole that follows me around. I got a new set of screws yesterday and started drilling out the rivets and fitting the screens to the frames properly.

Drilling out rivets - easy.

Drilling the paint from the holes in the frame and enlarging the holes in the screens - easy.

Mitring the chrome strips - total nightmare!

I have a part of my brain missing (I know some would say it's more than one part... but we'll ignore them and move on). I cannot get the orientation for a mitred joint correct. Two are right angles, so not so bad, but the other two are not. I mess up one of the strips by cutting along the wrong line and it's now too short. The rest is sort of OK but wouldn't win a prize. The second screen I cut one mitred end but leave the rest as butt joints. It only looks crap if you look at it. The other problem is, I suspect, the new screens are a bit thicker that the originals. I had them made, by a trimmer in France. The screws are just not long enough and it's a struggle to get them loosened of enough whilst keeping the nut on whilst the strip is slid along them. Lynne helped, bless her, she hit the ends of the strips whilst I guided the strip onto the screws which are shaped to slide in and become captive. She hit her finger, the desk, dropped the hammer on her foot and on occossions the strip. I do love her.

Drilling out rivets - easy.

Cutting the strips. The cutting is easy, getting the correct line isn't.

The second, with butt joints, it's OK if you look quickly.

The first, with mitred joints and a short strip. This one looks crap no matter how quickly you look.


 I bring the hood indoors and, with paint sprayed into the lid I brush paint the frame. Results are good.


 I went shopping at B&Q for 2 square section steel bars at 1.5 metres long, a flat iron bar and a wide aluminium strip. The square sections are for the string to setup the tracking, the flat bar is to make the brackets to hold the handbrake callipers on the Caterham and the aluminium strip is to make packing for the pads. The calliper is designed for vented discs but mine are not vented so the pads will need packing to close them up.

When I got back I got changed and the drag link end arrived from NTG just in time. I fitted it and let the car down. Then refitted the hood and fitted the front sidescreens. I also fitted the rears but haven't screwed the sidescreen holding plate on as the side trims have to come off so the trimmer can fit the wheel arch covers under them.

Sidescreens fitted. I've yet to fit the studs that the straps clips to.


We went to football. Sheffield Wednesday were winning 1-0 against Bolton the let a goal in in the 94th minute, almost the last kick. So frustrating to support. After we went to meadowhall and Lynne did some shopping and then had dinner in an Italian Restaraunt.


Spent the morning setting the track. Hard work getting up and down and trying to read a rule. I finished at 1300 and it only needs a double check in the morning. We then went to Tanya and Pauls for the afternoon followed by an Indian at Simons and Kerry's.

OK, it's sideways. This is the "box" made of the steel bars laid on axle stands, front and rear and string between. You can then measure the difference between the front of the wheel to the string and the rear to the string to set the track.

See what I mean.


Spent my day making phone calls and packing tools to take to John who lives near Hull tomorrow to get his broken exhaust manifold stud out.


Set off at 0800 for John's place in a small village between Hull and the coast. Didn't take too long to get there. Greeted with a cup of tea and really wonderful smile from Christine, John's lovely wife. They are a really lovely couple. We started on the car, drilled a small hole in the broken stud but it would not come out with an eazi-out. So kept stepping up the size of the drill and finally ran a 5/16" UNF tap into the hole. Luckily John had a squared off tap because all mine had points and weren't cutting the thread at the blind end. Finished about 1400, Chris made some lovely bacon sarnies and we sat for an hour or so chatting. Packed the tools back into the car and left. Got home at 1830.The pictures are taken by John.

Broken stud, flush with cylinder head. It's an MGB.

New stud.


We left, in the Mini, at 0930 for the Ladybower Inn on the A57, Snake Inn Pass. Lynne took over the driving and we did the Drive-it-Day route planned for the South Yorkshire MG Owners Club. I knew the route as I used to drive it once, sometimes, twice a week. It's over the Snake, left at Glossop to Chapel-en-le-Frith then the A6 to Buxton, over the Cat & Fiddle, left at Macclesfield to Leek and back along Axe Edge then across the Peak District to Ladybower.We needed to find the Tegg's Nose Cafe just off the Cat & Fiddle road so I set my sat-nav to find it. It took us on a nice detour but not to the cafe. The mileage points are now all wrong so we'll have to do it again. We stopped at Leek to meet a couple from the MGOC forum. We had a really good lunch with a lovely couple and have agreed we should meet up in the future. Got back to Ladybower and met the landlord of the pub and arrnged the lunch for the day.


I collected our medication from the chemist and made a couple of phone calls then set off for my physiotherapy. Got back at 1330 and waited for Lynne to return from the hairdressers. We then set off, in the Elise, for Scarborough. I wanted to meet the manager and the chef to plan the dinner booked for the 18h August at the end of the Coast-to-Coast run. Got held up and then got lost in Scarborough due to a road closure and no diversion signs. Got to the hotel at 1730 to find Claragh had to leave.So, that's three times I've been there and missed her, I think she's avoiding me (well, if I was her, I would avoid me). Met the chef and the owner and her son and had a pleasant hour or so. On the way back we stopped for dinner at a pub and got home about 2130. Oh, the menu looks great. My only problem is.... Some will be at the "banquet" at the Midland in MOrecambe on the Friday night, then breakfast, a stop for morning tea (and cake) followed by a carvery for lunch then afternoon tea.... not sure we'll be able to eat much more!


































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