Czech Mates.

Znojmo, pronounced ‘jnighmo’, is in the Czech Republic about an hour or so from Vienna. I should have been working on the car and The Ambassador’s Daughter should have been sewing up the tonneau but some friends living not far from the ancient town, wanted a couple of murals done for their toy museum.

Bus stop

As you can see, the murals weren’t terribly serious which is just as well – I don’t know if you tried to paint a picture on a Sandtex surface – and I had time to complete only a sketch or two to establish the style. I’ll do some visuals for the rest of the entrance hall and they’ll get a local artist to finish them off.


We spent a day just across the border in Vienna at the Museum of Fine Arts where, besides a Vermeer (The Art of Painting) and a Caravaggio (Christ and the Disciples at Emmaus) both of which I was delighted to see for their technical prowess, there was served some jolly good coffee and cakes.

The hotel

The accommodation in Czech was charmingly Bohemian, very comfortable and with most modern conveniences to hand.


The Národní park Podyjí  – right on the doorstep – is mostly forest and huge (around 24 sq. miles). Its survival intact owes much to the Communist regime declaring the park ‘no man’s land’ in order to prevent escape to the West. I’ve never seen so many oak trees in one place. The journey home was marred only by the fiasco of Border Control at Stansted Airport. The London Underground deals with over 4 million people a day…… someone from Stansted ought to pop along and have a chat; they might learn a trick or two?

Brake light switch

So, on with the serious stuff; just 6 weeks until the car goes to the paint shop. Having thought that I’d order a brake master cylinder with a hydraulic switch built in, I promptly forgot about it and instead had to dig out an old motorcycle brake light switch – I’ve never had a problem with them despite their being exposed to the weather.

Indicator wiring

The indicator wiring I’ve hidden in an old control and fuse box casing. the box has long been empty and it adds a nice touch to the firewall.

Spare plugs

As indeed do the spare plugs. I don’t think I’ll ever need them unless I break one getting it out of the head on a fast pit-stop; plugs seem to last a long time nowadays.

And more wings

Another update from Blue Swallow Aircraft; they’re just doing the inside flanges that join the valances and then tackling the wired edges. It’s 100F in Virginia and I remember working in those temperatures with almost 100% humidity in Florida – not much fun. The Avro 504R in the picture on the wall is an Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose powered variant with a streamlined cowl and tapered ailerons much like the ‘N’. I think Blue Swallow are well into this project alongside the ‘K’ they are also building. (If anyone has a rotary for sale, please get in touch).

And, talking of engines, I think it’s time to put mine back in.




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