.. I thought I’d stretch my legs,
and have a look around the town. Halden, I learn, is the capital of the custom car world in this part of Norway and there was to be a meeting on Wednesday evening (there’s one every Wednesday evening throughout the summer months) before our return to England. Unfortunately, the heavens opened in the afternoon and it continued to rain very heavily until about 9.00pm by which time it was…
But, we awoke on Thursday to…
…which was compensation enough. My wanderings took me down a few side roads where hidden away were some very charming houses.
The younger buildings happily retained the style of the old and what was immediately noticeable about these scenes was the absence of cars cluttering the streets.
But if you looked over a fence, this is a sight which might commonly greet you – an old car tucked away. This, I discover, is the result of new and second-hand cars being historically very expensive – often three times the price we might expect to pay in the UK. Most of the people I chatted to at the Nexans factory had an old Merc, a Volvo or some such, that they were either in the process of restoring or would, after a bit of fettling, be putting back on the road at some point in the not too distant future. This little Opel (I’m reasonably certain it’s a Rekord P1) would date from the late 50’s and whilst looking a bit scruffy, was not at all abandoned.
But to return briefly to what I mentioned in a previous post – the architecture and landscape reminding me of parts of North America, Minnesota and South Dakota in particular – I managed to get a snap going to Rygge airport that better demonstrates my thoughts. I’m not sure what the fence posts are doing – making a point about Einstein’s general theory I guess.
And these houses could easily change places; one is in Boston, Massachusetts, the other in Halden.
Anyway, after the week’s exertions, I’d earned a trip out in the Hillman to the Vintage Aircraft Club’s Daffodil Rally at Fenland Airfield in Lincolnshire where The Ambassador’s Daughter and I were pleased to meet John Wright – artist, engineer and inventor, owner of the airfield and Special builder.
Two of his Specials were built on British Leyland lorry chassis’ – I think they were FG’s. This first one had a Leyland engine and this one, which we parked next to …
.. had a huge Gardner engine under the bonnet and some very clever linkages to put the gear lever and the handbrake outside the now rearward cockpit.
It looked and sounded the part as well. Obviously delighting in the business of Special building – something of a taboo in some circles – John was refreshingly enthusiastic and amusing about the fun to be had in creating something out of not much at all.
Which is what it’s all about – what you can get up to between here and breakfast.