Any Complaints?

Well, since you ask, yes.

Hotel bathrooms

Hotel bathroom designers might like to take note. It’s all very well having a handy shelf in the bathroom but don’t put it over the basin because your guests, in attempting to wash their faces, will both knock everything off the shelf as they bend forward and then throw most of the water onto the floor; guaranteed to get you off to a good start in the morning.


My last trip to Sweden presented an interesting range of dining rooms starting with the Greco-Roman-Art-Deco-Ikea period,

Star Trek

… then on to the Retro-Futurist age, before ending with




Anyway, probably of more interest was that whilst I was rummaging around in The Great Collector’s shed, I noticed this chassis standing against the wall. Some simple but clever engineering for the rear wheel suspension…

Rear wheel

… but what took my eye was the steering wheel which, on closer examination, turned out to be the control column from a Boeing B17.

B17 control column

On the right hand side of the yoke is a button with the label ‘microphone’ and the only thing missing is the Boeing centre horn-push – believe me, it’s jolly handy when there’s a lot of bicycles milling about the peri-track.

Cushman Husky

The engine for this little tricycle is a Cushman Husky – I haven’t looked at it very closely but it’s a side-valve of about 8hp and was the motive power of the Cushman range of scooters; rather odd looking things, the first of which was not too unkindly referred to as the ‘milking stool’. I imagine that the engine might have been acquired from some sort of military equipment – an ‘Airborne’ model perhaps – as the story goes that this machine was built at some time in the 40’s by American serviceman stationed at Mildenhall for a local village lad who had trouble walking.

Drop tank

The military connection was further confirmed by the body made from an aircraft drop tank. There’s a photograph somewhere, which The Great Collector hopes to find, showing the young lad in his then, new machine. It’s such a nice story that I might ask if I can get it back together again when all the other projects I have, have come to fruition – I’ve checked on the web and an engine manual is available from the USA – let’s hope it’s still in print by the time I get round to it!

Hook of Holland

Steaming past the breakwater as we left the Hook of Holland, I wondered where I might be posted next. I didn’t have to wait many days to learn that I was going back to Rognan where I might, this time, get the chance to see the Northern Lights.

Dining room

And this is the dining room in our hotel – sort of Gatsby-Cunard style. No complaints there then.




2 comments on “Any Complaints?

  1. Paul Needham says:


    Trike story is quite interesting and so are the bit’s.

    However there may be a couple of holes in it ?

    Mildenhall was RAF in WW2 only became American later ? still plenty of others around there to choose from.

    Odd to have B17 control wheel and drop tank as drop tanks were generally a fighter fit and not a bomber and I think it was unusual for them to inhabit the same airfields ? although many stranger things happened in war time.

    Good luck with the hunt for the picture I assume it may have been in a local newspaper if you could establish which one !


  2. Until the picture is found it’ll be difficult to put a date on the build. I’m thinking that midish 40’s is probably near the mark. More anon.

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