To The Finland…

.. cable factory.

Boat House Cafe

On the way, my fellow Magneteer and I flew over last Sunday’s breakfast spot – Felixstowe Ferry (it’s down there somewhere) – and headed out over the North Sea to Helsinki. Finnair have a refreshingly civilised approach to air travel; there was bags of leg-room, a moving map to show us where we were and on this two and a half hour flight, a welcome absence of airline food, no inducements to contribute to charitable causes and no Duty Free offers. We were left in peace.


An hour or so’s drive West from Helsinki is Pikkala, home to the Prysmian cable factory. The countryside here is, in comparison with the other parts of Scandinavia I’ve been lucky enough to visit, fairly unremarkable; lots of woodland and rolling hills punctuated by outcrops of rock.

Hotel dining room

A few kilometres to the north of Pikkala was our hotel and, if we’d poled up in the Consul’s Rolls Royce I mentioned a week or two ago, you might have been forgiven for imagining that an episode of ‘Thunderbirds’ was being filmed. The hotel dining room was a work of art – pure retro – though there was nothing dated (so to speak) about the food – delicious salads and perfectly cooked vegetables (magnetising is always an excellent opportunity to detox) and everything you’d expect from a spa hotel devoted to healthy living. There were other little touches in the corridors that continued the retro theme…


One of the stranger features of this part of Finland is the way smoke behaves. My investigations have revealed that the proximity of late orogenic granites in the geology of this coastal region has an influence on airborne particulates (a phenomenon known as ‘Gnikoms On’ after the Nobel Prize Winner, Eemili Gnikoms) which causes the products of combustion to descend rather than what you’d expect. The phrase ‘going up in smoke’ is met with blank looks in this part of the world.

Gnikoms On

Our magnetising equipment was made ready as the sun set…

Cable-laying barge

… and the working lights came on, on board the BoDo Constructor – a cable-laying barge operating in the Baltic sea. It fell to me to take the night-shift so I was able to capture the scene as the sun came up again in the morning.

Cable loading

Word has it that we have been lucky with the weather on this trip; sunshine and temperatures nudging the low 20’s are a rare occurrence at the end of August.

Lotus Europa

Before I left, I looked in on the Lotus Europa – the rear suspension is taking shape and soon the car should be on its wheels again. The apparent delicacy of some of the components is remarkable considering the pounding that a car’s suspension takes in the course of its life. It’s a lovely bit of work.

Lotus Europa

Won’t be long before it’s finished.


3 comments on “To The Finland…

  1. paul needham says:


    Your blog is the only reference online I have found detailing how to build specials.

    I have Designing and Building Special Cars by Andre Jute’s and the book on Wooden-Bodied Vehicles: Buying, Building, Restoring and Maintaining however they are not really aimed at the specials built in the UK ?

    I really want to build a car looking like Oliver Ways Austin Hall-Scott special.

    I have no problems with the chassis mechanicals [ I hope ] as I will use them all ‘ as is ‘ initially to simplify and speed up the build.

    What I would like is a email mentor to guide me on the body construction ? wood sizes , bracketry , ergonomics etc ?

    regards Paul

    • Hello Paul,
      I’m no expert so I trawled the web to learn what to do – although I didn’t always do it!. Working out the method on paper was a very valuable exercise though that didn’t totally exclude a few clangers! Notes, photo’s and sketches of everything you think might come in handy is a must and don’t cut corners or avoid difficult stuff like compound curvature – you’ll regret it if you do.
      I’m happy to help where I can.
      Good luck!

      • paul needham says:


        Thanks , currently dismantling so I can get bare bones into garage ,rain stopped play just at the moment I am ready to chop the roof off so it will fit under door.

        I will be back when I can balance a seat on a board on the chassis 🙂


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