A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Oh the hardships!!!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Archer »

You can't expect all of us to survive on a Jaffa cake and bacon sarnie diet....

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by ZRX61 »

Blue_2 wrote:
Tue 07 Jul 2020, 7:29 am
Oh the hardships!!!
One of the breweries is actually cidery... Altho as a Cornishman I already have low expectations which they will likely fail to meet... I bet the buggers have never heard of a ploughman's lunch either.

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

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It's clearly a hard life out there in the colonies!

Not a great deal to report this week. I did have business at the museum the other day, so I checked on 788, all is well with her and it's just a case of waiting until we get the green light to return and get busy on the tools once more! Obviously money will be tight for YAM for a while, this is one of the matters discussed in the meeting and I have re-jigged the 'Grand Plan', rearranging the jobs list to bring forward the jobs we have the parts for already, and try and save YAM having to fork out money for now. This means that 788 won't be getting her shiny new paint this year after all, but it's not a worry as there's still plenty more jobs to go at. And as we are a team happy to muck in on almost anything, it's not like the museum would run out of jobs for us to do anyway! So keep checking in, and we'll have some more updates hopefully (very) soon...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

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Acquisitions! Well, an acquisition... A few weeks ago I was made aware of a Meteor NF.12/14 radome cover on Thiefbay. I sent a cheeky message asking if the seller would feel like donating it to a worthy cause... and a few weeks later it's at Elvington and for the best price too! I haven't seen it myself yet, but here's a couple of pics from the listing...
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And one Gary, our Heritage manager, took while putting out a (now I believe resolved) plea for a strap for it
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It is a nice thing, and looking like new apart from one small easily repaired rip will serve 788 well for many years I hope.
788 now has a nosebag!! :joy:
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

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27/07/2020 Update
...and yes, it is an actual proper update, as yesterday I was on site for the first proper Meteor working day since, well, late Feb/early March. It was good to be back on the spanners!
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I wasn't sure about going back, indeed the actions of some members of another team on site, one of whom has associated with 788 part time in the past, made me very seriously consider whether or not I still wanted to be part of YAM. But in the end 788 is the important thing here. So the work continues.
Anyway... here's the first update from hitting the reset button on 2020's restoration efforts!
I can't lie, it was a bit strange walking into site in these new times. It was a glorious day, and we had a good number of visitors in. Our first visitor of the day to our corner was no other than the US Ambassador, who spent a short while chatting about the project and what we are trying to achieve. Then, the real work could start; finding where the hell I'd put the bunch of toolbox keys when Simon and I had been in for a tidying session several weeks previously! This achieved, I then set about trying to remember just what the hell I'd been doing 4 months ago! It was a bit strange, seeing tools, notes, and components placed where I had left them expecting to come in the following week and carry on where I'd left off all those months ago... First though, take a look at this.
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Our new radome cover, now on the radome, donated by a lady in Lincolnshire. Naylan Moore had seen it on thiefbay, and made me aware of it. On the basis of "if you don't ask you don't get", I fired off a cheeky message, the upshot of which was she kindly donated the cover to the project, and also passed over a load of paperwork specific to our Fairey Gannet, XL502, to the museum! So thanks to all involved in letting me get my grubby little paws on this rare thing.
Anyway, I decided to start with a relatively straightforward job involving no crawling around on a hard concrete floor, getting 788's hydraulic tank out for swapping. We have a much nicer tank from an 11 which, after a few NF.14 specific items have been swapped onto it, will go straight in. The tank itself couldn't be easier to get to, if you just wish to dip it and top it up...
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removing it is a different matter. First the back seat had to come back out, as 2 of the hyd pipes and approximately a billion 2ba bolts in the little bay behind the seat have to be undone. Once under there, the view upwards and forwards is certainly...different...
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But inside that little bay everything is absolutely pristine, like new.
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In that shot you can see the plumbing going up into the bottom of the tank bay, as well at (left) the hand pump filter and (right) the engine pump filter. Before the seat goes back in these will be pulled and cleaned out. The good news is everything is present and correct. Just out of shot to the right, the reservoir air bottle sits, and down below the accumulator is still fitted. Hopefully this is ok; if not we do have a spare. All the PRV's are in place too, so that's been a nice bit of finding! On the deficit side, I lost my last good 2ba socket in the bowels of the beast while removing this lot, so to eBay I go. Again...
After extracting myself from the cockpit floor I moved up top. All the rest of the hyd unions undid happily, then it was the simple but slow task of undoing the 2 upper mounting bolts. This was a very slow task due to a distinct lack of tool access, but it did the right thing and gave up eventually. Once the tank was out, a cautious look in the bay revealed...
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...nothing worse than muck and peely paint! That's a relief. The tank then went onto the bench along with its replacement. 788's original is on the left
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Once there the filler cap/dipsticks and screens were removed from both tanks. 788's screen is a bit battered but the new one is pristine
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I filled a Dolmio (*other pasta sauces are available) jar with white spirit and gave both screens a good bath in it, to clear out the ancient gunked on hyd oil. That's nasty...
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But after they both looked better...
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And you can actually see daylight through the meshes, which you couldn't before!
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the 2 lids, and there really isn't anything to choose between them as to which is the better candidate, were rubbed back and painted too
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And the hyd bay hoovered out.
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The canopy latch and motor you can see will come out of here next, possibly next week. They both need some love...
Back to the tanks, and they both had a generous splash of degreaser chucked in to help shift the gunky sediment in the bottom of each tank. We don't want that in there!
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I left them on the bench with a subtle and polite note, aimed at curious fingers!
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After this, I took a break. Well I tried to... but got press ganged into moving the Pathfinder round back to the fire shed. While I was at it I took the opportunity to check on our other Meteor, WL168, currently enjoying the outdoors life.
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Then, back to 788. You may remember back in the mists of time we had discovered the contactor pair in the starboard nose bay was missing a cover and that as a result one of the contactors had got a bit, well, manky? You may also recall that slightly less far back in the mists of time Bruce of GB Airspares (or St Bruce of Norwich as we like to call him!) came to our rescue with a NOS set? Well, I decided to get that swapped yesterday too. The old unit, it's easy to see which contactor has been bereft of its cover for many years...
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The missing, cracked and manky cover, found in the depths of the nose section. Nasty...
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Swapping the wiring from the old to the shiny new...
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Fitted to an aircraft for the first time in its 60+ year life...
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Covers on, job done!
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*and a bit of my finger over the lens. sorry.
After all this, and a bit of a tidy, I decided to call it a day. A very productive first day back on the tools, and really nice to be back doing what I love. Restoring an old aeroplane, getting the jobs list shortened and the boxes ticked one at a time, without politics or interference from bitter little people.
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She's still a long way to go, but we'll get her there. I've had to re-jig the whole restoration plan as, given the current situation, the museum hasn't the money to throw around for such things as paint. All this means is the paint will just have to wait (although we can proceed with the stripping process again should we wish and weather allow) and right now we'll crack on with the mechanical jobs we already have the bits for and that the museum doesn't have to fork out much for.
Of course, if we get the go-ahead to start doing the 788 merchandise we have been working on, that'll help... :wink:

More next week when there should be a couple of us in. 788 won't know what's hit her!
Last edited by Blue_2 on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Also, as a little bonus... a couple of views of the reorganised hangar.
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I have to say, it's very different... and I like it!
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Sundowner
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Sundowner »

Another excellent & intresting update, keep up the great work.

I don't know the back story to the issues you're having but maybe if the folks with an issue took some piccies of what they're doing aswell it might end up being more of an us us us type thing.

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by TonyC »

Great to see you're back, best foot forward and ignore the doomsayers, though that's easier said than sometimes done! :thumbsup:
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Chin up fella, flak happens with ALL groups ...perhaps its a middle aged bloke thing.....:)

Remember there are three types of people Critics, Talkers and Doers.... :)

Keep up the good work mate

TT

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Sundowner wrote:
Mon 27 Jul 2020, 10:02 am
Another excellent & intresting update, keep up the great work.

I don't know the back story to the issues you're having but maybe if the folks with an issue took some piccies of what they're doing aswell it might end up being more of an us us us type thing.
Well you know what they say; those that can, do. And those that can't chirp about those that can behind their backs, then get upset when they get caught out!!

Anyway I'm not going to say any more about that whole sorry business, they aren't worth my energy. Look ahead and move on; we've got work to do!

Thanks for the positive responses. It's nice to get back to some sort of normality, resurrecting the jet we love and sharing her news with you all. And for all your support, especially those who take the time to leave a comment, it means a lot to the team.
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Got one little bit of homework done yesterday. On Sunday I got sick of seeing the nav's canopy jettison pull dangling from its cable in the rear cockpit looking sad, so I removed it and brought it home.
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Yesterday in between jobs I got it sanded back, etch primed, and repainted and it now looks much happier!
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I think it looks a much happier thing now. Yet another tiny but time consuming job ticked off the list!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

TEXANTOMCAT
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Cool - what's it used for? (:D)

TT

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

I thought that would be obvious; it's there to deploy the hood on your Official Merchandise Oasis Tribute Parka when is starts raining, so you don't get your hair wet!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

TEXANTOMCAT
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

HAHAHA :D

TT

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Merlin70 »

Nice work Blue. You are doing a monumental job on the jet restoration and In keeping us all up to date, which for those of us still shielding, brightens up a currently very dull existence.
Keep up the amazing work and regular updates and feel free to post pics of the people causing you upset so that we can blow raspberries at them when we Next visit.

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Thankyou M70, there will be a working day tomorrow, so you'll have an update to look forward to early next week!
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by wallace »

TEXANTOMCAT wrote:
Mon 27 Jul 2020, 1:02 pm
Remember there are three types of people Critics, Talkers and Doers.... :)
He's totally right, that old meatbox is looking a whole lot better for all your TLC. It would have rusted away by now and that's not museum's are about.

More power to your Scotchbrite pads Blue!

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers Wallace!
Well, it's 0805 on Monday. I'm due at work in about an hour, so I'm going to do the right thing and write up...
02/08/2020 Update!
Another pretty nice summer's day at YAM, with a lot of visitors on site, many of whom stopped by 788 to learn more about her. Simon was in for his first proper working day since February, and did he have a score to settle with that rudder autostabiliser! Extracting this was a job he started a long while ago; he came in yesterday determined to get the thing removed once and for all. I was at the other end of the jet, socially distant. My first job, refitting the canopy jettison I repainted before it disappears into the mists of time...
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Then to the bench, to start stripping and labelling the parts of both hyd tanks
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The filler caps turned out nice too...
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I was hoping to get the component set I would be reusing stripped, cleaned and in paint by the end of play. Amazingly, while neither tank will have seen a spanner since the 1960's at the most recent, only one bolt fialed and sheared. Typically it was on the filler neck of the tank I intend to reuse. So that would want a drill. With Simon happily installed hurling abuse at the tailfin...
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I carried on making a box full of tank parts
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I cleaned the degreaser and sediment out of the tank we are using, then had to stick my arm in it to refit an internal pipe and a baffle. that was fun, when it was unwilling to give me my hand back...
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It gave though, and the pipe and baffle were back in harmony in a clean, shiny tank. You can see in this pic the sheared bolt at the 10 o'clock position; it soon succumbed to the drill and the tap set
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The tank was then rubbed back and primed. The coffee cup to mask the aperture is of course factory...
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788's original spill tray was also knocked back into shape, rust treated (yes it's steel...), then primed
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And shortly after painted
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Out of curiosity, I went to have a look in our F.8 to see what she still had fitted in the way of hyds. Not a lot was the answer...
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So, I reckon unless someone else wants 788's old tank for a project and we trade it away, we can throw her old tank in here on that triangle that is the hyd tank mount for the sake of just making WL168's front end just that little bit more complete.
Back in the hangar... Simon was making progress in the battle with the autostab. You can see why it all has to come out, and that there's some metalwork in serious need of retiring and replacement items fabricating. After clearing the old bits, carefully aas he'd need them as templates, Simon started making progress...
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Removing the lid of the unit to undo the wires revealed it to be in excellent condition internally...
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After a fight from the cable shielding, it was out!
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The unit, with the wiring all diligently labelled
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Simon spent the rest of the afternoon making up the replacement metalwork for that bay, using the rotted remains as templates. I spent the afternoon painting the hyd tank...
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Then, as it was warm and the paint dried quickly, reassembling the tank
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It's now on the shelf out of harm's way. That was it for what was an enjoyable and productive day. Next week, strip more parts, i.e the canopy motor and latch from the hyd tank bay, and see what sadness they bring our way...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

PeterVerney
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by PeterVerney »

Great to see all this new progress, but very sorry to hear about the backbiting. Small minds must have their say I suppose.

As for costs, I seem to remember being told that the original airframe was £125,000 in 1955 money. But our gallant allies gouged out another £125,000 for their manky radar.

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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Thankyou Peter.
I take it you were not a fan of the radar fitted to the 12 and 14 then?! Having been there and done it so to speak, please feel free to use this thread to share your thoughts on operating the NF with the forum. I suspect many on this forum won't have seen your previous memories and anecdotes in "the other place".

And as an aside, when are you going to write "the book"?!

In other news... our corner of the hangar is about to get a little busier soon, all being well. We have a side project in the offing... One year older, and quite a bit slower than 788, but her service career ended 30 years later than 788's, and her last flight was rather more recent than 788's January 1966 swansong... :wink:
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Well I'm surprised nobody has bitten about the side project so far... I've been swotting up and printing some pertinent pages from the AP this morning, here's a sneaky taster...
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By all means feel free to take a guess what she is; I'll not tell you if you're correct though!
Also in arrivals, some push buttons Max Blood saw us right with. These are for both projects, 788 needs at least 2 of hers replacing...
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Much appreciated Max. Also,eBay yielded treasure in the form of that most invaluable of things to an aircraft restorer...
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Yep a 2ba socket! I'm sure this will be pressed into service at the weekend to rescue its comrade from in the racking in the bottom of the cockpit. The irony of having to buy a 2ba socket to dismantle enough of the aircraft to rescue a 2ba socket...
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by NAM Updater »

Good move retrieving the socket - you wouldn't want any cockpit FOD on your first flight! :innocent:

Nice updates!! :grinning:
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers Howard! :upside_down:
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Domvickery »

Blue_2 wrote:
Fri 07 Aug 2020, 6:33 am
Well I'm surprised nobody has bitten about the side project so far... I've been swotting up and printing some pertinent pages from the AP this morning, here's a sneaky taster...
Image
Shackleton bomb bay doors?
Free straws available to clutch at - PM me. Inventor of the baguette scale

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