It was off to Fifield where Graham had a forklift and promptly unloaded the van. After a quick look around the Billington Collection we came back knowing that at last the project was on the way. The Trustees also agreed to have the engine and gearbox out of 508 and put it in 488. 488s engine would then go off to be stripped and serviced and returned as a spare engine. Presented with the logistics of the changeover and the rest of the Dennis E parts/chassis, your Chairman worked out a method to make this as smooth as possible.
100s of parts need to be stripped from the A&D chassis at the back of the barn and will be used on the OT 8902 chassis (The one found inside a house in Walton-on-Thames). This involves releasing rusted nuts and bolts, cleaning them so they can be used again and carefully packed away. These nuts and bolts are about 88 years old and are Whitworth type, an old style type, not used today. Fortunately we have plenty of sockets and spanners of the Whitworth variety. The missing cross member on OT 8902 looked impossible until the Chairman noticed that the exact match was on OT 8898 and Secretary Robin removed it and it is now ready to go on OT8902!
Two springs associated with the engine mountings was recovered from an old E type engine (we have 3 spare engines), they need cleaning up but are in fantastic condition. One of the items that we should have had when the engine was rescued from the so called restorer was spark plugs. We never ever saw them, they were not with the engine, but we had been charged £120 for 4 plugs. We were refused a refund and that really set why we will never call on that restorer again. We eventually obtained a set of 4 for a mere £3.99 each so we got a spare set too.
The Chairman has been mentioning the Dennis E project to other possible restorers and we now have a quote to get the chassis (OT 8902) up and running. There are things that we need to do, 7 tyres are needed, possibly sourced from the USA, and could cost £600 each with inner tubes and flaps adding to that bill! Then we will have to get the lovely radiator recored. This could be around £1000! Later on the bus body could be done by a coachbuilder of distinction that we know from the Isle of Wight.
Linked to all this is the cost. We are pleased to announce that the Chairman Ray Le Mesurier -Foster and Mary have decided to downsize and will be moving to Ash on the 14th August, and have found a buyer for their house in Esher. They have both indicated that funds will be available to get these projects off the ground. These funds will be giftaided and will thus produce additional income.
You can assist the projects and provide some funds rather than leaving it to the Chairman, and anything from £5 to £5000 would be most welcome. Donations to Laurie please.
We bought these two engines some time ago for £200 for just the reason we are using them for now. Everyone will realise that it would cost a fortune to have a part madecant walk into Halfords and get them!!
In the first photograph on page 2 the items on the right are two wheel bearings . We have kept these because it would cost about £600 pounds to buy them, so £1200 worth of Bearings.