Accrington Beetles and Campers

Custard has been a busy bee!

As you may well be aware from previous posts, Dave at Accrington Beetles and Campers is a good friend to Ruby and Rufus (and to Rooobarb and Custard!) and keeps them maintained, fixes them when they go wrong and is only ever a phone call or text away when we need a bit of advice.

Unfortunately, at the end of last year, Dave’s website was hacked and had to be shut down. As he was very busy with moving to a fab new unit and doing lots of restorations, Custard stepped in and built a nice shiny new website for him.

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Please go and have a read and a look at the photos and the stories there – there will be lots of updates from the new bigger unit, including lots of work on Ruby, as 2015 is The Year of The New Engine.

You can also keep up to date with Accrington Beetles and Campers on Facebook.

Please let us know what you think of the new site in the comments below!

I have not been paid to promote Dave’s new website. I have created it for him in exchange for spannering hours on our dubs. Bartering is good. Play to your strengths – I’m better with words than I am with tools!

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The Evolution of Van, aka, How Custard spent her half term!

Remember last year, when I said I fancied doing The Evolution of Van for my pumpkins this year?

Next time I have an idea like that, tell me no. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have noticed a tiny bit of whinging at my own idiocy that led to me have seven pumpkins to carve.

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Unusually for me (not) I decided to leave carving to the last minute, although I had been organised enough to draw out my designs on them a few days earlier:

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Halloween came, and I decided that I’d best get carving. I put the pumpkins on the floor whilst I wrapped my dining room table in polythene sheeting (you can take the teacher out of the classroom…) and Teddington Bear decided to help by chewing on their stalks…

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I decided to start off with the splitty, as so many of my friends have suggested that I carve a split over the past couple of years. After a few minutes, my helper had conked out, and I’d found out just how sharp my knife was!

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It was soon completed, but I decided that attempting to do a barndoor Samba was a daft idea, as all the windows had affected the structural integrity of the pumpkin and it was very wobbly.

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As was proved the following day, when the weight of the roof had just got too much for the spindly window frames:

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I’ll be honest, the fiddly and time-consuming nature of the splitty got me down, but with Rooobarb on the scene to help with scooping out, I moved onto the No Worries badge. I was really pleased with how it turned out!

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The last part of the project was the Evolution of Van, that I had decided on last year.

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I tried to recreate the line up of the original VW ad,

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but I think it might have looked more effective with 3D style drawings like the slammed Beetle pumpkin of last year. Now to start planning for next year!

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Long see, no time…

Life has got in the way of posting. Generally, life involving work, dogs, and broken down VWs. But here’s what you’ve missed:

  • We went to Tatton Park. It was good fun and we met up with some friends. Teddy decided that he’s really not a fan of VW shows, especially those with music, crowds and other dogs. That’s all of them then.

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  • We revisited our mis-spent youth with a weekend at Coniston Hall, which generally involved swimming, sunbathing and messing about. For once, we were in the nicest splitty on the campsite (er, ok, the only splitty…)

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  • We went to VWFestival. Again, friends, cider, crowds, cool dubs, staffy generally behaving like a bit of an ASBO dog. Including chewing through his lead whilst Custard was distracted by cider. Ruby appeared on Look North (Rooobarb and Custard we both having a bit of a nap at this point though…)

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  • We bought a roofrack for the van, started off to go and collect it, and turned round and came back thanks to an engine bay full of oil. Meh.
  • We pooled our birthday spends and bought a frontier stove for camping. The next step with be a Glawning because they’re just too cool for words.

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  • Operation Car Port is pretty much finished. Hurrah! Photos to follow soon.
  • After six weeks of running like a dream, Rufus decided to give up on starting again. A new starter motor bush sorted that though, and after some fettling once again to rear hubs, he got an MOT certificate. Big up to Dave at Accrington Beetles and Campers for once again taming our errant child.

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So, what next? The beetle needs some more little jobs doing, and sadly we’ve had to admit to ourselves that the ride height is causing more problems than it solves, so Rufus will be going (slightly) up in the world. Ruby needs a bloody good service, and probably an engine rebuild.

And finally, last weekend, Rooobarb and Custard decided to lob themselves out of a plane for charity! So the normal quiet life here at Hooligan’s Island then…

SSVC AGM at Victoria Farm and Stanford Hall 2014

Early May Bank Holiday can only mean one thing: Vicky Farm and Stanford Hall!

We had a great journey down, and arrived in good time to get a good pitch, get everything set up and catch up with a few mates before it got dark. As always there were lots of fab splitties to see:

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

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SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Bleedingmoody

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Polly's Parlour

Thank you to Polly’s Parlour who made this gluten and dairy-free girly very happy with a delicious tub of raspberry sorbet!

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Single Cab Van

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SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Mark Pindar Gerry

Amazing Gerry! Please read the story of this restoration, what an amazing bus, built by a top bloke!

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Mark Pindar Gerry

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Mark Pindar Gerry

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Single Cab Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Hi-top Van

Darren Yip’s hi-top, a show and shine winner at Bus Types.

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Beetle

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Beetle

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SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Rikki James

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Beetle

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Rikki James

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Buzz Van of the Year 2013

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

Another Rhubarb and Custard bus! With *flames*!

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

Sunday morning saw the cruise to Stanford Hall:

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SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

And the show itself was awesome, as always:

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

 

Please could somebody lend me £42000? I promise to invest it responsibly.

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show Hayburner

 

Always worth a visit to the Hayburner stand.

Stanford Hall VW Show Hayburner

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

 

Brilliant line up of Beetles:

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

 

The SSVC provided an awesome line up of buses, as usual!

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show The Stiff Shifter!

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Bus Types 2014

We set off bright and early to pick Ruby up. The sun was shining, so we paused for a quick “Make Love not War” photo at the Leyland tank, before heading down to Oswestry Show Ground for Bus Types.

Bus Types 2014

We did a Pindy on the way:

Bus Types 2014

And arrived to find a very busy showground, but found just enough space to squeeze Ruby into, to get set up in order to enjoy a relaxed evening:

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Whilst the show was overcast and breezy for much of the weekend, there were lots of traders with a good variety of clothes, handcrafted goods, autojumble and food to enjoy, and some excellent Volkswagens in the Show and Shine field:

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

We set off on Sunday shortly before the heavens opened, and Custard managed to drive Ruby back and get her under cover before she got all wet and dirty.

Bus Types 2014
Bus Types 2014

Bank holiday Monday provided ample opportunity for Rooobarb to get down and dirty with Rufus’s rear hubs, which are going to need some different castle nuts in order to fit on properly. Fun and games!
Bus Types 2014

See you at our next show – Stanford Hall!

The Great Carport Adventure Part 2

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Day Two started bright and early, with the garage door once again forming a good barrier against any potential forthcoming Zombie Apocalypse.

Pa Custard set to work:

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Ma Rooobarb turned up to supervise:

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Everyone looked very jolly:

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Frames were constructed:

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Technical precision was employed:

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As was ‘Thinking Tongue’, obv:

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The small gate was hung:

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And the garage door was put back into place again overnight:

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Rooobarb saw off any intruders:

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Custard demonstrated that it was possible to fit through the gap (where Pa Custard had previously failed):

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Heeeere’s Custard!

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More updates to follow this week, hopefully!

Spring Dub 2014

I forgot to post my photos from Spring Dub, what with all the excitement of breaking down, but here they are.

We liked the fact that the show was indoors, what with all the rain and all that, but there were still some good cars to see outdoors too.

There were mixed messages about bringing dogs to the show, which caused problems for some owners.

A mixture of air and water-cooled vehicles, and a few traders, and it was good fun to meet up with some Twitter friends.

Just a bit of a bugger that we broke down on the way home, but that wasn’t the show’s fault! Thanks to all the veedubbers who stopped on the way home to see if we were alright!

There was lots to see:

Spring Dub Bay crew cab rust is not a crime

Spring Dub Yurt Glamping

Spring Dub Caddy

There were Mystery Machines:

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

And Golfs of all ages:

Spring Dub Yellow Golf Bagged

Spring Dub Golf

Including Mrs Doyle, Mk 1 Swallowtail Golf, belonging to our friends Carl and Claire:

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Golf

And Splitties of varying types:

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW Loved all these cases:

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub BMX

Spring Dub Split screen twin cab

Spring Dub Splitscreen

The Pacha bus, built by the dad of one of my ex-pupils, who sadly passed away recently. RIP Craig.

Spring Dub Splitscreen Pacha Van

And many, many Beetles:

Spring Dub Beetle

Loved everything about this one!

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub VolksRod

Spring Dub VolksRod

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle
Spring Dub Beetle
Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle

Including badly behaved ones:

Spring Dub Beetle slammed patina Rufus

See you next time, at Bus Types!

The Great Carport Adventure Part 1

Rufus currently lives behind a garage door in our yard. There was a garage when we bought the house, but it was unsafe and unsightly, so we tore it down, and planned to turn it into a pretty garden. Until we decided to fill it with vintage Volkswagen instead.

The garage door is unwieldy, and Rufus, though under a cover, is exposed to the elements, so we asked my parents to help us build a carport.

First job was taking the old garage door and pillars down:

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And breaking up the block work so it could go in the boot of the car to the tip:

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Then it was time to dig holes for the new wooden supports:

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And make more rubble in the process:

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The essentials must always be covered though:

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Pa Custard regards the hole:

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Other brands of concrete are available:

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Lunch time!

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Fancy a brew?

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Filling the first hole:

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Pa Custard gets to work on pillar number 2:

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Don’t try this at home:

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Bye bye, smiley:

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Temporary measures overnight to keep Rufus safe:

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Tune in later today to see more progress!

The Ballad of Kex Gill Road.

If you have ever driven from Lancashire to Yorkshire or vice versa on the A59, you may be familiar with this bit of road:

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It’s the twisty part with a fairly steep drop on one side, between the steep but straight bits on the way out of Harrogate, and into Bolton Abbey.

It’s the part where you would not want to break down. It’s the part where we did.

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Thankfully, there had been some roadworks, so there were cones further down the road. So Custard hopped out and stuck them in the road to warn people of the impending non-moving Beetle between two bends (there was a low rumbling sound, then all of a sudden, there was no acceleration when revving. Bugger.)

The RAC were called and asked to send a low loader, as Rufus is not one for being towed. They gave us an ETA of about 6pm. It was about 4pm when we broke down. Argh.

Some people gesticulated and beeped at us (yeah, coz we chose to break down here…) some lovely people (mainly VW types) stopped and asked if they could help. Lots of people pulled the special sympathetic face you pull when someone is broken down. Some people went way too fast around us, and we both started to get edgy, especially as the light was starting to fade.

Unfortunately, as one person pulled around us rather quickly, it caused a lady driving a Volvo on the opposite side of the road to have to slam on rather sharply. The young lady behind her in the Suzuki Alto also slammed on the anchors. The guy behind her in the Transit didn’t stop so sharply, and unfortunately the Alto was sandwiched between the Volvo and the Transit, with the Volvo’s towbar going through her radiator, and the Transit crushing her bumper and boot, and ending up a fair way onto the verge.

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Once the Volvo driver had established her car had only cosmetic damage, she left, the Transit driver helped move the Alto to the same side of the road as Rufus, gave his details and left, leaving Rooobarb to phone the police and both of us to look after the two young ladies who were understandably shaken up. Several police cars, a camera man from BBC’s Traffic Cops, an ambulance car and a fire engine turned up, as the police pointed out that incidents on this particular stretch of the A59 are usually much, much worse.

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Custard had been doing her Railway Children “flannel petticoats” bit standing on the verge slowing people down as they came down the hill, as the first police car slowed people on their way up, then at least two more police cars arrived, and the ambulance, to block the road and direct traffic.

The police decided to tow Rufus to a safer part of the road, which involved a rope around his front beam and some very slow and nerve-wracking driving up to the now infamous (to us, anyway) Kex Gill Road, as that was the only point of reference we’d had whilst trying to get the RAC and the emergency services to find us.

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As we were being towed, we saw our low loader heading the other way, and he rang to ask if he’d just seen us, and turned round and came and got us loaded up in a much safer location.

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Turns out, that the lovely man had a 1971 Beetle of his own that is lower than Rufus (!!!) so he got him on the wagon with ease, and brought us home, then helped us push him into the garage. What a gent.

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So all in all, an eventful afternoon! Rufus will require the ministrations of Dave again to get him back on the road, but at least he made it home in one piece. We broke down in a very unfortunate place, and were very lucky to not have been involved a collision ourselves.

So much for a quiet weekend trip out, eh? Look out for us on Traffic Cops towards the end of this year or the beginning of next…