10. SWTVC Bulletin December 2018 Number 10


SWTVC Bulletin Volume 2018 Number 10 (December)

The SWTVC Website can be found at www.swtvc.org.uk and has up-to-date information about meetings.
Registered address of the SWTVC: 31 Roselea Drive, Milngavie, Glasgow G62 8HE


Ronnie Gordon: (Chair & Acting Secretary) 0141 956 2950 07906 042215 Ronnie@Glasgownet.com

31 Roselea Drive, Milngavie, Glasgow G62 8HE

John Stewart (Treasurer) 01475 520228 07976 264886 Johnstewartinverkip@tiscali.co.uk

44 Harbourside, Kip Village, Inverkip PA16 0BF

Harry Sherry : (Webmaster) 0141 887 5389 07760 475500 hsherry@tinyworld.co.uk
Corsebar Avenue, Paisley PA2 9QE


John Young: (Membership Secretary) 0141 424 1860 jfyglasgow@gmail.com
139 Terregles Avenue, Pollokshields, Glasgow G41 4DG

Ian Stother: (Member) 0141 776 5330 07974 946461 Stother@outlook.com
11 Fern Avenue, Lenzie G66 4LE

Ronnie Johnston: (Editor) 01555 896633 07766 027500 sb57nfe@gmail.com

Dave Stewart: (Webmaster) 07539 408986 daavross@tiscali.co.uk

Monthly meetings: These take place on the 3rd Tuesday of the month in the Kirkhouse Inn at 08.00PM.

All members welcome.
The opinions expressed in this bulletin are not necessarily those of the committee or any of its members.


Welcome to the bumper Christmas edition of the Bulletin!
I am writing this on the 21st, the Winter Solstice. There is still plenty winter left but at least we are over the hump.

In the course of our AGM on 3rd December I made a plea for some articles for the Bulletin from members. I am pleased to report that I have received some interesting material. Too much for one edition so I have retained some for future editions.
Please be aware I would still welcome more material. There are many fascinating cars within the membership; surely there is some interesting history to share with other members?


Bill McCreath tells me he has just completed writing, publishing and printing a book on the Rover Salmon’s Tickford drophead coupes (1938 to 1940).

The book is a paperback of 78 pages (slightly smaller than A4 ),giving the history of the cars, production details, survivors and the general setting of the pre-war British car production scene.
As comparisons are made with Rover’s competitors of the period such as M.G, Alvis, Riley and S.S. and specifically with the Alvis TA14 Tickford and Carbodies versions it should appeal to non Rover owners as well.

The price of the book is £15.00 plus £2.00 post and packing.
I am sure Bill would be happy to sign your copy!

Maid of the Loch:

The Maid has been host to two of our outings and I thought members might be interested in developments at Balloch Pier.
I am sure I was not the only one to be very disappointed to learn that the application for Lottery funding was not successful. Particularly disappointing as all the indications were positive and the expectation was that this would be granted.
A future application is not ruled out as the Lottery Committee accepted it as a viable project but regarded competing applications as more worthy.
This was a very bitter blow and could have scuppered the project but other funding has been secured to allow it to continue.

I am grateful to Harry Sherry for advising me that the Maid will be taken out of the water for a hull inspection early next year. This involves pulling her across from the pier to line her up with the cradle on the slip. The provisional date is 10th January but anyone interested in watching this should contact 01389 754414, as the operation is very weather dependant, and the date could change.


This tip is more relevant to everyday motoring: did you know you can sign up to receive a reminder of your MoT expiry date from the DVLA?
Simply go onto the DVLA website and follow the instructions. It is a very simple procedure and there is no charge for the service. Reminders can be sent to your e-mail address or by text to your phone.


Thanks to Dan Gardener for the following story.
A dreadful way to treat high quality whisky but very amusing.
This is a shortened version of a story written by John Bullock who was involved for many years in Rootes PR

When John Bullock was in Glasgow for a Scottish Motor Show many years ago he hit on what he thought would be a great PR idea for Rootes. A new Rootes truck was due to be announced at the Motor Show and the PR idea was to run this truck on whisky. Most Rootes trucks of that period were powered by the TS3 engine which had been designed to run on any type of fuel including paraffin, kerosene and apparently even creosote. The engine designers were doubtful about the engine running on whisky due to the amount of water in each whisky bottle so in an effort to get round this problem John Bullock contacted his friend John Melvin whose father at that time owned Melvin Motors and they managed to acquire several cases of higher proof export only whisky.
In advance of the Show one of the new trucks was sent up to Melvin Motors, its fuel tank drained of diesel and a new tank fitted. To the astonishment of the Melvin Motors mechanics John Bullock and John Melvin then supervised the pouring of the high proof whisky into the truck’s fuel tank. Perhaps unsurprisingly the engine refused to start although there had been a few encouraging splutters. The two Johns took the remaining whisky away and left the truck in Melvin Motors so that it could be “converted” back.
Later that day the two Johns were advised that Mr Melvin senior was in a furious mood and wanted to see them right away. Although Mr Melvin senior was aware of the whisky experiment he had not been involved in any of the detail and when they all met up he angrily asked what had done with the left over whisky. Oh, it is all safely locked away in the boot of our cars was the reply to which father Melvin shouted ” not that whisky, the stuff that was in the tank”.
The two Johns thought for a moment and then said that it was still in the tank “No it isn’t” shouted father Melvin, the mechanics have drained the tank, finished off the whisky and are drunk, even the petrol pump attendants have been at it and I’ve had to close the whole place down early.”

I am sure that there is a moral somewhere in that story.

Mid Winter Dinner: Friday 18th January.

We will be using 1051 GWR again this is the same restaurant as in the past two years and has proved very satisfactory.
Ian Stother has kindly prepared a quiz for the evening so bring your thinking caps.
Full details and menu will be issued by “News Flash”.


I wrote this some years ago, on reflection it would have been more appropriate to have used it in last month’s Bulletin to fall in with the centenary of the armistice.

Our teenage son asked for my help with his history project on the causes of the First World War.
I had memories of a complex series of alliances that were called in following the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo but the details were sketchy so I did a little research on Google.
I soon found an account of the incident which described his assassination with his wife while riding in an open car.
This fired my interest in the car and although it might be compared with asking after the iceberg on hearing of the Titanic disaster I decided to do some research on what happened to it.
There are numerous accounts of this and they all have a similar theme on the lines of the car being “cursed” and bringing death and misfortune to everyone connected to it.
The car was the property of General  Portiorek who was the Governor of the district.
When Arch Duke Ferdinand visited Sarajevo he provided the car and rode in it with him.
The General survived the assassination but was appointed the chief of the Austrian army to fight the in the war the assassination eventually brought about.
Several of his operations resulted in military disasters and he was relieved of his command returning to Austria with his reputation destroyed.
The car then became the property of a wealthy jeweller who lost his money in a poor business deal and committed suicide.
It then was involved in more accidents than a fairground dodgem with successive owners and unfortunate by-standers dying like flies.
After the final spectacular accident which involved the death of all passengers on their way to a wedding the car was broken up in an attempt to lift the curse.
A fascinating story you will agree. There is just one problem, it is all nonsense!
The truth is a bit more mundane.
The car was a 1910 Graf und Stift which was a quality Austrian marque in the same league as Rolls Royce and Napier.
This company are still in business in Austria but now build buses.
The car was indeed the property of General Potiorek but after the incident was returned to Vienna where it was put on show in the Vienna Military Museum where it is displayed with the unfortunate Arch Duke’s bloodstained tunic.
Both the car and the tunic have a bullet hole in them.
These have been a star attraction for almost 100 years and all this time an accompanying notice acknowledges that the car is on loan from the General’s family.
However some years ago the family asked the museum to give them a formal notice to confirm their ownership.
They did not wish the car returned, just a formal acknowledgement of their ownership.
The museum refused to provide this and in a high handed reply indicated they regarded the car as theirs.
This has prompted the family to start legal proceedings to recover the car and these are still in progress.
As an interesting aside, the toy company Lego produced a model of the car with The Arch Duke and his wife with General Potiorek and his driver.(His name was Leopold Lojka which I mention just in case it comes up in a pub quiz.)
There is no mention of Gavrilo Princip, the assassin, so I assume the box must have said “assassin not included” or something along these lines.
In conclusion I will remark that the Arch Duke’s visit was the height of folly. Sarajevo was a hotbed of political intrigue and a group of Bosnian-Serb extremists (rather comically called the Black Hand Gang) had made detailed plans for his assassination. Very little security had been put in place as it was thought this may offend the Arch Duke.
It cannot be denied that the assassination set off a chain of events that resulted in the Great War, probably the most pointless conflict in history. However, there were tensions and rivalry throughout the European states and I believe it was only a matter of time before war broke out.


We all can relate to this. I suspect it is also where all my 10mm sockets have gone.

That’s all folks,
Hope to see you at the mid-winter dinner on 19th January.
A happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all.

Ronnie Johnston.