Read for you on Facebook:- British Classic Light Utility Vehicle (BCLUV).

I read this call and it remembered me of our time at Mt Darwin, Southern Rhodesia, when my collegue Land Development Officer Roger Gladden had an Austin Gypsy imported (ca.1960)from the UK. I drove my Land Rover and we had a kind of a friendly competition, which was best in the bush. Roger came from Melton Constable in Norfolk. He drove it weekly from Mt Darwin into Chimanda Reserve. Sadly Roger passed away some years ago. Reading this call for a meeting of Austin Gypsy’s I awakenend and thought it fit to advertise this call in my private weblog. Hoping it might service you and a small tribute to Roger who took the risk to import that vehicle. I will abstain which vehicle was best:))

Glenn Kemp , March 20 at 5:12pm (From Facebook)

“Not sure if anyone on this group is in the UK, but thought I’d pass on this message. For the Love of an old Gipsy. If you have an Austin Gipsy or know someone who has a Gipsy. Please read on….

I am trying to arrange a Gipsy gathering at Preston Hall, Stockton-on-Tees 24th & 25th June 2017, within their Fire Engine and Vintage Vehicle Rally.

So far we have been promised ten gipsy’s with two from Holland, we could do with more ..
Please if you have one of these iconic vehicles or know someone with one, we would love to hear from you, especially if you are able to join in us at the event .

For further details please contact Alan Dunderdale tel 07801 195603.

N.B. Maybe I may see some pictures of the event and publish them?(

FX3 and its details

2010-12-09, FX3 (18) 2010-12-09, FX3 (17) 2010-12-09, FX3 (16) 2010-12-09, FX3 (15) 2010-12-09, FX3 (14) 2010-12-09, FX3 (13) 2010-12-09, FX3 (12) 2010-12-09, FX3 (11) 2010-12-09, FX3 (10) 2010-12-09, FX3 (9) 2010-12-09, FX3 (8) 2010-12-09, FX3 (7) 2010-12-09, FX3 (6) 2010-12-09, FX3 (5) 2010-12-09, FX3 (4) 2010-12-09, FX3 (3) 2010-12-09, FX3 (2)

FX3 Petrol and its details
FX3 Petrol, possibly to be found in the USA? Who knows the identity of the owner?


P.S. the pictures were not ‘taken’ by me (Hans Dooren) but the system recorded this.


You recently posted images of this FX3 on the LVTA site and although I have no idea who owns this cab at this moment, there are pieces of information which maybe of interest.
The interior has been retrimmed “recently”. The roof rail is not original. The rails offered by Mann & Overton as PCO approved accessories, were of a totally different design. It is possible that the rail is actually from a Beardmore Mk VII, although whilst the construction appears to be the same, I shall have to check some very old photos to be sure.
With reference to ownership, this cab was offered for sale in the US on eBay, maybe three years ago. Graham Waite made an enquiry about this cab, at that time.
It appears from some very early LVTA ownership records of 1982 that NDW713 was owned by Tony Spinelli of Philadelphia.  At that time, he stated that it was a petrol engined example of 1957 (possibly incorrect year) and that he was “in process of rebuilding engine & some bodywork – will probably be completed on or before 9/1/82 (1 Sept 1982). Licence tag NDW 713”. He also owned 1967 FX4D SME431F, 1958 Bm Mk VII VYL 788 & 1955 Bm Mk VII RYN 868.
Although the cab shows London General decals, it may not have been owned by the General. A small supply of these decals were circulating in the eighties amongst members and only two unapplied sets are known to exist. Evidence of General ownership would be provided by any original gold paint on the road wheels.
Hope this is of interest.
Brian West
(Ed. who does know the present owner and has more details on the cab? I feel “it might still live in the USA”?

For Sale:- 1935 Austin London Taxi Low loader Original + Hot Rod (Thank you Brian Berke)

With thanks to Brian Berke, USA.
Copy&Paste (above link) to see the sale details.

Ex-Rhodesia – Now Zimbabwe – I thought”- “let it be known……….”(Source: Cathy Buckle)

How much blood can you buy for US$13 billion worth of diamond revenue had gone missing

Dear Family and Friends,

For the last couple of months high up in the branches of the Musasa
trees in and around my garden a Goshawk has been rearing her chick.
It’s been a noisy affair that has dominated the area and left most
other birds well and truly intimidated and keeping out of sight.
Regardless of the wind, rain or fierce lightning storms, the Goshawks
haven’t missed a day: whistling, calling and screeching. The
youngster has a seemingly insatiable appetite and screeches again and
again for more. From one particular Musasa tree with a good vantage
the mother and chick have launched their daily attacks, dropping and
pouncing on anything that moves. When that same Musasa tree took a
direct lightning strike recently and shed all its leaves, suddenly
everything changed and the predators became easily visible to all

The predator in my garden feels very much like life in Zimbabwe in
2017; we are rapidly returning to the conditions of 2008 but this time
we can see clearly and no one is fooled as to who is to blame for the
economic crisis. The It’s almost a year ago to the day that
President Mugabe admitted in an interview to mark his 92nd birthday
that US$13 billion worth of diamond revenue had gone missing.
President Mugabe turns 93 in four days time and in the past year,
since his damning revelation about the missing US$13 billion, not a
single dollar has been found or a single person held to account.
It’s like the Musasa tree hit by lightning in my garden: there’s
nowhere to hide anymore and no one else to blame: not white
Zimbabweans, not farmers, not opposition parties, not sanctions and
not the West. Everyone knows why we’ve run out of money and who is
to blame.

2017 has started with a serious crisis unfolding in the country’s
health sector. Essential drugs for chronic and non-communicable
illnesses are in short supply. This is because these drugs are
imported and hospitals are unable to access US dollars to import them.
Private pharmacies are having the same problems accessing their own US
dollars from their own bank accounts to buy stock to resupply their
businesses. Strange you say; why are there no US dollars to import
critical drugs and yet so many of our leaders were able to access US
dollars to spend a month out of the country over Christmas?

The crisis is much bigger than just drugs. Government Doctors have
just gone on strike asking for better working conditions and better
pay. Imagine being the doctor on call and you only get paid US$1.20
per hour. That’s just downright insulting. You could earn more than
that by standing outside the hospital gates and selling bananas.
Doctors who embarked on the strike were then told by the Minister of
Health that if they didn’t return to work they would be fired. Hmmm,
5-7 years of training to end up being fired for asking for more than
$1.20 an hour, that doesn’t make much sense. To put the doctors’
request in context, consider this: an electrician or IT specialist in
Zimbabwe charges anywhere between $20 and $30 an hour.

The health sector crisis is not only about drugs and doctors in
Zimbabwe it’s about us, the ordinary people. If you don’t have
money or medical insurance, which most Zimbabweans don’t have,
it’s literally a matter of life and death if you get sick. You have
to pay $100 deposit to be admitted to hospital and then you have to
buy and/or pay for everything that is needed to save your life:
needles, syringes, cannulas, scans, tests, X rays, drugs and blood.
Blood is the biggest horror of all:$130 a pint; that’s a death
sentence in a country where 90% of people are unemployed. Then
you’ve got the consultants fees, the anesthetists fees, the daily
hospital bed fees, the oxygen fees and so it goes on and on.

Similar crises are underway in almost all sectors of life in
Zimbabwe, in both government and private enterprise with many not
knowing how to survive another month. While the economy and country
unravels, unbelievably ZBC TV last night flighted an advert calling
for donations for President Mugabe’s 93rd birthday party. Organisers
are looking for US$2.5 million! That’s enough to buy over 19,230
pints of blood; imagine how many pints of blood you can buy for US$13

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 17th February 2017
Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

Under The Arches At Three Colts Lane (Ed.:- from ‘Spitalfields Life’ – by the gentle author) Great reading. Pictures taken by Sarah Ainsley, Photographer


















I read this article and it is soo much as Hetty and I captured when being there (at several visits) that I felt to make you part of this well-written article about a special London taxi(cab) area in London.

With their consent, the text is by The Gentle Author and the pictures by photographer Sarah Ainslie.

Situated midway between Spitalfields and Bethnal Green lies Three Colts Lane. Although many years have passed since there were colts here, today there are many other attractions to make this a compelling destination, especially if you are having problems with your car – because Three Colts Lane is where all the motor repair garages are to be found, gathered together in dozens and snuggled up close together in ramshackle order. Who can say how many repair shops there are in Three Colts Lane? – since they inhabit the railway arches in the manner of interconnected troglodyte dwellings carved into a mountain, no-one can tell where one garage begins and another ends.

Three Colts Lane is where the lines from the East and the North converge as they approach Liverpool St Station, providing a deep warren of vaulted spaces, extended by shambolic tin shacks and bordered with scruffy yards fenced off with corrugated iron. Here in this forgotten niche, while more fences and signs are added, few have ever been removed, creating a dense visual patchwork to fascinate the eye. Yet even before I arrived in Three Colts Lane, the commingled scents of engine oil and spray paint were drawing me closer with their intoxicating fragrance, because, although I have no car, I love to come here to explore this distinct corner of the East End that is a world of its own.

Each body shop presents a cavernous entrance, from which the sounds of banging and clanging and shouting emanate, every one attended by the employees, distinguished by their boiler suits and oily hands, happily enjoying cigarettes in the sun. Yet standing in the daylight and peering into the gloom, it is impossible to discern the relative size and shape of these garages that all appear to recede infinitely into the darkness beneath the railway arches. An investigation was necessary, and so I invited Contributing Photographer Sarah Ainslie to join me in my quest to explore this mysterious parallel universe that goes by the name of Three Colts Lane. And many delights awaited us, because at each garage we were welcomed by the mechanics, eager to have their pictures taken and show us the manifold splendours of their manor.

There is a cheerful spirit of anarchy that presides in Three Colts Lane, incarnated by the senior mechanic with his upper body under a taxicab, who, when we asked gingerly if we might take pictures of the extravagantly vaulted narrow old repair shop deep beneath the arches, declared,“It’s not my garage. Do as you please! Make yourself at home!” To outsiders, these dark grimy spaces might appear alien, but to those who work here it is a zone where everyone knows everyone else, and where you can spend your working life in a society with its own codes, hierarchy and respect – only encountering the outside world through the motorists and cabbies that arrive needing repairs. My father was a mechanic, and I recognise the liberation of filth, how being dirty in your work sets you apart from others’ expectations. The layers of grime and dirt here – in an environment comprised almost exclusively of small businesses where no-one wears a white collar – speak eloquently of a place that is a law unto itself.

Starting at the Eastern end of Three Colts Lane, the first person we met was Lofty, proprietor of the A1 Car Centre, who proved to be a gracious ambassador for the territory. “Some garages, they just want to take the money,” Lofty declared in wonder, his chestnut-brown eyes glinting with righteous ire at the injustice – like a sheriff denouncing outlaws – before he pledged his own personal doctrine of decency, “But I believe it’s how you treat the customers that’s the most important thing, that’s why we are still here after twenty-five years.” And proof that Lofty is as good as his word was evident recently when seven hundred customers signed a petition saving the garage from developers who threatened to build student housing on the site.

We crossed the road to shake hands with Nicky at the Coborn Garage, admiring the fresh and gaudy patriotic colour scheme of red, white and blue, and his decorative signwriting that would not be out-of-place on a gipsy caravan. Under the railway bridge and down the road, we encountered Erdal and his nephew at Repairs R Us, where we marvelled at the monster engine from a Volvo truck that Erdal rebuilt and today keeps as a trophy by the entrance of his tiny arch. Further down, we met Ahmed, a native of Cyprus who grew up above the synagogue in Heneage St and has run his garage here for twenty-eight years. At the corner, across from Bethnal Green Station, we were greeted by Ian & Trevor, two softly spoken brothers who have been here twenty years repairing taxis in a former a scrap yard, still retaining its old weighbridge. We all squinted together at the drain pipe head dated 1870 with the initials of the Great Eastern Railway upon it, declaring the history of the site in gothic capitals, before Ian extracted a promise from me to come back once I had discovered the origin of the name Three Colts Lane.

Apart from calendar girls adorning the walls, the only women we glimpsed were those who restricted themselves to answering the telephone – barely visible in tiny cabins of domestic comfort, sheltering their femininity against the barbaric male chaos of the machine shops. But then, strolling down a back lane and passing one of the governors in a heated altercation with a quivering cabbie who had innocently scraped his Daimler, thereby providing the catalyst for an arresting display of bullish masculinity, we encountered Ilfet. With a triumphant mixture of self-assurance and sharp humour, Ilfet has won the respect of her male colleagues in the body shop, wielding a spanner as well as the next man. A bold pioneer in her field and stirling example to others, I was proud to shake the hand of Ilfet, the only – or rather – the first female mechanic in Three Colts Lane.

Growing bolder, we ventured deeper to discover the paint shops and frames where taxis were hoisted up for major surgery. We left daylight behind us to explore the furthest recesses of the dripping vaults, lined with corrugated iron, where a fluorescent glow pervaded the scene of lurid-coloured motors crouching in the gloom. We had arrived at the heart of Three Colts Lane, vibrating to the diabolic roar of the high speed trains passing overhead, whisking passengers in and out of London, oblivious to the hidden world beneath the tracks.