Tag Archives: Singer Le Mans sports car

RAF Valley with my Dad

In his memoirs ‘Flying Blind: the Story of a Second World War Night Fighter Pilot’, my Dad writes:

“On July 10th 1941, with Jimmy Ward on the pillion of the good old motorbike, I reported to RAF Valley, near Holyhead on the coast of Anglesey, where the single-engined aircraft in residence was the Boulton Paul Defiant…As the two of us entered the main gate, we realised immediately that this brand0new aerodrome with its hastily erected buildings was situated literally on the coast. The triangular form made by the runways criss-crossed the sand dunes. The usual Nissen huts of simple brick construction looked austere and, as we discovered later, so was the food and living accommodation. But it was midsummer and the weather was fine and warm.”

On Friday, I also will be reporting to RAF Valley; not on a motorbike, but in my 1935 Singer Le Mans sports car, just like the car Dad drove and loved later in the war. It will be a moment to remember, and I know he’ll be with me in spirit.

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The under-side of a Singer

Before I took Chattie to Malvern to the Militaria convention yesterday, Ground Control and I collected her from Pin at Thetford Motor Engineering. Pin put her up on the ramp so that we could look underneath. For your delectation and entertainment, here are some of the resulting photographs. It all looks nicely robust and remarkably clean to me.

Chattie_under1   chattie_under2Chattie_under4  Chattie_under3


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Thetford Engineering work on Chattie’s brakes.

Ground Crew sent me over to Crispin Thetford, of Thetford Engineering, today, with our new brake cylinder, which needed modification to fit Chattie, even though it was the right part (in theory) for the car.  Pin bored out the inlet port on the cylinder to make it a bit larger and machined the banjo bolt to 1 thread difference, so it should now work and Ground Crew are ready to try again and fit it.  I hadn’t appreciated how individual vintage cars are; each one needs bespoke engineering in so many different areas.  This is a challenge all round, but Thetford Engineering will be giving Chattie a thorough and complete overhaul later this summer to prepare her for the airfields visiting next year.Image


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