Friday, 29 November 2013

Drama on Long Street, Cape Town.

This has just come in from a friend and boat kit customer (cape cutter 19) Ian Allen who is in Picton South Island New Zealand.

A true story and Ian was not only there he is in the picture!

The year was 1977 and I note on the banner on the railing that Woody Allen was in town.

Now here is something interesting. In the late 70's I was in Cape Town city centre buying stuff for a boat building project from C D Fox. When I came out there was a very agitated bloke standing on a ledge several floors up shouting that he wanted to jump and a couple of folk in windows nearby were trying to calm him down. The spectacle had drawn a huge crowd and the absolutely sickening thing about it was that a large contingent of that crowd started baying for him to leap into the street below. I spied some coppers with a jump net, but it seemed to be manned by only a few people so I jumped in to help hold and position the trampoline because there seemed to be a lot of confusion as to where the poor guy might land if he sprang and these blokes were standing way too far out into the road I thought. Several other folk came to lend a hand shortly after we had found what we determined to be the right spot and very soon thereafter the man jumped, hit the balustrade on the way down, and landed square in the centre of the jump net. There was a doctor on hand and, what with the high drama of the moment, his hands were shaking and he found it tricky to insert an intravenous drip before the ambulance took him off. I went to Woodstock hospital a couple of days afterwards to see whether I could find out how the guy was and, though I couldn't see him, they said he had pulled through. I don't know what became of him later but I see there is a comment below the photo that says that he topped himself - not sure whether that was true.

   Every so often that incident has come to mind during the ensuing years but I never imagined there was any photographic record of it. The incredible thing is that recently at least three friends sent me a link to this Etienne Du Plessis photographic site which I have been going through, a page or so per day. Well blow me down if I don't get to page 5 and see this picture - and that's me  about fourth from the left on the opposite side of the net, beard, mouth open, and taking aim. Small old world 'ay?



Ian & Paula Allen
The Gables
Web Site
Tel / Fax 64 3 5736772

News just in from an ex employee of the shop in the picture!

Ian, Roy,

I was a bit amazed to see that pic too! I worked at CD Fox for a few months in 1981 I think it was, and this event was often spoken about. There was a similar pic – maybe the same one – framed in the shop at that time. CD Fox still exists I think, just around the corner from that site in Long Street – perhaps its Hout Street now – though I haven’t been there for years. I started selling Private Line and Marlow in those days, a whole lot cheaper than Central Boating just up the road. They had cool stuff like parachute cord, nylon webbing, great threads for sail-making, needles and thimbles for splicing etc etc. Next door was Gordon’s Power Tools and the Metropole Hotel, all institutions of those days. Across the road was an Importers Coffee Shop …

Can’t say I miss it though!


Note,, CD Fox have a rather large place in Paarden Eiland now.


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Classic Car restoration in Cape Town

This has been an on going work for some while now, as often happens it started as a hobby then moved
on to doing work to order.

Hillman Imps are the speciality but other cars can be considered.

To do things right, the car is placed on a turning jig, only this way can the cars underside be cleaned and painted properly.

Note, the paint on this car is very well done but will be changed for a shade that was original!

The same turning jig was developed for a similar make of car which was a hill climb or race car that was exported to Scotland in the UK.

This is a long process, the bottom ofthe car has been high pressure water cleaned before the application of DTM ( direct to metal ) black paints. Note the two front suspension arms on the left, they have been bead blasted clean of all rust and spray painted with the same coating.

 Click on the picture for a larger image.

The paint is Fords Aquarius Metallic Blue, a very close match to the Chrysler Electric Metallic Blue that the car was originally, we chose the Samcor colour for ease of a re match.

This is the engine bay on the same car, which is a 1971 built Hillman Imp Deluxe, just one licenced owner in all those years.

Small details like re using the cars original coil and having the mount bracket re plated are done always.

The engine bay was sprayed yesterday, two coats of base coat, then two coats of clear twin pack lacquer gloss to seal the base coat off. The rear suspension was test fitted today to check for anything that may need attention.

This car has already found a buyer, it will be trimmed and painted to the buyers high standards by outside
proffesional trimmers and auto painters.

If you want your car restored to this level you may want to try contacting me, only a few per year can be processed.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Yacht marina berth in Hout Bay for rent or sale

Just on the market, a nice secure large boat marina berth, either for rent or for sale.

For sale by owner, marina number 80, so no agents fees, this marina is in an inside position and one of the larger ones in Hout Bay Harbour.

Walk-on moorings include 220v shore power, good clean fresh water and refuse removal. Security is generally very good, and the marina is always a happy place!
Since the recent extension of the Northern Mole, harbour conditions are again very favourable in all weather conditions, at all mooring locations.

Contact me for the marina sale price, rentals are handled by the HBYC  please phone Alan on 021 790 7095 or 021 790 3110.


Hout Bay marina taken from the quay side near the main entrance to the harbour looking towards Chapmans Peak Drive.

August 2014, now sold.

Alloy engine block crack testing

Testing may not be the correct word, we knew we had the crack but not to what extent, the idea was to apply a spray on crack fluid system and then see to what extent the crack went?

Click on the picture to enlarge it, the visible crack then was seen to turn to the left and extend lower once the crack fluid was applied.

The cans work together, a pink fluid is sprayed on, left to soak in a while then cured with an application of the second fluid, this really exposed the crack and we could see where to drill the required Stop Hole we wanted to drill then.

 The exposed crack went twice the distance that we could see without the fluid.

This is Martin the Technical Director of Metalock using a spot punch to mark where he will drill a 3mm
diameter stop hole in the block.

This special air powered angle drill allowed Martin to access the 998cc Hillman  Imp alloy block far better than I could have done with any power drill I have.
This is the company you need when metal repair works are required, the name is Metalock Engineering RSA, they are at 21 Marconi Road, Montague Gardens, Cape Town, 7441,
Phone on 021 551 3225.

This is an example the Martin showed me of a very complex repair known as Metal Stitching, it sews the cracked parts back together, remarkable!

My thanks for the service and attention given to my own small project.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Linwood No More, its a success!

Author and Imp Club member Paul Coulther with his wife Morven came to visit us a few years back, little did we know that not only did he have a new Imp book in mind but a play on the Linwood Imp production as well.

The play started to tour Scotland in October and has done a two month stint, whats next I have now asked Paul.


"It is the year 2000, almost 20 years since the Chrysler car factory closed, devastating the town of Linwood near Paisley. One of the 9,000 left jobless  - now a homeless alcoholic - awkens to the new millenium and looks back fondly to happier times as a worker in the factory in 1965. He tells his story with warmth and humour and reflects on events that changed his life forever."
The play,  written by Paul Coulter and directed by Liz Carruthers, stars Vincent Freill.

November 2013 - Linwood No More tour ends on a high
White Stag Theatre Company would like to thank all of the audience members who came to see the showing of Linwood No More on its autumn 2013 Scottish tour. We are glad that you enjoyed the show and thank all of those who sent in thank you letters. Very much appreciated.  The show finished with a site specific double billing at the former car factory in Linwood where the play is partially set. Paisley Arts Centre created a theatre within the former 1960s car showroom and a temporary stage off the bottom of the administration office staircase.  This special venue really added to the occasion and was a great way to finish the tour.
Some of the reviews are printed below:
"..It was fantastic..." Leah Smith
"...great performance last night...." John Craig
"Vincent executed the character brilliantly, would happily go and see it again!" Robert Rice
"This is a fabulous show that captivates you from start to finish...Vincent pulls off a great character..."  Carol Fanning

Monday, 25 November 2013

Fresh greens for a long sailing trip?

Seen on a yacht in Hout Bay, a slice or two fried with fresh fish will probably be fine?

Beats a bag of spring beans anytime!

How strange.


The truth is that they are about to be transplanted in some persons garden soon.