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Back in the 1970s when my paternal grandmother was still alive, we used to go to her house every Sunday for afternoon tea. She went through phases of what sweet delicacies she would provide and at one time would regularly purchase marbled cake which was very moist and came in a package with strange writing, we assumed it was Russian. I’m digressing before I even start describing this photograph, but it is relevant.

This scene was captured sometime early in 1980 and shows myself and a young lad in my workshop restoring a stationary engine. Just look at those sideburns, very popular in the late 70s and early 80s and as for that pullover! Actually everyone called it my Russian Cake pullover as the pattern and colouring closely resembled that of the marbled cake my grandmother used to purchase years before. It was one of my favourites, the pullover that is, but by this time was past its best as can be seen from the fraying of the left arm, I used it for scruffy jobs and it became my regular engine restoration pullover until it became too untidy even for that. I think my jeans had seen better days too with those enormous great patches, even my posterior seems to be patched.

The engine we are doing up is a 1952 Lister type D, a fairly common engine and I was allowing the lad to restore it on his own with my guidance. I think I was explaining how the flywheel fitted and his next task would be to rub it down with a wire brush. He was the son of a colleague at that time and had shown some interest in what I was doing with my restoration work. His initial enthusiasm didn’t last very long though and after a few Saturday afternoon visits soon lost interest. I never completed the engine either, I had far too many other projects and this was low priority, I kept it for the next thirty or more years and sold it just before Christmas 2014 to a young enthusiast from Devon.


The same pullover but a lot more hair!