Letters to the Editor
I refer to The Pilgrim’s article in your January 11 issue.
Firstly, the Ford V8 engine was a very good engine. There were two types – a 22 horsepower and a 30 horsepower. The firing sequence was: “one, five, four, eight, six, three, seven, two.”
Secondly, the gearbox. Double declutching was soon replaced by syncromesh gears.
My father explained to me the double-declutch technique. Sitting beside him in the cab of his Bedford van, it was fascinating to watch. But I got some shots at double declutching and soon became proficient.
It was used when changing from top gear down to second, and again from second gear down to bottom.
Double declutching: you were travelling at a modest, say 30mph, a nice safe speed, and some way along the road you would encounter a steep hill going up or going down.
You jammed the clutch down with your left foot and moved the gear lever into neutral. Then you took your foot off the clutch and shoved your right foot hard down on the accelerator to rev up the engine, which was only connected to the layshaft at the bottom of the gearbox, and speeded up the layshaft.
Then, with the engine still revving, you jammed your left foot down again on the clutch pedal and moved the gear lever into the next gear down, took your foot off the clutch and, with the engine revving, sailed up the steep hill, or if you took your foot off the accelerator, you could go down a steep hill without putting your right foot on the brake pedal.
Regarding the MPS vehicle in the picture along with the article, I still cannot work out what MPS stands for.
The personnel carrier was a very solid job and would be powered by the Ford 22 horsepower engine. I had a brief experience of this “Community Contact vehicle” whilst parked in the middle of Gibson Park, Melrose.
I was a member of the first-aid squad when it was the Civil Defence Corps. We wore a dark-blue, army-type uniform. There were ladies in the team too.
The MPS vehicle was to be our first-aid post.
There was a cross-country run with senior pupils representing schools over a wide area competing, starting off and returning to Gibson Park.
Soon after the start we got a call about a casualty in Rhymer’s Glen. Others and myself were despatched to investigate.
A girl had taken ill. She had taken travel-sickness pills before leaving home, she said. The girl was able to walk.
So we all picked our way through the bramble tendrils and up and out of Rhymer’s Glen.
Back at our first-aid post the ladies in the team took care of her. I never knew her name. She was from Dollar Academy, or was it Stirling High School.
Young and pretty, she will be a great-great-great grandmother, by now, I have no doubt.
The only casualty we had that day, she made our day.
Another thing I remember was, about five yards from the finishing line, a small rise in the ground. This caused several lads to fall, they got up and made it to the finish, exhausted.
It must have been during the 1950s.
John H. Stephen
Rowland’s (Selkirk) would like to thank Guy at Travis Perkins for donating materials to us for new office space.
This will make a huge difference to the Rowland’s team as the old office was becoming completely crammed with files and folders, and no room for people anymore.
Having a space we can use, and open out for meeting space, has been missing in Rowland’s, but thanks to the generosity of local firm Travis Perkins and the skill and time of Rob Elliot who has created the space, we now has a lovely office and meeting area.
Everyone at Rowland’s (Selkirk)
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Weather for Selkirk
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North east