Tempus Fugit - Pete Insole's workbench oddities and other things

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Peter Insole, 16 August 2017.

  1. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Dave and Unklian.

    Ah yes Dave, rare indeed! Not so many years ago I used to work at the old Cambridge Art School (at that time known as Anglia Polytechnic). The department was a bustling and incredibly busy place that might have given the impression of utter chaos! We had masses of students, dozens of tutors and a regular stream of guest lecturers. Young people were studying from A level, a very highly regarded and successful Foundation through to Degree courses! Life drawing was going on in various rooms around the site, and at an annexe, every day of the week - and most evenings too!
    Back then, you could pop your nose round any door and see a studio full of wonderful, messy creativity going on! However, I was there when the first room was declared out of bounds to us, and fitted out with a seductively twinkling suite of brand new computers!

    I still visit the college occasionally, (there is a privately run life drawing group calling themselves "Posers" that meet on Tuesday evenings in term time) but then I find it increasingly difficult to hide a melancholy mood.
    Every door now has a combination lock on it, there is after all an awful lot of valuable kit and "vulnerable" students in there! The corridors are sterile. Instead of being decorated with artwork (and some quite intelligent graffiti) there are just dazzling masses of gaudily printed "Do this - don't do that" notices glaring back at every turn of the eye.

    There are far too many ghosts in that place!

    Dave, as soon as Volume Two is officially announced, and Capital have put the cover image on their website, I will then be able to tell the tale!

  2. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    I fear it has become a case of keeping the bathwater, and chucking out the baby...

    I suspect that much of higher education has lost its intrinsic value, and with it, the value added to the country as a whole, and simply become a revenue stream. Then again, the country isn’t whole, it’s horribly fragmented. I wonder where it all went pear shaped. Ho hum.

    Never mind
    Wagonman, Giles, fenman and 2 others like this.
  3. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Love it!! - and not a book, smartphone or kindle in sight! Heaven forbid they actually look at each other! I'd like to believe that if it was oop North they'd have swapped life stories after 10 minutes!
    Len Cattley and Peter Insole like this.
  5. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    More likely nodded off by the look of 'em. :D

  6. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    The briefcases must be interesting. Were they only just invented in 1978, as they seem fascinated by them?

    Definitely one for the caption contest on Have I got news for you.
    Len Cattley likes this.
  7. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    The two guys in bowler hats, the one nearest the window reminds me of A Clockwork Orange, and the other bares a strange resemblance to Neil Hannon..

  8. Giles

    Giles Western Thunderer

    Peter, do you have a book of your paintings published by any chance? I should love to acquire one if you had.
    Osgood and BrushType4 like this.
  9. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    I'm sorry Giles, but by flitting around with odd postings here and there as well as getting rather heavily involved with the grand Love Lane deadline, I completely missed your question on this thread.

    It might take a little while as the dust settles and some testing "repro" issues are sorted out, but a small exhibition and a book project is finally on the cards at long last?!

    Hopefully for next year sometime?

    Although I must shortly attend to a promise to sort out the last (rejected by the publisher) book jacket illustration, there is also some finishing work to be done on a certain little Sentinel...!

    Please watch this, and some other spaces too...!!

    Wagonman, Dog Star and Osgood like this.
  10. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Not wishing to hijack Yorkshire Dave's "LT - RT..." thread, I decided to post this little odd job here.

    Many moons ago, a friend asked if I had any props for the old classic "Omnibus" song that a local am-dram group were intending to perform. I was gladly able to supply my genuine Gibson machine, plus harness, but had to make up some brass cap and licence badges for the driver and conductor's uniforms.

    The show went very well by all accounts!

    More recently, and apparently due to popular demand, the group intended to repeat the performance and contacted me again. They had kept the badges, but wondered if the machine was still available?

    The market value of a Gibson has rocketed way beyond my pocket these days, and I was not too sure about the best way to insure it for use by third parties either.

    The thought then occurred to me...

    Some cardboard, wood, plasticard, a roll of self-adhesive aluminium foil and a very happy couple of days over a weekend at the workbench:


    A naughty full size mock-up was knocked up!


    I used some hardboard to make bearings for the main wooden dowel axis and a simple spindle for a roll of ticket paper.

    A large toothed wheel was cut from thick plasticard and fitted on the inside. It was intended to mesh with a smaller one on the spindle, but I couldn't quite cut it accurately enough to work in the time available, so opted to replace the prototype locking latch with a simple wooden thumb wheel to issue the tickets instead!

    That large wheel was useful anyway as it provided the teeth for a noisy ratchet mechanism. Rotating the handle produced a most satisfying, and very familiar Gibson rasping sound.


    I found that the strip of detail paper unravelled in the top casing and could disappear within, so added a lightly sprung length of mountboard to apply a tiny bit of pressure behind the roll.

    Nicks had to be cut in the edges of the paper roll to allow individual tickets to be ripped off against a plain strip of wood: It had been intended to fit a short length of the serrated metal teeth from a clingfilm box, but a desperate search of the kitchen cupboards and drawers proved fruitless!

    Later, "Oh, ho!" said the good lady, chuckling;

    "You didn't find it then?!"

    Fridge raiding has a slightly different connotation in our household, so on this occasion domestic harmony was preserved at least?!

    SAM_0124.JPG SAM_0125.JPG

    The show was very well received, and the machine was carefully returned, intact, to me.

    "No, no" I told the bearer, "I meant you to keep it...!"

    A few days later a cheque arrived in the post with a letter of thanks from the group!

    Not for a great deal in itself - it would have adequately covered an insurance premium - but was a generous and humbling bonus, especially considering the enjoyment I had in making it!

  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

  12. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

  13. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Great words and pictures - worthy of an Oscar at least:):):):bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:


  14. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Brilliant, and slightly insane..

    Not that I wish to add to the workload, but how is the miniature engine coming along?

  15. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Wonderful work. Just the ticket, indeed.


    simond likes this.
  16. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    I could see them being used in a bus drivers bog :)).......sorry Pete they are very good mate.

    Osgood and Peter Insole like this.
  17. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments!

    Ah yes JB, the little engine...?

    I have made myself a solemn promise: The Christmas holiday project this year will be to get the driving truck/tender under way... come what may?!

    Many years ago my mother-in-law asked me why I was not apparently bothered about the state of my house and home and spent so much of my time making toys and other unimportant things?

    I replied; "Most people do sensible stuff like decorating, but few are foolish enough to do what I'm doing"

    Mind you, I was building a half scale model of a London Transport 1959/62 tube stock cab in the living room at the time!

    Just a bit potty?

    I like to think that my sons were enjoying it though.

    mickoo, Scale7JB, 3 LINK and 5 others like this.
  18. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    "We do not cease to play because we grow old. We grow old because we cease to play." GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

    GrahameH, 3 LINK, Alan and 5 others like this.
  19. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Active Member

    We definitely did! That combined with the vhs central line cab ride playing on the tv right in front of the cab. I can still picture it all clearly wiping the windows by hand or blowing into a tube of pipe to make the whistle sound.
  20. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    My mum has a postcard on her noticeboard.

    It reads “we do not grow up, we merely learn to behave acceptably in public”