Scout XT617 Restoration Blog

Work has enthusiastically started today, 29 January 2023, on the Westland Scout – service number XT617, under the care and guardianship of Wattisham museum.

Westland Scout AH1 XT617 prior to work

Peter and Bee have spent several Sundays over 2022 reorganising the museum workshop space to accommodate the Scout and to ascertain and note what there is to affect the restoration successfully.

Scout moved inside the workshop

Whilst there were some tools already available in the museum’s workshop, several specialist bits of equipment would need to be bought, begged, or borrowed, and the not-so-shy Bee has already put the feelers out via email to kindhearted and knowledgeable souls. The good news is her emails have garnered a few positive responses already.

So, before we start this journey, let me introduce you to Peter and Bee: –

Peter is now retired but has spent the last 10 years volunteering at Wattisham.  This is not his first stint here on base, as during his working career he helped install various heating systems as a contractor on base. Peter might be retired but still keeps his mind and hands active by tinkering, decorating, and shooting. He is a time served City & Guilds fitter and certainly knows his way around tools and things.

Bee has a 12-year background in panel beating and spray-painting.  Together with her husband Simon they own and run Hangar 53 Custom Motor Works restoring Land Rovers and all manner of Military Vehicles and Artillery; of which they are the custodians of The Gulf Collection, centering on the 1st & 2nd Gulf wars with a small but slowly growing overspill into Afghanistan.  Bee is a relatively new member (joining in 2019), and only becoming hands on active during 2022.

Day 1

An early-ish start of 9.45am on a cloudy Suffolk morning, Peter and Bee convened in the museum car park to head out to the HAS. Today was the day when work would start in earnest. A learning curve for both of them, but a challenge eagerly accepted.

First things first, Peter got his trusty flask out and offered Bee a cup of sweet tea, she wrinkled her nose (sugar bleurgh) and politely declined. Peter then donned a set of overalls and fetched a few bits from his car. In the meantime, Bee found a torch in one of the drawers and they both did a close-up survey of hinges, catches and handles, taking photos as they went to record the condition, damage and progress.

Some work is needed

Treating the Scout as if it were a car (as will be explained below), they both agreed that when labelling what they took off, it would be called offside (O/S) and nearside (N/S). To them this made perfect sense and so sandwich bags and marker pens were set to one side to dutifully capture loose nuts and bolts; all bagged and tagged, with a note in each bag explaining the dismantling procedure.

There certainly is something to be said for the joy of going around what is supposed to be moving parts and giving it the WD40 treatment for that “just in case it’s sticky” situation.

Within about 10 minutes of figuring out how the doors should come off, the WD40 did its job and all 3 gave up the goods effortlessly.

Let me explain why the doors had to come off: –

              Broken perspex sheeting
              Brittle perspex sheeting
              UV damaged perspex sheeting

All needing some kind of replacement or TLC further down the line.

Scout cabin roof

The museum had already been blessed with a wonderful gift of some replacement perspex windows and these will, in the not-too-distant future grace the Scout in its beautification and restoration process.

Once the 3 damaged doors had been removed, they both set about figuring out how to dislodge the “slidey” part of the N/S and O/S front doors. It took some logical looking at, but they soon figured out that the “pretty” panel over the stationary side of the window was actually the guard to keep the “slidey” part from falling out.

I know, I can hear audible gasps from the gallery, but these are serious aviation technical terms, and we intend to use them wisely.

Now that the “slidey” and broken windows were separated from the doors, un-riveting and re-riveting is next on the agenda.  Conventional rivets are both understood by Peter and Bee and the process is pretty straightforward. However, these are domed rivets and require a different process of extraction and reseating, which neither Peter nor Bee have experience in.

Close up

However, Bee has been given a privileged opportunity of spending some time with a technician who will be teaching her this process.  This knowledge she will share with Peter, and they will both be wiser for it.  

This concludes several very fruitful and successful hours today and we both thank you for going on this journey with us and the museum………

Peter and Bee will be returning to the HAS next Sunday, 5 February 2023 to tackle the 2 severely damaged roof panels, 1 above the pilot (O/S front) and 1 on the N/S rear area, so watch this space.

Day 2

Scout cabin

The weather seems to be taking a turn for the better, this morning Bee and Peter convened in the museum car park with a spring in their step, there were blue skies, a very gentle breeze, and some warmth in the sun too.  However, it was noted and observed that the road gritter was out on base and they wondered if someone knew something about the weather that they didn’t know.

Today was going to be dedicated to the two roof panels (mentioned at the end of the previous blog post). The one above the pilot (O/S front) and the one on the N/S rear. Both had severe UV damage and had become very brittle and also having two gaping holes (see photos), meant they had to come out. The N/S rear having had a “repair” to it (see photo of cross-stitched copper wire and blobs of silicone), but really needing more attention than a patchworked effort.

Damaged roof perspex

The trusty WD40 came out and a pre-dismantling squirt was administered. Initial trying, but not very successful attempts at unscrewing framework holding the domed perspex in place yielded no satisfaction. Age and weather have aided in the rivnuts now being non-functioning and so every screw tried, just turned and turned with no release.

Both Peter and Bee know from experience that once a rivnut has “let loose”, the only way is to gently and carefully insert a prybar between the outer and inner surface, giving some pressure and seeing if this will help get the screws to budge. That worked to a fashion, but it was awkward working from the same angle, so, it was agreed that the perspex had to come away to create a hole for Bee to be able to stand up inside the heli, whilst Peter could stand on the outside.

Safety glasses, gloves and some elbow grease later saw the 2 roof panels give up their last bits and pieces (see pic of pile of perspex gathered together). This gave a stable platform for Bee and her prybar and Peter could then huff and puff (with the occasional insult directed at the hardware) and get the screws out of the frame.

Damage to perspex

It took an hour and a half for the first frame to come off and about 45 minutes for the second one (obviously learnt some lessons along the way), they have now been set aside to be worked on.

For next week, Peter has graciously accepted the delicate job of separating the top and bottom frame from each other and to remove the remnants of sandwiched perspex whilst Bee will clean up the bonding paste from the Scout frame, sand it down and start preparing it for corrosion treatment, paint and reinstallation once new perspex is sourced.

This concludes several very fruitful and successful hours again today………and Peter and Bee will be returning to the HAS next Sunday, 12 February 2023, so watch this space.

Day 3

It’s funny what you chat about when you’re beavering away on tricky parts. I don’t know how the conversation on eye sight came about but I, (Bee) learnt a very interesting thing today about sighting and knowing which is your dominant/lead eye.

Peter said, that years ago when he started his favourite hobby clay pidgeon shooting, this technique was explained to him. He quickly learned that he was better at clay pidgeon shooting (both eyes open) than target shooting.

He then explained what to do and so I went outside to put this to the test. I put my finger up to cover an object (a traffic cone) in the distance (both eyes open), closed my left eye and my finger was still covering the cone, then i closed my right eye and opened my left eye and……

Oh my goodness i could have fallen over because i am sure that my finger moved off the cone by at least 15 foot to the right! in fact when i walked over to the point my left eye had placed my finger and paced it back to the cone, i was shocked that it was 23 of my size 8 feet. That’s a massive difference. This obviously explains why i wear glasses now, but also explains that when i write on an unlined page, i can never keep my writing in a straight line it bends down towards the right and it makes no difference how i angle my page either!! It’s interesting, isn’t it!

Roof area before cleaning

Anyway, i digress and that’s not why you’re here, so let me get back on track and tell you about how we got on today.

Last week, Peter had graciously accepted the delicate job of separating the top and bottom frame from each other to remove the remnants of sandwiched perspex and Bee thought her time would be best spent cleaning off the bonding paste from the frame and generally getting it tidied up for the new perspex.

Roof section strip-down

An interesting discovery (well to them anyway) was made when the first frame finally separated to reveal the broken shards of perspex. Both Peter and Bee were convinced they were working with 2 thin aluminium strips either side of the perspex and was rather disappointed when a stress fracture broke as they both had been so very careful and delicate with it. But, it’s fibreglass (see photo) and so it can be easily mended when it goes back together again…..phew!

Most of what they had agreed to do this week got done, but ….notice i said most…..the second frame fought hard, so hard, that by 2pm and a 1/4 of the way into it, they both decided it needed more WD40 and for it to sit and think about itself and its reluctance to give up the goods.

Rusty pip-pin

After cleaning up the frame and roof area, and periodically helping Peter with some of the stubborn fixings, Bee decided that the co-pilot (and currently only) seat in the Scout, also needed a squirt of WD40 on the pip-pins (they are quite rusty – see photos).

This is in preparation for next week, when it could and should be taken out and put to one side for a later side-restoration project when work slows down on the main project. The other thing on next week’s agenda is carefully taking off the pouch on the pilot’s door (it’s rather brittle) and using it as a pattern to make another one. Yes, Bee isn’t just a spray-painter, restorer and panel beater, she can sew and thoroughly enjoys it too. This skill will also at some point come in handy at re-covering the seat base of the co-pilot seat (see photo).

Co-pilot seat base

Having the seat out of the way also means that, that area of the Scout can get a good brush down, hoover and a damp cloth, and then the task of dealing with the flaking paint and any broken bits can commence.

Well folks, this concludes our 3rd day on the old girl, fruitful in some ways and frustrating in others but, Peter and Bee will be returning to the HAS next Sunday, 19 February 2023, for more tinkering.

Day 4

Today was a really productive day at the HAS despite having a visitor walk in the door halfway through it and introduce himself as David with his accomplice Tootsie.

What this man has forgotten about helicopters is not worth remembering. I think he was impressed with how far Peter and myself had come with the Scout, considering today is only the 4th day of sympathetic and careful tinkering, with limited amount of tooling. But what we have at our disposal is backed up with a lot of common sense, some bantering and working towards a common goal on behalf of the museum.

David and Tootsie stayed for about an hour, and he promised to visit Hangar 53 very soon too. I promised the kettle would be ready for when he did, and I’d show him around our Gulf Collection and he could fill in some gaps for us as he did a few tours during that time too.

Co-pilot seat

After he left, we both felt really enthused and energised by his visit. I personally felt mega proud of what Peter and I have achieved thus far and with people like David to impart knowledge, we certainly will get this project looking smart.

As mentioned last week, we had a small list of THINGS TO DO TODAY which were: –

(1) The remaining roof section that needed coming apart, so we could get the perspex shards out, and once again trusty WD40 and some hard thinking about its reluctance over the week was just what was needed to tick this job of the list.

(2) I (Bee) had hoped we could remove the co-pilot seat and put that to one side for a side restoration project and with some WD40, huffing and puffing, a few taps with a hammer, the pip-pins finally let go and the seat lifted out with no fuss at all.

(3) Drilling out the pop-rivets on the inside of the pilot’s door (that’s O/S front) so that I could salvage what was left of a very brittle door pouch to use as a pattern to make a new one. I am pleased to say, it did come off, but also held a very fat (and very dead) hornet in one of the creases. I did squeal, but only a little bit and the body was quickly disposed of in the rubbish bin.

Sanding some damage

With all three main jobs ticked off the list and to make up for visitor time and being distracted by the curly haired Tootsie, some sanding of flaking paint and damaged areas commenced, as well as the big brush down of cobwebs and dust and debris both inside and out too. This brought us up to 2pm, which meant that it was time to pack up and head home.

As mentioned in the Day 1 blog post, Bee had been given an opportunity to spend time with a technician and it has been a case of learning patience and waiting for things to fall into place.

Co-pilot floor section

Well, when she got home, there was an email asking her to come for a Risk Assessment meeting before any paperwork could be signed off. With a lot of excitement and also some nerves, this was her thoughts (see below) as she drifted off Sunday night (she wrote it down at 6am on Monday morning as she wanted to add it to her blog)…………

Dear Lord, let me not have a clumsy day at the risk assessment meeting, where I trip over my own shadow or fall over my own feet.

Let me also not choke on my cuppa and spew its contents out through my nose and over everyone or spray cake or biscuit crumbs when I talk. And if I should have to go up and down stairs, please don’t let me fall up them or miss-step down them either.

Lord let me leave my menopause brain at home too, I really can’t be forgetting everyday words, have a hot flush and want to strip down to my underwear in desperation, cause it ain’t a pretty sight, trust me…….oh and put a guard on my mouth too please especially when it comes to the f-word, cause sometimes it just slips past my lips when I talk.

And finally, Lord, if they ask me any questions, please let me know the answers cause it really is all about common sense and I know I have a lot of that…..thank you…amen

Sanded down damaged area

Well folks, I am pleased to say, it went well, I now await a date to step into my overalls and spend some very valuable time with a technician who will teach me what i need to know. I shall be Rosie the Riveter for a day!

This concludes our 4th day on the old girl, and we will be returning to the HAS next Sunday, 26 February 2023, for more tinkering.

Day 5

Two interesting things happened today, totally non-Scout related, so before I tell you about the Scout, I’d like to tell you about this.

(1) The wind has been rather merciless today, especially on the hands and face, but apparently it’s been a good day to fly gliders. Peter and I met this dear little lady with beautifully curly hair (she was on a mission to find her gloves) and had a rather brief chat with her….. I nipped off to the toilet block and when I rejoined Peter in the workshop again, he said to me….. “you won’t believe it but that lady just told me she used to be a Lynx pilot, she couldn’t chat much as she was about to get launched in her glider, so she had to hurry back” ………………… Absolutely AMAZING, how flipping cool is that, I’d love to chat to her on another day for sure
#girlpower #lynxpilot #admirationforsure

(2) Just as Peter and I were getting ourselves ready to go home, Nathan pulls up saying “we have an interesting visitor popping by in about 1/2 hour or so, he is bringing over old framed photos of his time on base. He is none other than Tony Alcock“….. I said, “well you’re welcome to show him around, but we’re heading out now and I’ll pop in to the museum for a bit to meet him and to scrounge a cuppa tea as I’m frozen

Well…..what a charming, very upright man, with a firm handshake as well. It was such a pleasure to hear him talk about some of his career and we talked paint and gloss paint and grey gloss paint too…….so once I’ve done writing this blog update, I will go and do some research on Mr Alcock because Nathan was giddy with excitement to meet him.

Looking alive – clean windows

Righto……….let’s get to today’s update.
Peter had the last of the shards to dismantle and dispose of and Bee got on and gave the old girl a real good hoover and scrape inside, as well as putting water to a rag and cleaning the front screens in the process.

To tell you the truth, it seemed like she (the Scout) woke up and looked alive after her peepers were cleaned inside and out and today Bee fell just a little bit in love with her (see a photo of her cleanly washed). And…… Bee now believes the Scout is not just going to become a restoration project, but that she has firmly placed her skids into Bee’s heart and a whole new love of all things helicopter is being cultivated here in the museum workshop.

Bee has taken quite a few photos (which will be uploaded in bulk to the museum’s FB group page) and would like to ask specifically here if people who know the Scout and/or Wasp, know what some of these loose bits are:-

Before I ask, I just want to say that they may just be random bits of trash thrown into the Scout over the time she’s stood outside, but until I have a manual to look things up (it’s on its way), I’m going to tap into your knowledge-banks if I may.

Photo 1, below, is of this wooden something or is it wood, or is it kevlar perhaps, Peter thinks its bakelite…. I’m not sure. It is rather tactile and a pleasing shape, but does it belong on the old girl?

What is this (1)?

Photo 2, below, is of a rectangle piece of aluminium; to me it looks like the “tag” holder on a filing cabinet, but this one is definitely painted Nato Green. What is it and where does it belong?

What is this (2)?

Photo 3, below, is of a bar on the rear bulkhead (it had to come off so we could get the kevlar floor up to clean underneath it), it looks like it should take a strip light but the underneath is perforated. We believe it sits under the rear seats (she didn’t have her seats). Is it a light? Peter thought a type of heater perhaps because of the perforations, i can’t see a heating element inside though, so what is it’s purpose, we know where it goes but we don’t know what it’s for.

What is this (3)?

Well then, that’s it for today, so to sum up, scraping, wiping, hoovering, picking up random bits lying around on the floor and putting them in a MISC bag of stuff and things……..also taking off this light/heater bar so that the the floor could come up for hoovering and scraping purposes……..

Next week will consist of the continued job of scraping and brushing and hoovering but with the added job of starting to do a few repairs on the bodywork with fibreglass and filler.

This concludes our 5th day on the old girl and we will be returning to the HAS next Sunday 5th March 2023.

Day 6

Today has been so satisfying listening to Peter scrape and lift off old flaky paint, he did however have the help of Nitro Mors to aid him in this process. Whilst packing up a few hours later, Peter said that he was chuffed with progress and looks forward to every Sunday now…………….they certainly make a good team.

Filler and Nitromors

Bee on the other hand started the old girl’s beautification on the outside with the help of a box of fibreglass and resin, a little travel hairdryer (it was so cold that it would take hours before anything else could get done) and a pot of filler to skim over all the other imperfections as well.

Today has also consisted of Bee excitedly talking about her upcoming day at the base workshop with a skilled technician and how much she was looking forward to it too. Bee also informed Peter that she was going to dress up as Rosie the Riveter (which she did) and would also be taking home-made cakes as a thank you (lemon cake and red velvet cake with cream cheese icing)…….

Fibreglass repairs

Well, the cakes went down a storm and throughout the day various bodies wandered into the workshop for a slice, all commenting on the fact that there was a real-life Rosie the Riveter with them today and that Rosie could certainly bring cakes again.

Nick (Bee’s tutor) made her feel very welcome (well everyone did actually), he was methodical, patient, answered questions and also concluded that another day had to be organised to learn how to re-rivet.

I bet you’re thinking, “but it’s only a small sliding section/window of a door” and yes you would be right, but once Bee had a good look under the guidance of Nick she realised that there were numerous amounts of rivets that needed to be undone, some hidden and others so thick with paint, they were only discovered because Nick was so good at his job.

Tuition in progress

What a lovely man Nick was and Bee being Bee teased him for his accent because his Welshness came out strong every time he said the word “here”……Bee would then copy him, point at a few other rivets and say “and here (with a Welsh accent) and here and here”……. he really was generous with his time and enthused by Bee’s interest and at the end of the day, said that Bee could borrow one of his prized books on riveting until she could track one down and get her own copy….. yes, she is now the proud owner of a “Standard Aircraft Handbook”.

Bee left at 3pm and whilst in her car in the car park, made a quick call to David (the visitor a couple of Sundays ago who had a companion called Tootsie) and asked if he was still about and could she disturb his day for 1/2 hour or so. David was available and Bee excitedly ambled over to his place of work.

Excited …….much…… wobbly knees…..much……had to contain herself…..for sure, David guided Bee into this immaculate workshop, the first thing she did was walk over to one of the sexiest helicopters ever and kiss it square on its nose. David laughed, shook his head and said…”come on woman, let me show you around”……what was supposed to be 1/2 hour, was nearly an hour, it consisted of much oooh-ing, aaaahhh-ing and also crawling on all fours underneath to look up into the belly of this magnificent beast……

Like a professional

To tell you the truth she could have just sat there breathing in the fabulous smell of aviation fluids and fuel for the rest of the afternoon, but people had work to do and she had to get home to get ready for her lindyhop lesson that evening…..

To make sure that no helicopter felt left out, she made it her mission to give each one a kiss on its snout before leaving the building………….

#lifegoalsrightthere #icingonthecake #apachetopofthefoodchain

And breathe……. right, so another day is in place for Nick to teach Bee how to re-rivet and she is looking forward to that day too, she had promised to bring in another home-made cake or two as a thank you and she will certainly let you know next week how that session went….

This concludes our 6th day on the old girl and Bee’s 1st day of 2 on riveting. Now to get back to the HAS next Sunday 12th March 2023 and teach Peter the ins and outs of aviation rivet-drilling…….

Day 7

This morning started with a bit of confusion (well on Bee’s part that is). As she stopped at the gate to show her credentials, the young man said “someone was asking about you this morning, about 10 minutes ago” I said, “oh…..was it someone called Peter?” He said, “yes, he asked if a yellow mini had come through the gates for the museum” ……I said “OK, that’s strange, i hope he’s OK” and off i drove to the car park (no Peter), then onto the guardroom (no Peter), i stopped, hunkered down at the window and said “has anyone signed out the museum keys this morning?” The lovely guy said “Yes, not 15 minutes ago” I said, “So where the heck is he then, surely he hasn’t gone off to the HAS without me, I’ll go back to the museum car park and just wait“…….

Well, mystery solved, it was Peter, but not my work buddy Peter, it was the other Peter and his other half Julie and they had made it their mission early this morning to give the Hunter a good dust down and some serious elbow-grease-polishing before the museum opens its doors in a couple of weeks – phew, I really had a mini-meltdown not knowing who would be wanting the keys on a Sunday and it not being either myself or Peter!

High build primer

Anyway……..Today has really been very much dedicated to scraping, sanding, nitro mors-ing, more scraping and getting last week’s filler profiled on the nose section as well as a small squirt or three of high build primer on the area too, so I’m happy to say that it has now ticked that job off the list YAY!

Peter was on form today:-

1) I got schooled by him in the art of nitro mors-ing… he’s kind of taken that job on and when there was an area he couldn’t quite reach, he asked me to help him out. I took the tin and the brush and “painted” the area that needed doing…..”oh no, not like that, oh no, you’re doing it all wrong, you don’t brush Nitro Mors, you dab it“……I laughed and started dabbing furiously and said, “like this, dab dab dab…….you know, I’m gonna put that into the blog Peter“……he laughed and said, “well it says so on the tin, you can’t just follow your own rules, you’ve got to read the instructions“…hahahahaha…….anyway, now i know if i am ever to be trusted with Nitro Mors again, I’m going to have to remember to dab!!

Scraping flaked paint

2) I also had scraper-envy……….yup, my scraper is rather pants, in fact, it’s downright pants, so I bemoaned the fact that my scraper isn’t working as well as his and that I’d very much like a scraper like that too. So bless his heart, not only did he let me use it for a bit (whilst he wire brushed stuff down), he said he would rummage through his toolbox at home and see if he has another scraper that i could have. So I’m excitedly waiting and have fingers crossed that by next Sunday I will have my own fabulous scraper for the job at hand…..

Well…… that’s all for today, but that doesn’t mean I’m done writing this blog, day 2 of riveting is happening this Monday (13th) and I shall let you know how that goes below. I did say in my previous blog post that today I would show Peter the art of de-riveting, however that didn’t happen because we had so many other things to do and it’s all about moving forward and ticking the jobs off the TO DO list. He did however borrow the book I now own (thanks to my husband who bought it for me) which is “Standard Aircraft Handbook” for some light bedtime reading.

Fiddly cleaning

I’m off home now to bake more THANK YOU cakes for my workshop day tomorrow…….

That’s it………… 2 fantastic days spent with Nick plus the bonus of extra tuition from Paul at the workshop and I cannot thank everyone involved enough for getting me into the workshop for this wonderful learning experience, I shall cherish this forever.

Today has seen a couple of banana loaves as a THANK YOU offering from me. They disappeared as quickly as last week’s cakes hahahaha…… I didn’t dress as Rosie the Riveter this time, just plain old me in my Swiss army camo trousers and dezzie-boots; with a smile on my face and an eagerness to get stuck in and learn.

So, what did I learn today…….well, I learned how to drill holes (properly), how to drill countersunk holes (need I say it again…properly) and I got to rivet, solid, countersunk and cherry max rivets, I also undrilled a few to get the hang of that technique and I used 3 different types of pneumatic riveters as well as a hand riveter which required some muscle flexing on my part.

Grid for drilling and riveting

As you can see from the photos, I marked my mistakes and compared my work to Paul’s and even joked with Nick that I’m “gunning” for his job……he looked up from his workbench and did a big roaring belly laugh; I don’t know why he found it funny, I was quite serious, hahahahaha. I was also told that I could take my sample plate home with me and it will certainly take pride of place in my craft room once I’ve shown Peter and talked him through each row.

Completed tasks

And that folks concludes our 7th day on the old girl. Can you believe it a whole WEEK OF SUNDAYS we have spent in the HAS working on the Scout! Next Sunday 19th March 2023 will once again be dedicated to the ongoing de-flaking and sanding, so I hope you’re not getting too bored with that task. I shall try my best to keep the blog interesting and engaging, so watch this space.

Day 8

Today was a busy day, we had last week’s Peter and Julie in again, this time there was no confusion, this was pre-organised as they had volunteered to put together a really smart display unit for the museum. It has been agreed that this display unit is going to house some of the museum’s merchandise during open season.

Donated instrument

Once it was put together and positioned artistically, “something” interesting had to be found for the very top to just kinda “finish” it off…… 2 ideas were brought to the table, but the one that won in the end was the one with the face on it….. yip, put a load of artistic souls together and they are bound to look at screw and knob placements and see a face staring back at them! It just needs a quick wipe over before the museum doors open in April, but it’s all good to go.

We also briefly had the lovely company of Margaret at the HAS, and Bee neglected her duties for 1/2 hour or so (poor Peter was left scraping and a nito morsing).

Donated instrument

This last week has been another week of excitement for Bee, her kind and dear friend David, certainly pulled out all the stops and Bee thinks it was her offering of banana loaf that triggered it all off……… hahahaha. Thursday just gone, Christmas had arrived early, or could Bee claim it as an early birthday surprise (in restoration terms that is).

Well now you’re thinking, what could be so epic that it could be classed as Christmas and/or birthday, let me tell you……….perspex roof panels and a box full of defunct instruments, all graciously donated via David through the sheer kindness of people.

Roof Perspex and windows

If you have every wondered how much stuff can be fitted into a little yellow mini, just ask Bee….. let’s just say, all of it!! So….. a huge THANK YOU to David (he’s the one with Tootsie as a sidekick), without him the process would have been pretty slow!!

And, during the week, Bee had also been chatting to another David. That’s 2 Peter’s and now 2 David’s, how lucky can one girl get hahahahaha!!

This David has been following the blog posts each week, is also involved with 3 other museums, so knows his way around various projects. It’s just wonderful of him to get in touch to say that he has a few instruments available if we are interested and that he also has his beady eye on an instrument panel for the Scout too.

From rear bulkhead. What is it?

YES YES YES…..that would be another huge step forward as well. I mean, how truly blessed to meet, chat and get to know all these amazingly kind people, all with a common goal in mind……….to restore and preserve.

Well, i guess you probably want to know what we actually did on the Scout today……….scraping, hoovering, nitro morsing, measuring and counting holes and rummaging through the paint cabinet to see what we have available. Not much, but Peter and Bee will be making plans for when the old girl gets her Nato green clothes on.

In the process of scraping down the rear bulkhead, they also took off some webbing in a cross shape (see photo), if anyone knows what it kept strapped in, drop us a message via the museum’s Facebook page, thank you.

This coming week Bee will be downloading the manuals given to her on a memory stick by David (tootsie’s dad) and getting to know XT617 intimately, she certainly needs interesting bedtime reading material.

So before Bee finishes writing this blog, she’d like to ask this simple question:-
How come learning at school was just so hard, not fun and such a drag, when learning as a grown up is fun, interesting and exciting?

Thanks for sticking around…………..this brings day 8 to a close and Peter and Bee will back for another round next Sunday 26th March 2023!

psssttt…… Bee has a pukka scraper now, thanks to Peter, he’s a legend!!