18 April 2010

The doughnut connection

It’s amazing the old cack we keep in our brains isn’t it? And the odd way synapses fire to link the preposterous? I mean, how else do you explain me sitting in Salterhebble bottom lock and thinking ‘cream doughnuts’? There I was, minding my own business going up the lock, when I casually turned around to have a dekko at the guillotine gate. There in the middle was a little plaque denoting the mechanism’s manufacturers, Ransomes and Rapier. Wow, bang, crash, wallop, I was instantly transported back to my midteens and the school run. Every weekday we’d drive past the R&R manufacturing plant in Ipswich and on Fridays, as a special end of week treat, mum used to stop off after school at the Newsteads Bakery which was more or less adjacent to the factory.

So for a few minutes I was able to marvel at what looked like supersized red meccano pieces strewn all over the place but were in fact crane parts…that is until the cream doughnuts were thrust into my hand and I became weirdly fixated on the squidgy synthetic cream. So I’d always imagined R&R as big in cranes – big in big cranes, in fact. What I didn’t know until I read it in Pearson’s was that R&R were actually also very well known for their railway turntables…and seemingly not known at all for their guillotine gates. I wonder how many they made? Sadly, the R&R factory has long since been demolished but the gate keeps the name alive and triggers, for me at least, happy memories. Actually, now I come to think about it, maybe not all happy…my haircut was abysmal…and the uniform sucked…and Friday always meant loads of homework, most of it biology, which always involved far too much embarrassing drawing and annotating of various anatomical features that I'd much rather have remained unacquainted with…Mmmm, think I’ll unscrew the plaque next time I’m there…


Rhea said...

Hi, have just found your blog, have been reading through from start to finish. Guessed it had to be you when I saw the dogs. Does Susie remember her friend Tess from Streethay?
Best wishes to both of you and hugs for the dogs
Chris nb REM

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Gosh, how great to hear from you! Yes, we remember Tess alright...what a sweetie and one of the only dogs that has ever qualified as a Susie playmate! Has she got used to the boat yet as I'm sure she didn't like it when it was under way?! Are you still at Streethay as I'm always saying that we should pop in and see if anyone's still around? Best wishes to you all.