A few months ago it was decided that we would take part in the Monte Carlo or bust banger rally, and to that end we purchased a stretched Vauxhall Carlton limo. Various ideas for decorating it were discussed, but in the end it was decided to keep it simple.
This particular car used to belong to the Mayor of Conway, and came with a threaded boss on the bonnet to attach the Mayoral flag for official visits, with hindsight it should have been obvious that Bigjobs would attach a nine inch black rubber dildo to it..
Plumbing in a separate window washer bottle and pump to make it ejaculate was clearly the only thing to do next. For good measure we stuck a two tone train horn in the rear wheel arch too.
I can't really do justice to the reaction the dildo received, but until you've spent an hour or so in a traffic jam on the autobahn; jizzing over whichever car happens to be in front of you, you have no idea how much you can laugh.
It was a huge hit with the three border guards as we were crossing into Italy from Switzerland. They were cheering like they had just gone 2:1 up against Brazil.
Seven countries and four days of alcoholic mayhem later; having collected a special award for 'Best use of alternative accommodation', Gaj had to bid us farewell and set off for Paris. This left myself, Jobs and Paradox on the road for the next six days without much more than a list of power stations that we wanted to check out.
After eight days on the road it was decided to head to East Germany and pay the Franconian a visit at his summerhouse and chill out for a day or so. Beers and BBQ fodder were purchased and consumed and at some point a steelworks was mentioned as a possible place to take a look at the next day.
I can't tell you anything about it I'm afraid, except it was about an hour from the Czech border. I'm sure The Franconian would be more than happy to show more people round it, just make sure you take plenty of beer..
This sign greeted us at the first building we looked at, apparently it says 'danger acid' We didn't go much closer.
Next we were disturbed here by a worker from one of the still in use parts of the site, he drove past us and parked up right where I wanted to get into what I'm convinced was a power house.. We continued on into the site and decided to employ the 'keep walking until someone stops us' technique. This led to us finding a beautiful old workshop full of steam powered machinery. There's a lovely patina to all the machines here, despite the fact they are obviously still in use.
Check out the rails and runners for moving items from the furnace to where they were being worked on.
The walls were covered in tools, most of which had obviously been made by the people who originally used them. After hearing a radio playing in the next room we left just in time to avoid two more workers as they walked into the workshop.
Passing a small substation and this tantalising control room we reached a large open room. The first thing we saw was the ancient gantry crane and the hefty steel girders.
Then we noticed the tanks..
I have no idea what they were doing there, but they all looked freshly painted and were under covers. Once Jobs had climbed down and discovered that they "only had a little 20mm cannon" we soon got bored of them and moved on to the next room.
I might have been a bit overexcited at this point.. But it was starting to feel like every time we moved we found something even more epic than the last.
Moving on again we found ourselves in what would have been the hot section of the mill, right at the start of where the iron would have been produced from ore.
I think this is where the molten iron would have been turned into steel with the addition of oxygen and which ever other elements were needed for the particular alloy they were making.
Moving on again we came to what looked like the scrap recycling part of the plant and what would have been the rolling mill.
By now we were all starting to flag, having been at it for about three hours so far, and seeing the stripped and partially demolished hall we thought about turning back to head to the blast furnaces. Luckily we carried on just far enough to find and enormous static steam engine. It was starting to feel quite surreal by now.
And continued through to find a second!
Interestingly the two large engines had been converted to electrical controls and had modern looking lubrication systems, so maybe they were in use long after the newer sections of the mill had been added.