Reagular readers will remember that NoÃ«lle had dropped a comment and Pat had remembered Karl sending a photo of a trap that someone has for sale, what should he do?
â€œWhat do you think of this thenâ€. Pat.
â€œDoesnâ€™t that just look a picture, the cats and hens, oh and look itâ€™s got lovely little steps to get up into, thatâ€™s just what I had in mindâ€. NoÃ«lle
â€œLooks a bit rotten to me look at all the green on it. Does have a certain charm though, youâ€™r right, shall we go and pick it up tomorrow morning?â€
â€œWow that would be great, we can clean it up, repaint and be on the road in a couple of weeks, you said itâ€™s near Karlâ€™s place, thatâ€™s not too far to go, 100km?â€ NoNo,
â€œJust a bit further I think, but OK weâ€™ll take the Landie and Trailer, be there in an hour or so, back for lunchâ€ Pat.
So next morning, crack of dawn, Landieâ€™s tank full, trailer attached, lights all working, ropes, ties and DifaDog all loaded, NoNo and Pat set off eastwards into the heart of Brittany to follow a dream. ChÃ¢teaulin, ChÃ¢teauneuf du Faou, Carhaix, Rostronen, all flash by like telegraph poles on a fast train. Leaving FinistÃ¨re for Cotes Dâ€™Armor, our intrepid collectors stop for a coffee in a roadside CafÃ© and decide to ring Karl for further directions, thank goodness for mobile phones!
â€œWell you are not too far now, you know where we liveâ€. â€œYesâ€. Well carry on, on the Axe Central, through Gouarec, Mur de Bretagne, St Caradec, on the by-pass for LoudÃ©ac, continue about 30 kms to Merdrignac; there it gets a bit difficult youâ€™r in the country then, turn north for--- have you got all this?--- yes north for CollinÃ©e, thatâ€™s only just on 15 kâ€™s, when you get to the village there is a boulangerie on the right and then the church, well if you are there youâ€™ve gone too far, turn round and then go back out of the village and you will see a little road on your right with a tumbledown house about 100m in on your left, turn there and go down there for, I think itâ€™s, let me see one, two, three, yes the sixth turning on the left, or it could be the fifth, but donâ€™t be confused by the two or three farm entrances. Well itâ€™s down there somewhere, take that fifth, or was it sixth, well take it anyway, you will see their gateway on your right and the old farmhouse stands off the road by about 50m. Cant miss it Good Luck!â€
You all know readers donâ€™t you, how easy it is to take down instructions how to get there, from someone on the phone who KNOWS how to get there! When someone says Cant Miss it, you will.
Pat and NoÃ«lle, Difa, Landie and Trailer of course found the boulangerie and the church; very pretty with geraniums in front of it with a spire in slateâ€¦but thatâ€™s not what they are here for. Turned the whole lot round in the little, tiny, too small square, turned right and funnily enough there are many more than 20 little turnings on the left of that darned road. They visited a stables, several farms (most of which were about 50m off the road) turned in ordinary mud, cow and pig muck and finally gave up.
â€œThe rotten old cart canâ€™t be for us, letâ€™s go homeâ€. NoNo
â€œLook dear weâ€™ve only done 268km, one or two more arenâ€™t going to kill us, letâ€™s ring Karl again and see if he can remember a bit more and tell us anything more illuminating as to where on the planet they liveâ€.
â€œHello, yes, is Karl there? Oh up the end of the garden. Can you get him, Iâ€™ll wait, . . . . .yeah Karl weâ€™ve visited all the houses, manors, castles and broken down hovels and barns in the region of CollinÃ©e but no cart. Can you help; we are at a cross roads about 2km from the village with Kerouen Huella to the right, Kerouen Isella to the left and Menez Kerouen straight onâ€.
â€œOh yes I know it well youâ€™re not far, if you turn right and thenâ€¦..â€
â€œOK! Thanks yes your directions, mmm, yes, are you sure? Weâ€™ll have another go, see youâ€.
â€œNo Hang on, Iâ€™ve got ThÃ©rÃ©seâ€™s number somewhere, give her a ringâ€¦..â€
â€œ!!!****ÂµÂµÂµÂµ@@@@! NOW you give us a phone number! Thanks anyway, 02976â€¦..â€
â€œHello ThÃ©rÃ©se weâ€™re lost at the Kerhuon etc. crossroad, on the way to pick up the cartâ€ Pat.
â€œOh! Thatâ€™s easy just look over the hedge on the Isella Road, and you will see the house just about 50 m off the, come on down. Youâ€™re a bit late arenâ€™t you?â€ ThÃ©rÃ©se
â€œ!!!****ÂµÂµÂµÂµ@@@@! And all related naughty words silently from Pat.
â€œCup of tea?â€ T
â€œOK, but we should really get loaded and be back, we reckon to have lunch at home, where is the trap?â€P&N
â€œItâ€™s round the back all readyâ€. T
Readers can you already smell a sort of mushroomy, ratty smell already, damp wood, a bit of a â€œrip-offâ€, something not quite right? Then you are on course. When Pat and No got eventually to see the trap, it was all complete, down to the last detail. Look at from 10 yards and it just needs a lick of paint, the smell of a horse and reins and up to the pub clip-clop. Every strut, step and shaft, everything was there, lovely brass hubcaps, seat, an absolute picture. Made of Ash wood throughout just what we wanted.
A bit closer it became evident that it had suffered the ravages of time, damp and rot in general reign.
NoNo looks at Pat, Pat looks at No. ThÃ©rÃ©se looks at them both and asks them for the price agreed; Patâ€™s cheque book suddenly seems reticent to leave his pocket.
â€œGive us a moment ThÃ©rÃ©se, will you?â€
Pat to No â€œIt is really rotten, rotten to the core, yes I agree itâ€™s beautiful, itâ€™s line itâ€™s wheels, and yes itâ€™s beautiful. I suppose that I could rebuild it if thatâ€™s really what your heart is set on, just look at those baby grey mushrooms growing out of the joint there where the body bearer joins the chassis, rotten as a Pear. But OK, itâ€™s beautiful, you know I like a challenge, and, my darling if itâ€™s for you, weâ€™ll do it. â€œHey ThÃ©rÃ©se over here, letâ€™s get this thing loaded!â€
So that, dear readers is how now after another 6 months standing under a sheet, a new trap is beginning to surface in the old level crossing house that serves as workshop for Pat and NoÃ«lle.
10 days ago you would have found pat grinding off old bolt heads, drilling out screws, preserving pieces of rotting wood for their shape and form. He has very carefully taken the left side completely off the chassis, no thatâ€™s wrong; not chassis but a fibrous mass of pulp is a more realistic description of what is left.
One side went into the workshop and they carefully plotted and charted sizes of wood, joints, rails, and panels. The other stayed untouched as a control pattern if there is not enough of the rest to get details from. A lot of it did just fall apart. The sides are slightly angled back to give an impression of speed and aeodynamics
. Not clear to the eye but just about 5 degrees, makes the mortice joint cutting just that more interesting!
Several â€œPlotsâ€ as they are known here planks otherwise, of various thicknesses of ash taken straight from the tree via the drying kiln and then left in the air to stabilise; were bought in Quimper and are now cut up planed up and some has even been put together as you will see from our photo. You will see the old side laid gently out on the new base bearers. The new equivalent side coming to life on the new chassis. There is also the steaming and shaping of the shafts to come sometime in the near future!
We on the team of the Mid FinistÃ¨re Herald, give our apologies for such a long rendering of this, an important part of the preservation programme of the local road transport history.
PS, as we think you will have guessed they didnâ€™t get back home for lunch! They were even too late for all the restaurants in Merdrignac and Loudeac. They ended up at about 3.12 PM at McDo. In Carhaix for a Giant everything, even for Difa the Dog. 519.6 kms in all.