Yay it made The Telegraph


Can it be done?  I don’t know?  I have been set a challenge from Scrap yard to France in 10 days!


This old Volkswagen Lt  if you talk kindly of it is  absolutely knackered, but I could never cope with scrapping one, people may think I am absolutely bonkers I don’t care, I love these vehicles ever since my mother bought one when I was a child, we named her Vera and I cherish her to this day and this one that I am saving is  named Velda.   She also needs to go to France and is booked on the ferry in just over 10 days time.  But, she needs to travel down to Dover and obviously needs to be road worthy, so needs an M.O.T and one other thing I forgot to mention she needs a container sourcing and fitting and I only have a shed to do it in which gives me a working space of about 2 ft either side!  can it be done?  My mate says its impossible, I say its possible, So I love a challenge, so I took him on and at the end of the day if I fail I’ll still of saved another awesome VWlt. so its win win for me.   So  here goes, plenty of coffee and  minimal sleep for the next 10 days, wish me luck!

Follow the page for updates a full vid will be put at the end





Well on my way through the first day and got quite a bit done the rot on the chassis has been cut out an re-plated, its all been sanded down all the rust removed and now painted

I have cut the rot out of the rear corner of the cab and started re making that, there was a leaky injector so it was not starting well so tightened and sorted that, all the lights are now working and I have had a good look over to check for M.O.T fails.

The mud flaps were totally rusted away and hanging off so I have made some new supports, made them out of table legs so mum will have to just have her tea on her knee!



Well its midnight so the end of day one and the windscreen is out an my has it unearthed a lot of rot, see you tomorrow for day 2 thanks for reading.

DAY 2 

All the rot on the cab is cut out and I am in the process of making the panals and re building it, some before and after pics for you.

Day 3

Well it’s day 3 and all is going well, picked up the primer, filler and paint etc today, the welding is nearly done and I have started to fill the passenger side, so sanding tonight, see how it goes.

Day 4

Late start today as I had to go off to do some filming, but I’m on it now, I’ve made a panal and fitted it to the front passenger side, filled it and made sure I have kept to the original factory lines, here are the before and after pics.


Starting on the passenger side step so I’ll cut that out and make a new panal and weld it in


DSCI0012 (2)

Day 5 & 6

Not as far on as I would of really liked, but I have completely finished one side and its ready for primer, but the next side is worse so if I don’t step up the speed I don’t think I will complete, unfortunately the welder broke today so I was over an hour fixing that, but I have also had to fit a new top arm ball joint and anti roll bar drop link onto the passenger side so at least they are on.




Well the finish date is looming and my mates have more confidence than me!  Cannot thank everyone enough for the endless cups of coffee and my mate Wayne even stopped over last night to keep me company, which was great, I am well on with the drivers side but I am having to completely rebuild the front panal as you can see from the pics its completely rotted away and so has the support to attach it to



Making all the new panels myself we have not bought one panel

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The rear drivers side is the worst unbelievably part of it was actually held on by sealant! Even the air filter box holder is rotted through just one massive hole so cut that out and just on with making a new panel

Even the hand brake cable is just hanging onto life, just lol New bracket made and welded


My mate Wayne cutting out some metal for me to weld and me just building up the rear corner of the cab on the drivers side

Day 8 and 9 

Well only tomorrow to go and I went through the night last night, then thought I better get a couple of hrs sleep early this morning and I must of been that tired I set the alarm wrong and was woken by my mum ringing at 10.40!!  So I am again on catch up, but the whole of the welding is done, all the filler is sanded down, I have been through 3 A4 pages 0f M.O.T failings and rectified them and that was when it failed 3 years ago and its been stood outside since then! below is just one of the pages !

Image (38).jpg

Thats the inside sprayed

And masking up to spray the outside


All in primer now and ready to flat down


She’s sprayed and lacquered!

Day 10

Well its the final day and its 1.30a.m and with a bit of string and determination I’ve got the windscreen back in.  Panicked like mad I may break it and I would of failed, but its in, come into make a brew and my adorable sister; Matilda has made me a bed with two of her teddys on the pillow, things like this spur you on again when your knackered!  Love her!


I have worked through the night and she is totally finished YAY!!!!  Unfortunately I missed my 8.30 a.m M.O.T slot.  Electrics is definitely my weakness and the wiring loom had been cobbled together and it was a night mare to fix, so at 8.30 a.m this morning I was still doing the brake lights!  I wanted an early slot so that if she failed I would of had time to rectify the fail points and re book her in,  but that was not to be I am sitting here now waiting for the next available slot and she just has to pass or no France!

Well thats it, she’s passed yay, absolutely over the moon!  From a scrapper that had been stood for 3 yrs cos it had that many M.O.T fail points they covered 3 A4 pages to a fully serviced, including cam belt change and body sorted, welded and sprayed #VW beast, could not be happier ,  #IlovemyVWlt

Making a frame to fit the container on



Off to France!

The container is on and mucked and washed out for the trip it was absolutely filthy, found some nice sunglasses ready for France!

The ferry booking operator messed our times up which apparantly ‘happens all the time!’  so we had to get a later ferry, but we are on and she travelled down 340 miles without missing a beat, hope she runs as well in France, if its hot, see how she goes.

On the off and in the port and finally onto the ferry, managed to get most of the stickers removed with the delay, just the removals at the front to go now, I’ll polish her up when I get home

Arrived in France fine albeit very tired, the mix up with the ferry made us late and ruined the first day,  we had planned to go into Dieppe, but now we could not do that as we were now running late and mum wanted to get some miles done before it was dark and so we did not have a long journey.  We started on the road to Amien and 10 miles in we started loosing power drastically, I had faith in the old girl, but mum was having a full blown panick attack, we pulled up in a layby and after I calmed mum down! I took a look at the engine, I sourced the problem to the throttle cable the sleeve had slipped.  After I rectified it she went to Amien with no problems.


Couldn’t of picked a more beautiful place to break down!

Arriving in Amien we managed to pick up a few signs! love the tail lift

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens is just breath taking, its just absolutely stunning, the city is beautiful, it is so clean, I loved it and would recommend it to anyone



And Dieppe is just as beautiful, unfortunately we could only stay for a couple of hours


So back to the ferry and again she ran with no problems


When we got back into England we were stopped by the Police to see what we were carrying and they checked the contents, they then asked us our destination and the officer says good luck on the M25  the powers that be have made it into a ‘smart’ motorway and  its just a large car park and he was not wrong!  We did 10 miles in 2 1/2 hrs and then got held up twice after that is took us 10hrs to do 320 miles.  It took us nearly twice as long to go up the motorway system in England than it did to travel from Amien, go through customs, travel on the ferry and go through customs again!

Coming up the motorway knowing our challenge was nearly over, beams on our faces we heard the devastating news about another Notre Dame, the one in Paris and obviously received this news with great sadness and hope that at least the majority of this outstanding building can be saved

So even having been sat in traffic for over 3 hrs in total and completing approximately 1200 miles apart from one little hiccup, our super VWlt beast, pulled it off, she came from a total mess, sat for 3 yrs and not road legal to a road legal machine that worked for 1200 miles and goodness knows how many hrs on tick over stuck in traffic, with only one small hiccup she safely brought us home and for that I applaud her!  Thanks for reading x






Refurbishment of my Volkswagen LT; Vera.

t’s that

Below the drivers door is showing signs of rust, I believe it has had a poor repair previously which has accentuated the problem.

Just ground the paint and filler off and it’s clear to see that the plate has just been roughly put on, it has not been shaped to follow the arch.  It looks like the welder has been too hot also, this would also go to explain that on the other side the door panal looks like at some point it has had some intense heat that has rippled it.

It would not surprise me if the original rust; now rot had just been plated over.

Well thats all the problem uncovered, if your going to do a job do it properly or not at all! What a mess, that could of been avoided if just prepared correctly initially.

All the rot cut out and getting ready to weld, just having a good check underneath to see if everything else is okay


Got the plate tacked back on ready to weld and shape now

Well thats all the rust and rot removed, now to prepare properly so it doesn’t happen again and the ole girl can keep going for many years to come.

Had to leave the door for today going to get back on with it Thurs as I had a full day today and weather was good so I took the container off instead and put it on the VWlt Cummins 6bt whilst I refurbish Vera, sorry for mum’s sad joke on the vid!

The two LT’s lined up to swap the body

Just a chassis cab now ready for a full refurb


Now the body is off I can have a proper look at the chassis which is in excellent order, it’s like new you would not believe it’s age.  I’ve started preparing it with a wire brush then sanding down ready for paint, I’ve got the axle prepared ready to paint with the chassis

Thats the chassis done bit of a squeeze getting her in the garage!

Started sanding her down, looking good, not much rust or rot to be found, which is good.


Front and one side primered the beast is looking awesome, bless her!

Making a temporary spray booth!


11.30 p.m and the maskings well under way it’s gonna be a long haul tonight to get her finished can’t believe how effective our makeshift spray booth is.


2 a.m! I must be bonkers or obsessed with LT’s or maybe both!


Well thats the beast done pretty pleased with the finish!


I use Workzone a lot I find them the best for quality and price combined and they are guaranteed for 3yrs, you can give them some hammer and they tend to cope, without paying outrageous prices that some of the tool manufacturers tend to charge.

And this is the final finish not bad to say the spray booth was made out of wood, plastic and a fan heater!! lol Certainly #makingthemostofwhatyougot

It’s that shiny we struggled to get a vid without the reflection, we had to stand to the side! lol

Former caravan from Wensleydale station refurb

We purchased this caravan from Leyburn and were told by the previous owner that it was the old workers brew room from Wensleydale station.  It dates back to the 1960’s and certainly had enough old notes dated back 20 years or so for e.g how to use the toilet without marking it lol to reference to the station to back up it was used for commercial purposes and not private and that it had a strong connection to the station.

It will of been a welcome retreat for an exhausted worker especially on a freezing wet day.

The caravan is exceptionally well built. the roof is as good as the day it was made two sheets of aluminium perfectly shaped into a dome were the water runs effortlessly into his channels dispelling it away from the caravan ensuring no damp or leaks, so it was puzzling to find the caravan riddled with damp and rot. We were soon to find out it was one handle that had never been mended the water was leaking in through one screw hole and running down the whole caravan damaging it, luckily there had only been enough to rot the plywood and not the original wood, which when waxed up was gorgeous and oozed quality that ran through the whole of the caravan.

Apart from the damage to the handle the exterior of the caravan was in pretty good condition, yes the paint had seen better days and in most places was non existent, but the metal work was in excellent condition as were all the original glass windows.  The outside was a case of just sanding off all the old paint applying a primer and top coat, just laborious work but nothing too taxing.

The interior told a different story, the weather had been allowed to play havoc unchallenged and basically the whole of the plywood sides had to be replaced.  Even though the rot was only on the corners the sides were basically made of full sheets with the window cut out, Billy been a perfectionist was not going to just cut out the rot and patch, he does everything right and removed the whole part and replaced it.  I loved the old antique pine that was exposed at the front and left this bare just sanded and waxed.

The toilet area was very basic and somebody had liked writing signs especially telling the workers the best way to use the toilet!

The door and the rest of the interior were in pretty bad shape and the caravan had clearly never had any TLC

But the two lamps were in excellent condition they were the original gas lamps and these were definitely staying just going to be converted to 12v electric. Hidden under the seat was another Wensleydale sign this will be framed and hung on the wall remembering the provenance of the caravan and not forgetting her roots.



Volkswagen Lt with a Cummins 6bt engine conversion

I bought the  engine from somebody who had had someone maliciously damage it they had put sand and grit into the engine, I took the sump off and found a large amount of grit and two piston cooling jets, that had blown off.

Sourcing the cooling jets was not easy and it had done some damage, vid is of it running after I built it.

I’ve now put it into my favourite wagon a Volkswagen Lt and here is the beast

Refurbishment of our beloved VW LT 35: Veronica on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces

Prior to George viewing the refurbishment of our canal boat MatildaJayne on #Channel4 #Amazingspaces he viewed our beloved VWlt Veronica.  Here is a home  made vid of a bit more of her.

A retweet of the lovely Veronica by @Fuzztownshend Fuzz is mega talented and car sos is one of my favourite programmes.

P1650159 (2)

This is how Veronica started out and old smelly horse box, with mouldy poo and old hay inside, lovingly restored her to how she looks today.


The first job I did was strip all the back out and remove the ramp.

I then stripped the floor and insulated the floor and walls and added all the wiring.  Veronica charges the battery as she runs and is also backed up by solar power.

I then fitted the windows I sourced these off a caravan that was going for scrap, they are vintage ones.

Then it was adding the toilet, kitchen, oven etc, my mum did the furnishings and made the curtains.

Veronica was in supriseingly good condition for her age on the outside, her paintwork was very tatty, but there was no rot and very little rust.  I sanded her down, applied primer and borrowed a friends garage to spray her in, she was too big for the spray booth!

And this is the finished product below, my mum and sister with Veronica at Scarborough.

Thanks to The for my write up in todays paper 19th Jan 2017