West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
Advertisements
 
 
 
Pontefract Letters Page

SMOKE SIGNALS

ADDED 6 MAY 2007

I am reminded of vocational work in Pontefract Park in the mid 1960s by Ken Fox’s mention in the March issue of a tractor which ran on TVO (Tractor Vapourising Oil). At work in the park at that time was a 1950s vintage Fordson Major tractor similarly fuelled. It was the pride and joy of the Park’s Foreman; the bacci, privet and hawthorne chewer of his day, one Walter Atkinson.

Walter who, like Mr. Dugdale the Parks Superintendent, as mentioned in earlier editions, lived in one of the houses at the park gates. Walter’s knowledge of this tractor’s pre-ignition characteristics allowed him to entertain children and adults alike. If he had cause to stop near to a potential audience he would turn off the engine, alight from it and, after having taken a few steps away, it would momentarily start up again with a staccato pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. This would cause him to turn and look at the tractor with a curious stare and turn away again only for it to repeat a pop, pop, pop, pop. This time he would stand and scowl whereupon yet another pop, pop, pop would be heard. Taking off his flat cap and scratching a shining pate would coincide with the penultimate pop, pop. After waiting what seemed an age he would timely throw his cap into the side of the tractor’s engine which would be the prompt for the final POP and a perfect smoke ring would be emitted some 20 feet into the air from the exhaust stack, much to the Oo’s and Ah’s of the captive audience.

Simple entertainment delivered during public service by a lovely man. Memories also extend to a pipe smoking Tom Williams, a jocular Brian Bullock, and youthful Mick Holmes, John Hart and Reg Bullock.

John Ramskill


[ <Previous ] [ Letters Page ] [ Next> ]


 

Site constructed and maintained by Michael Norfolk
This website is Copyright © 2005-2009 [www.pontefractus.co.uk] All Rights Reserved
Any correspondence regarding this website should be addressed to Michael Norfolk, 21 Bassett Close, Selby, YO8 9XG, ENGLAND.
| HOME PAGE | SITE INDEX | LETTERS | MEMORIES | PHOTO GALLERY | GENEALOGY | LATEST PHOTOS |
| KNOTTINGLEY AND FERRYBRIDGE ONLINE | YORKSHIRE ANCESTRY | IMAGES OF YORKSHIRE |
AJB PERFORMANCE |