My Vehicle paint repair shop was in Jersey St Jolimont along with other little small businesses. Behind the workshops was a laneway for cars etc. On the other side of the lane way was a large yard full of new Rover cars waiting to be cleaned and sold for the company of 'Fauls of Subi.' Now it came to pass one day that I caught my apprentice smoking at the paint bench. Knowing the extreme danger of this I proceeded to bollock him, and suggested I give him a demonstration of this danger. Now in the small yard by our back door we kept a 44 gallon empty drum for the purpose of burning the old and used news paper which in those long forgotten days, was used for masking the cars prior to painting. With this drum at the time being full to the brim, I thought the perfect place to give the demonstration. After removing half the news paper from the drum I place an egg cup of thinner on the other then replace the paper. The apprentice and I now hid behind the toilet wall where I proceeded to throw in a
lighted match. Well, the paper started to flare up, mainly due to the paint already on it. Other than that nothing happened. We emerged from behind the wall and the apprentice said, "Well I'm very disappointed " So was I !! Then 'BOOM' The 44gallon drum lifted into the air about a metre and at the same time fired the newspaper like a cannon shot high into the sky, and I mean high. 20 meters no less. Guess where the burning paper started to land ?? It was fluttering down well in flame all over the brand new Rovers. For the next few moments the young lad and I were running around like scalded cats pulling off the burning danger and stamping out the flames. Once we had accomplished this act, and breathing ever so hard, we turned to go back to the shop still shaking some what to be faced by a mob from out of the other workshops. All were asking what the hell was happening as they thought a bomb had gone off. I was quick; as I said "I haven't a clue," and that someone must have put something in the drum over night. The Rover people clapped us and thanked us for our quick reaction. "Not a problem" said I, hoping they didn't notice my trembling hands!!
He talked his way out of hospital, ostensibly to go home but in reality to ride in a
meeting which Dud considered important. He rode his usual “take no prisoners” style
but at race end he became unconscious with pain the returned to hospital. A truly
dedicated rider!





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