Thursday, January 24, 2013

Looking Back To Look Forward

I was always taught never look back unless your looking forward. This I have been doing for some time to see where and how I can improve on what I am doing using the knowledge I gained during my life and in my trade training days and long after.

I started my training long before leaving school, firstly with my dad in what ever he did about the home or when he was woodworking, gardening etc. Progressing to mowing lawns for others and weeding gardens, running errands (from the age of 6 I was sent to corner stores over 2 miles away). I doubt if we see this sort of thing today. The treat was a penny's worth of lollies would be enough to last a whole day, whilst sixpence worth a week.

Oh I have run off track oh well it shows I was taught responsibility from a young age.

So roll onto a few years ahead and things like paper runs, pamphlet drops, behind the counter in a service station while the mechanic worked in the garage doing repairs (this was when we had mechanics and fuel at one place). Kitchen hand in an Swedish Inn Restaurant on weekends. School holiday work at Grace Bro's Roseland's my first real pay packets oh and Tax.

Then onto my apprenticeship as a 1st year Motor Mechanic for Wight Ford (now City Ford) they were just off William Street in the city, just down from Kings Cross close to the Swedish Inn. After about three months I was asked to transfer to become a Coach Builder as the company had to many apprentices if I had said no I would have had to leave three others did.

At Technical Collage (now TAFE) I signed up for my first year, the course was titled Coach Building the following year it became known as Motor Vehicle Building to be more in line with modern day vehicles being built.
Some where during the first year one of the fellows at Tech come into a situation where by he had to leave his employment at Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company and find another apprenticeship he went on to be a Saw Dr.
I was finding my time at Wright Ford a strain as my work there was far from what I was learning at Tech. I was still doing mechanical as well as "Rattle & Squeaks" as we used to call it, it was an amazing nine months tho I leaned a lot. Worked on some brilliant and now legendary cars now collectors items, such as the Ford XW GT and XY GTHO, Capri, Cosworth engined Escort racing vehicle of John Pierce.

So somewhere about October I transferred to Custom Coaches at Sturt St Smithfield where I spent the next 4 1/2 years building Buses and Coaches.

My first year Tech teacher Mr Bob Macky was due to retire he had been the courses had teacher for a  number of years, he was an old school tradie and very much into Vintage and Veteran restorations and grounded me more into woodwork. I had taken metal and woodwork as electives at school MR Woods another tradie who became a teacher during the Vietnam War teacher shortage and Mr Bryant in metal work.

The trade of Coach/Motor Vehicle Building encompasses so much from humble cars, trailers, horse floats, caravans, truck of all descriptions. Even though Custom Coaches allowed me to travel along a wide multi lane road from chassis line to finish line, Fibre glass, repair, machine/top shop, a short stint in upholstery. It would never spread wide enough as the trade itself does. It even covers welding, machine shop use of basic lathe work, design/draughting and development and pattern making. You see even push/motor bikes and horse drawn vehicles were covered during my first two years at Tech. 

I located a few videos to give some insight into a little of my past although I worked at none of these places. They do not completely cover my career as I did go on to become a licensed Mechanic and Spray Painter during the years while a Coach Driver/Yard Person after leaving Custom Coaches.

Multi tasking they deemed it during the 80's it didn't last, companies wouldn't pay for the additional skills you brought into their work place.......something about Union's wouldn't allow it.

Below are links to a few videos of.

Vintage Restoration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=c1jb2bOPKjc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQDfps2Qe_I

Motor Vehicle Building

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1QVUHbOlHU&feature=related

Now whats the reason for looking back to look forward.......I still play with wood and steel when the body allows it and its with my past I shall continue to travel forward.

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