AFTER inclement weather last year interfered somewhat with the club’s annual barbeque, this year was quite different.
On Thursday, July 18, on a glorious summer evening, a large number of members with wives and friends enjoyed a most pleasant evening in the Thorpe garden of Alan and Margaret Wright.
Good food and fellowship set against the background of stunning scenery ensured a memorable evening.
At the end of the evening, the club president, Arthur Williams, proposed a vote of thanks to our hosts and their team of helpers.
The August meeting was held in the Ex-Servicemen’s Club where a presentation was given by David Brown, former leader of the Dieselmax Project at JCB.
Having learned that JCB produces some 75 to 80,000 machines each year at Rocester and between 35 to 40,000 in India, the story of the development and success of the Dieselmax Project was unfolded.
Its origin lies with Joseph Bamford’s earliest attempts to build engines for earth moving and construction equipment.
His son, Sir Anthony Bamford (recently elevated to the peerage and present head of the company), felt that attempts should be made to set a new world record for the fastest diesel engine in the world.
The development of a sophisticated diesel powered vehicle began in 2004.
An intricate body construction took place with a clear emphasis on power and safety.
Sufficient power was required to not only reach a speed of over 300 miles per hour but also to overcome salt and sand drag since the attempt at the speed record was to be made on salt flats in the USA.
Suitable tyres had to be developed as well as an adequate cooling system.
By 1996, the vehicle was ready and transported to the USA.
The attempt to reach a new world record was made at Bonneville Salt Flats near to Salt Lake City in the State of Utah where numerous speed records have been achieved, including that of Sir Malcolm Campbell who, in 1935 reached over 300mph in his vehicle ‘Bluebird’.
A speed of just over 365 miles per hour was reached which was far and away the best performance that had ever been achieved by a diesel powered vehicle.
So the world record was achieved.
A vigorous question time followed the presentation illustrative of the interest that had been generated and a vote of thanks was proposed by Probus member Jorgen Boll.
The next Probus meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 10 in the Ex Servicemen’s Club at 10.15 when the speaker will be Paul Barras whose intriguing subject will be ‘Memory Matters’.
An invitation is given to any retired men to join us.