just to delight Larry; the bikes are out again for the next 3 weeks starting on Saturday in Dusseldorf. Perhaps he will tell us if either France or West Germany was on his patch for selling the bottling gear.There is an excellent Google thread telling you all your need to know about the race.
Roy, France, yes, for a short while. I had a heart attack in January 1980 and had to take three month off work, so at the end of March 1980, to get myself back into harness again, I drove over the North France and searched out the small breweries and there were plenty, to leave brochures and talk to the technical directors about our machinery. Also visited the Mineral water folks. Kronenburg in Strasburg were the big boys and they did eventually buy some electronic machines from us.
But Germany no. Although I did attend one of our exhibitions in Munich
Incidentally, the name of the company I worked for was:
Barry-Wehmiller Ltd. Competitors were Vickers and a couple of German companies.
We eventually took over a company which had been a small competitor in the electronic field called Inex. Last time I looked at the Barry-Wehmiller on-web site in America I discovered it had grown into the second largest corporation in the USA. They had gone into overdrive and branched out in all kinds of fields, connected and otherwise with the brewing and bottline industries.
a constant downpour for the opening day in Dusseldorf, a 14km timetrial won by a boyo with a Welsh sounding name, Geraint Thomas. He was the one who ran into the police motor-bike during the Giro and fouled up his chances of winning or getting close. Sunday stage 2 ends in Liege. Read all about the TDF on Google Larry.
Again ..ssing down for stage 2 and it was marred by a nasty crash at the head of the peloton, so that at least two riders were seriously injured on a bend made slippery by the rain.
the sun came out in Belgium & Luxembourg yesterday for stage 3. Stage 4 ends in Vittel, where all that healthy water comes from. Any memories from there Larry ? Do you ever drink it ?
Today's sprint ended with Mark Cavendish crashing into the barrier and seemingly badly injured.
Anyhow to please Roy Walter, here they are:
Yes Roy, I did visit Vittel. Twas quite a large plant even in those far off days. I drove up there and was quite surprised at how mountainous the region (although in Northern France) was. There were two other mineral water plants in that area but can't recall the names. Yes, I did try the water and occasionally today my son buys a bottle - he drinks gallons of Mineral Water whilst I drink gallons of tea - so I might very occasionally try a mouthful. But if anyone wants my recommendation for what Mineral Water to buy I strongly recommend Ferrarelle, which is bottled at the base of Mount Vesuvious and is naturally lightly gassified. That is the one which in Italy is recommended by the Medical profession as being the safest one to give to infants. But above all, I would recommend that wet stuff that comes out of our cold water taps. At least one can guarantee that that is pure and safe to drink and is the equal of any Mineral Water that you have to PAY for. OK OK, I know you have to pay for the water in your taps but at least you have a years supply and you get what you pay for. It's not rationed out in quart bottles at enormous expense. But my eau de vie preferred is from good old Scottish water which is used to manufacture Whisky!!
And it is not far from Vittel to the huge brewery of Kronenbourg in Strasbourg. And in Strasbourg I found a restuarant on the banks of the river which flows through town a restuarant which serves up a delightful boiled trout.
just about halfway. Great pictures from the Dordogne yesterday. Have you been there ever ?
Roy, once I can find out where the Dordogne is, maybe I have visited the region. One thing you have to remember is that I was in France in 1944/45 and again I was stationed at Fontainnebleau from 1955 to 1958 with the Headquarters of Central European command of NATO. Our offices were actually in the Chateau in the Aisle de Prince. Twas there that I had to be vetted for Positive and Lunar Top-Secret because I was in charge of the filing pool. When the top brass had a meeting - quite often - I had to dig out the appropriate files, place them in a leather brief case, handcuff that to my wrist and carry it down to the meeting room where a captain unlocked the handcuffs and took the brief-case off me. The the whole skeddadle had to be gone through in reverse when the meeting was over and I could take the files back to the strong room. The toilets were the best though. Shortly after my arrival I had to go for a pee. I was peeing in the basin when in walked a female Lieutenant of the French army and bidding me 'Bonjour' entered into a small cabin to do whatever she had to do. Happy days! I eventually found a beautiful small villa to bring my family out to, sharing with a French staff-sergeant and his wife. The Villa Rosa in Vulaine-sur-Seine. The villa was owned by a Madame Blondel who lived in Paris in the 16th arrondissement but who came down each year to spend the summer months in the countryside away from the heat of gay Paris. With the villa came also a stretch of the River Seine where we could picnic and go fishing. The toilet in the house was equipped with a sceptic tank and, strange to say, we found that the company which made the concrete cesspits was quite near to us and the owner was an Italian. The wife of the French Staff-Sergeant was also the daughter of Italian immigrants who lived in Paris. The Staff-Sergeant was named Francois Dubois-des-Termes and came from a town up on the French/Belgian border called Villeneuve-des termes. His wife could not speak much Italian and my wife could not speak any French when she arrived but the two ladies got on like a house on fire. Apparently the Mr Blondel (then dead) had been quite big in the textile industry in France before the war. My wife one day killed a young viper which had come down into the yard at the back of the house by belting it with a broom handle. And yes, I did fish in the Seine and actually caught a couple of bream on the odd occasion. And No, never been down to the Dordogne region.
Ooops, made a mistake in that posting. My Friend Francois did not hail from Villenuves but actually came from Charlerois which is more Belgian than French. There were a lot of American troops stationed nearby and they had a large PX which we used as well as our large NAAFI supermarket. We used to have a great laugh when we visited the PX. They had a very large beer, wine and spirits section and on the wall at the back of the wine and spirit section there were two words, in big letters - BOLS and Fockink. And they simply did not get the connection!! Memories are made of this!!
Today I snuck a look at the sports pages of my paper - I don't normally look at those pages - just to find out if there was anything in there about Le Tour. And, yes, Roy, there was a small part of page 97 which was headed:
Froome boosted by Landa's dummy run. Apparently today was Stage 14 which took place down in the Cote de Centres, right at the bottom of France. A 181.5 km ride from Blagnac to Rodez with a sprint section at Rabastens. Now where the h.... is that. Lets get out my trusty atlas.Ah, yes, there tis. From just outside Toulouse then going north to Rodez. Still way down in the south. (But the town of Toulouse brings back to mind the old description of a sailors trousers --- Toulon and Toulouse). That's supposed to be a joke, folks! Like the rest of Le Tour. And if you want to get technical try.........Blagnac is at 43.38 degrees North and 1.24 degrees East whilst Rodez is at 44.21 degrees North and 2.33 degrees East. Well, some of you must have done map-reading lessons during your Nat Service!! All from Greenwich.
back on the bikes today after the second (and last) rest day. 5 stages remain with a couple of alpine tough ones. Can Froome hold on and win the time trial in Marseilles on Saturday ? Larry should be able to locate that one before taking his place on the Elysian Fields on Sunday.
Sorry Roy and you other bike lovers, but Roy's talk of the Elysian fields very nearly came to be true. I had a heart attack on Sunday 16 and have been a leeetle bit poorly. 4 days in rianimation and 4 days in recuperation. Came back home this pm and catching up on things. Must learn to take life a trifle more easily although how ohn earth to do that I haven't a clue.
Any way, it seems Froome made it to the mostrum after all. Congrats and all that guff. And yet the papers all seemed to prefer to talk about an american winning the claret cup rather than an Englishman winning the Tour de France. Makes you wonder, don it.
It's so good to see your post, Larry so soon after dodging any visit to the thingy fields. Many of the hale and hearty can't be arsed to chip in to give us the benefit of their wit and wisdom.
Back to the bikes - Froome did hang on and won the "GC" (General Classification) but his winning didn't raise a cheer from many of our cross channel neighbours; when he rode into the stadium at the end of the time trial, there were more boos than cheers. Some think it's "le tour pour les Francais" and others should hang back and merely make up the numbers.
This is the thing about the Continentals (and not only the Continentals!). I do wish that our Brexit negotiators could get it into their heads that GB is HATED! I have lots of in-laws in Germany and Italy and friends in all kinds of places across the land next door. They all love and accept me as an equal but.......THEY HATE THE WORD GB.
They still correlate those letters with our colonial past. Once you know and realise that they will do anything to do down GB, you know where to start in negotiations. BUT, I'm afraid our present day politicians are still wet behind the ears. I was often told by my customers, that I should always bear that in mind when negotiating with the high-ups in companies when angling for a large contract. And I did make quite a few, one of nearly a million pounds in Saudi for Seven-Up, with Peroni for over half a million a time on machines, Fonti Levissima for over half a million, so I never made reference to our past when dealing. Knowing how much they enjoyed football and especially Man Utd, I used those as bartering chips. I do wish I could impress on ??whatsisname?? David something? this fact. Know your enemy is the best phrase in war-time and I am very much afraid that our negotiators believe they are not 'at war', when in reality, the real war has not yet begun.