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Graham Gauld - an autobiography?


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#1 zakeriath

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:10

As a marshal, we are often privileged to meet many drivers and motor racing personalities that the general public don’t, this weekend at the Silverstone Classic, I managed to talk to wee Jackie, Rowen Atkinson, Adrian Newey, Jackie Oliver and a few TNF members amongst others.

As post chief on Brooklands on the weekend, I also managed to observe many members of the BRDC in action, mostly wandering around hopelessly lost, in their jackets and blazers, drinking pims, etc etc. So come midday after a hours race, hot and bothered because they cancelled our break as the wanted the posts to be manned during the high speed parades. I go to the only bit of shade around, which was one small patch behind the post chiefs hut, only to find it occupied by this photographer sheltering from the heat as well, worst still he had his BRDC badge around his neck. My thoughts being that if only he would bugger off to his “hut”, I could rest and cool off, did he go, NO.

One of the other marshals wandered over and this photographer mentioned that they should keep the revival for the cars up to the late 60`s and let the Classic take over from there, keeping the two era`s at separate events. As I had, had the same thoughts this myself, I took a bit more interest in the photographer and started chatting. He went on to tell me about how the BRDC really lost the GP and what the BRDC members are really like and how events like the Classic will become more and more important to the BRDC.

I then notice his name on the badge “Graham Gauld”, I know that name I thought, then he mentions he is Jim Clarks biographer, written loads of books, lots of books still to write, ran Scottish motor racing for a few years, a TNF forum member, lives in France and is a very fit and healthy 74 year old who likes to tell stories.

What a really interesting and enjoyable person to talk to, being a fellow Celt and all, (I almost forgave him for taking my shade). Graham also mentioned the wealth of knowledge and experience that he has will also disappear when he goes, that I thought afterwards would be a great pity and loss to motor racing fans everywhere.

So via this forum I am requesting that Graham and other members with stories to tell and the ability to write, such as Doug Nye, write and publish their autobiographies.

So if you want to find out the real reason the BRDC lost the GP, you will have to read Grahams book.

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#2 simon drabble

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:14

presumably it was lost because of comments from the men in blazers some time ago - wheter it ever actually happens at Donington I woudl say is at best questionable as I cannot see them raising the funds and then they are in breach of contract and then Bernie can have his Russian GP which is being done by his mate....

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:32

Originally posted by zakeriath
So if you want to find out the real reason the BRDC lost the GP, you will have to read Grahams book.


:stoned: A better story - and one in which Grem was involved first hand - would be flying the old 109 from Caledonia to Modena...

DCN

#4 Bruce Fullerton

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:12

What an excellent idea! I grew up (in Scotland) with Graham's name just about everywhere it seemed when my Dad took me to Ingliston, Knockhill and all the hillclimb venues. Can we pre-register our sales order please!!!

#5 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:14

"Grem" is one of the most delightful people of the many delightful people in motor racing that it has been my honor and privilege to know. Graham is chock full of no end of tales that can keep you informed and entertained for hours upon hours. And, on top of all that, he really is a nice person. He absolutely made my trip to Monaco an occasion that I will never forget.

Indeed, this very issue has been raised before -- "Grem, write all this stuff down!!!!!!!!!!!"

Of course, one of the best parts of a Grem tale is watching Graham actually tell it -- he has the mannerisms and personalities of so many absolutely down-pat -- which is part of the pleasure of being in his presence.

There are three Scribes whose tales and work have had a significant impact on my own thinking and work, and doubtless on others: Graham, Doug, and Karl. They are all delightful men and to whom we are all indebted.

Graham's story, believe me, is worth reading. As Doug suggests, it has been quite an adventure....

#6 Graham Gauld

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:19

I had an old saying forty years ago that to be a motoring journalist you had to experience as many elements of racing or rallying as possible so that you can understand other people's points of view. As a result, yes, I have marshalled, organised International rallies, race meetings, was one of the original RAC Noise marshals, judge at the British GP - did I tell you of the time I had Alain Prost penalised for a jump start at the F3 race for the British GP - etc because that way you get to understand more about the workings of this peculiar sport of motor racing. As for knowing why the BRDC lost the grand prix then I only have an opinion and certainly do not know exactly. However as Jack Webb used to say on "Dragnet" " There are a million stories in the naked city, this was just one of them." However, what Zak did not say was that I had actually visited my old friend Peter Minchinton who proudly wears his 30 year marshalling badge on his overalls. He unwisely asked me to sign my biography of Jack Sears but could not seek out Jack as Peter was busy doing his job. A few moments later I took myself and my blazer to the BRDC and bumped into Jack Sears. I explained about Peter and his book and Jack immediately said " Well let's go and see him" so I took Jack over to the gate and went into the same marshals hut where Zak was still eating his sandwich . Peter was not there so Zak found the book and Jack signed it and then we went back to the Club for lunch. On the way back Jack typically remarked " These are the guys that do the real work and we should never forget that." Gentleman Jack !
As for a biography, you are not on buddy, I have part of it written for the kids but I don't think you would want to read about my two years National Service in the Air Force and being stuck with three other airman pals at a WAAF camp thanks to an Air Ministry mistake. So for a year, whilst the Ministry made up their mind, there were four of us and forty four girls: about the right ratio I would say

#7 Graham Gauld

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:32

First Doug and now Don. Back off guys . but before everyone gets the idea that Doug Nye is some sort of "wonderwoman" let me encrypt his message. He is not right all the time, the reference to 109 is related to the world war II Messerschmitt 109 fighter plane. When the war ended Messerschmit produced a Bubble Car shaped like the cockpit of an ME109 with wheels and Doug thinks I drove one of these from Edinburgh to Modena and back in 1958. Its a lie ! It was actually a Heinkel Bubble Car - you can tell the difference as the machine gun mountings are in a different place - and though you may laugh, in the space of two weeks I covered the Ollon Villars Hill Climb in Switzerland, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, visited Ferrari, Maserati and Stanguellini and for good measure took in the Reims test on the Tour de France, all in a 125cc coffee grinder. Try that some time Jeremy Clarkson.

#8 RTH

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:41

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
.............................Try that some time Jeremy Clarkson.



That is a really good idea, the three of them doing a 1000 mile round trip in 50 year old bubble cars !

#9 simon drabble

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:45

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
A few moments later I took myself and my blazer to the BRDC and bumped into Jack Sears. I explained about Peter and his book and Jack immediately said " Well let's go and see him" so I took Jack over to the gate and went into the same marshals hut where Zak was still eating his sandwich . Peter was not there so Zak found the book and Jack signed it and then we went back to the Club for lunch. On the way back Jack typically remarked " These are the guys that do the real work and we should never forget that." Gentleman Jack !
So for a year, whilst the Ministry made up their mind, there were four of us and forty four girls: about the right ratio I would say


my Blazer comment I thought was a pretty much direct quote and hope your reworked reference to it was not taken in offence! My support most definately is with you guys rather than BE!


#10 Gary Davies

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 13:19

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
"There are a million stories in the naked city, this was just one of them."


Graham, after the pleasurable lunches and chats at Classic Adelaide, I'm wholly convinced that a million would be the starting point in your case... all delivered very dryly and with quite astounding clarity and insight.

'course if you ever did let loose with all the stories the book would weigh a ton and you'd get sued to high heaven! :lol: :lol:

Local whiting and chablis in Gouger Street this year?

#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 17:29

Damn! When you told me the story you were evading flak through the Dolomites.

Which always makes the eyes water...

I do recall now that that Fokker was a Heinkel.

NCD

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 17:37

Originally posted by Doug Nye

I do recall now that that Fokker was a Heinkel.

NCD

Ah .... the old ones are always the best! :lol:

Originally posted by Vanwall
'course if you ever did let loose with all the stories the book would weigh a ton and you'd get sued to high heaven!

Yes, I had an image of an Editorial Director saying "Mr Gauld, we'd love to publish this - but unfortunately we'd never get it past Legal ...." ;)

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 17:59

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
as Jack Webb used to say on "Dragnet" "There are a million stories in the naked city, this was just one of them."

"There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them" was how Naked City always ended. Was it by any chance related to Dragnet? I think we should be told.
BTW, I'm sure I've read about the Heinkel expedition in a book somewhere ;)

#14 Glengavel

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 20:04

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
I don't think you would want to read about my two years National Service in the Air Force and being stuck with three other airman pals at a WAAF camp


Never mind a book, it sounds like an ideal plot for a Carry On film. Just think, your part could have been played by Sid James.

#15 David Birchall

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 20:11

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Damn! When you told me the story you were evading flak through the Dolomites.

Which always makes the eyes water...

NCD


Perhaps this is code for something involving WAAF girls and sergeants..... :blush:

#16 brakedisc

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 20:14

Kenneth Williams more like.

Sorry Graham. We love you really and Scottish Motorsport is not the same without you.

#17 john ruston

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 21:14

...and paid for a 160th part share in a private Orange jet from Nice to see all you lot but he was late for Jack.

Needs to do a book of tales and get Don or Doug to edit it.Karl will be to engrossed in his latest idea and trying to buy pasta in deepest Suffolk

#18 Graham Gauld

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 21:31

Look here Ruston, the next time you see me getting on the same plane at Nice do me a favour and stick your head in a newspaper so I don't notice you. As for the Sid James suggestion from Glengavel I think its pretty good type casting actually. David you are quite right you did read the Heinkel story as) it featured heavily in my book "Modena Racing Memories" and to be honest if you could trawl through hundreds of articles and books I have written you could cut and past and make up the book yourself.

I'll tell you what. I will make you all a deal. If a thousand of you buy my book "Scottish Motor Racing and Drivers" ( see web site www.smrh.co.uk) I will write the autobiography as it would help my son Lance whose bed stands seven feet off the ground propped up by the Scottish book thanks to a well known ex Scottish World Champion who shall remain nameless who persuaded me to print 1000 copies more than I had planned.

#19 Simon Arron

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 21:34

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
If a thousand of you buy my book "Scottish Motor Racing and Drivers"...

Can I be spared? I already have two copies...

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#20 PRD

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 21:53

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
As for a biography, you are not on buddy, I have part of it written for the kids but I don't think you would want to read about my two years National Service in the Air Force and being stuck with three other airman pals at a WAAF camp thanks to an Air Ministry mistake. So for a year, whilst the Ministry made up their mind, there were four of us and forty four girls: about the right ratio I would say


We certainly would like to read all about that (for starters)

#21 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:45

Fokker...Me 109...Heinkel....is this another Max thread?


Jack

#22 Bernd

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:55

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I do recall now that that Fokker was a Heinkel.


Nonsense the Junkers was a Dornier.

Graham your WAAF experience has me green with envy. Makes me think of Monty Pythons 'Castle Anthrax'

#23 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 07:38

Graham , I wouldnt mind buying another "scottish" book to help getting Lance back to earth .(and to get that autobiography off the ground).

#24 fuzzi

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:50

OK, I've ordered a copy today. Get busy GG ;)

#25 brakedisc

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:04

In the meantime how about posting a few Ingliston photos. You must have hundreds salted away.

#26 Mistron

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 17:17

Slightly OT Graham, but perhaps you can answer a question for me.

I was reading one of my wife's trashy gossip mags, as you do, and saw a bit about Sean Connery at an event in NYC which was part of Tartan week (or some such drivel). Anyway, this event was organised by 'the friends of Scotland'

Is this the same organisation that was involved with Ecurie Ecosse in the '60s, or just a co-incidence?

#27 Graham Gauld

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 17:47

Yes it is the same group. One of the leading lights is the Earl of Elgin who was formerly Lord Bruce. He held title to Ecurie Ecosse when the team was disbanded and it was he who passed over the title to Hugh McCaig and me though, in fact, Hugh was the investor and is the "Patron".

#28 Mistron

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 18:27

any news / progress on Ecosse returning to the circuits?

#29 klemcoll

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 21:12

Graham will no doubt remember, but my first exposure to him was when he was broadcasting for Scottish TV one afternoon at the old Charterhall circuit back in 1960. I was racing a Turner, and being a Yank was a bit unusual there, so GG had me chatting away with him. Graham is a really super guy with great experience and a pleasure to see whenever our paths cross.

#30 Graham Gauld

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 21:43

Peter,
Thank you for those kind words. We have had many a laugh over that TV affair which, for the record, was the first ever outside broadcast of motor racing done by Scottish Television. The producers thought I did not have the experience to front the programme and so they contacted a young up and coming commentator from down south to be the lead commentator. It was the first time I met Murray Walker and we too have had many a laugh over that ever since, particularly when dear old STV built up a commentry stand out of some Dexion piping and placed a table, two chairs and a tiny black and white monitor. Trouble was they placed it so that the sun was behind us and it was almost impossible to see the screen.
A little over a year later Innes Ireland phoned me as he was steaming about having been fired from the Lotus team. I quickly arranged to interview him in the studio and he told all. Mind you in later years dear old Innes had a different slant to the story but these things happen.

#31 oldtimer

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 22:51

Thank you all for a most entertaining thread. Surely, Graham can't say no now.

As for the "young and up and coming commentator", I remember Murray Walker as a much better commentator of motor bike racing than he ever was of car racing. Capable of passing information without the hysteria.

#32 P. Dron

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 12:26

Well GG,

Are your National Service tales up to this, told to me by Maurice Rowe when we were both on Motor magazine?

Uncle Maurice did his National Service in the Navy, and was in your home country, Scortland, when he was prevailed upon to be part of the jury for courts martial for a week. The most interesting case involved one of your countrymen accused of engaging in "unnatural acts with a sheep", quite a common pastime in the dark winter nights of the Highlands, I imagine. Anyway, the chap had a most original defence. He said that it was a foggy night, and he thought he was coupled to a WREN wearing a duffel coat. I forget what the verdict was.

#33 Sharman

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 15:44

Corporal Brown will you explain to the court masrial in your own words what took place
"Well sir I met this f-----g bird in the f-----g pub and we went down to the f-----g cemetery and we got down on a f-----g gravestone---------" prolonged pause
And what happened then Corporal brown?
"Well sir, then we was intimate"

#34 paulhooft

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 17:09

Corporal Brown will you explain to the court masrial in your own words what took place
"Well sir I met this f-----g bird in the f-----g pub and we went down to the f-----g cemetery and we got down on a f-----g gravestone---------" prolonged pause
And what happened then Corporal brown?
"Well sir, then we was intimate

...

I am afraid this slang is :
typical A.....n? :o
however:
I hope not!!!
I have many good friends there... :up:
PcH

#35 Mark A

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 17:13

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
I'll tell you what. I will make you all a deal. If a thousand of you buy my book "Scottish Motor Racing and Drivers" ( see web site www.smrh.co.uk) I will write the autobiography as it would help my son Lance whose bed stands seven feet off the ground propped up by the Scottish book thanks to a well known ex Scottish World Champion who shall remain nameless who persuaded me to print 1000 copies more than I had planned.


Well add me to the list of people helping Lance, I'm picking one up from him next week.

Looking forward to the autobiography. ;)

#36 P. Dron

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 08:41

The defence lawyer said that his client, the naval rating, had "a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to sexual activities, albeit unconventional, carried on between consenting creatures on private property", and added that such behaviour in no way affected his ability to perform his duties. The case collapsed when Sheep "A" decided not to testify.

#37 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:19

Clearly the presiding judge had the wool pulled over his eyes !!!

Just in case anyone is in any doubt Peter Dron not only has to count Tony Dron as his brother but he always claims he is quicker than Tony : after all Peter did some races in the TVR Tuscan Challenge and so at least is brave. You can catch up with Peter's writing in the Saturday Daily Telegraph. Plug!

#38 P. Dron

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:10

Well, no, actually, I have never claimed any such thing. Tony is a racer who writes, while I am a writer who has raced a bit. And Tony also writes for the Telegraph.

#39 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:22

You can always buy the books and go from there ..............

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#40 Mistron

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 21:19

Graham,

Just spent a nice (if wet) day at the Bo'ness revival.

For some time I have heard about the various Fisher Specials, and today I actually saw one - a nice surprise. I was however interested to realise it was Mini engined (A series engined one offs being a bit of a weakness of mine!)

Can you give us a bit more info on the various cars and the man behind them? I only know what has been written in your books on scottish racing and EE.

Oh, and here is a link to a few poor quality pics of the car. I'm ashamed to admit I forgot my camera and had to use my phone :blush:

http://www.flickr.co...s/44645707@N00/

And here is one of it 'in period' at Ingliston (furthest from camera)

http://www.flickr.co...57602564125855/

The event on the whole had a nice 'clubby' feel, and the sight of a B16 through the courtyard in the rain is not something I ever thought I'd see :eek:

#41 RTH

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 05:44

That is an interesting car, which I am not familiar with. Anyone know the whole story ?

#42 Stephen W

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 17:11

Originally posted by Mistron
Graham,

Just spent a nice (if wet) day at the Bo'ness revival.

For some time I have heard about the various Fisher Specials, and today I actually saw one - a nice surprise. I was however interested to realise it was Mini engined (A series engined one offs being a bit of a weakness of mine!)

Can you give us a bit more info on the various cars and the man behind them? I only know what has been written in your books on scottish racing and EE.

Oh, and here is a link to a few poor quality pics of the car. I'm ashamed to admit I forgot my camera and had to use my phone :blush:

http://www.flickr.co...s/44645707@N00/

And here is one of it 'in period' at Ingliston (furthest from camera)

http://www.flickr.co...57602564125855/

The event on the whole had a nice 'clubby' feel, and the sight of a B16 through the courtyard in the rain is not something I ever thought I'd see :eek:


Posted Image
Above: Leon Bachelier in Peter Speakman's Fisher Spyder Special. The car now sports a Gropa CMC body which were originally designed to fit the Chevron B8.

Posted Image
Above: Malcolm Wishart in his continuation Chevron-BMW B16 diving into the Courtyard. This was taken on Saturday when Malcolm set FTD.

:wave:

#43 Graham Gauld

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 18:01

OOps sorry Mistron, are you referring to me ?

I will look out a photo and post it of the car with the same body when I borrowed it for a test drive at Ingliston

#44 Mistron

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 19:44

Is the spyder the same car as the GT (which had the EE tojeiro roof) or were there 2 such cars? The GT is lasted as having raced at Bo'ness in '64

I believe there were more 'traditional' Fisher specials, didn't one of them have a lotus twin-cam and an all alloy body over a seven style spaceframe chassis?

#45 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 22:58

Originally posted by matey
I must be missing something............

What is the point of this thread?


Not really, this has always been how TNF operates, so it is nothing unusual when a thread "wanders" a bit. I'm sorry, what your point?

#46 Mistron

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:52

Yes, sorry if I have dragged this a bit off topic, but to me, GG is the man to ask such questions of.

I have mentioned this thread in the Bo'ness one as well, as the question could go in either.

In the politest possible way, sorry you don't understand the 'point' of this thread, but I don't understand the purpose of your post

#47 Graham Gauld

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:56

Mistron

I think the Bo'ness thread was the correct one and I will answer your points through that thread once I find the photo I referred to

I agree with Don. I think the original point of the thread has been made and that it perhaps should be consigned to the deep.