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#ThrowbackThursday; 1995/6 & Snap-On

Hello friends, hope this blustery day finds everyone well. Just a little throwback this Thursday. When I left school my first job was an apprentice mechanic for the local now long gone bus company in a workshop with no doors, gale force winds going through it and minimal heating, but it’s all good as it’s character building! Apparently. Plus I was 18. 44 year old Luke would probably be hospitalised after half a day!

I worked at the Abergwili (Carmarthen) depot, no idea why as I had to go past the main depot in Pencader on my way to work. Abergwili had some service buses and loads of school buses. They were 25+ years old at that point, mostly Leyland Leopards with their flat engines accessed through side or top through panels on floor inside. It was a baptism of fire, anyone who has experience of fixing those will tell you they really aren’t easy. Character building! So I’m told.

In winter it was my job to go round all the buses with cans of Easy Start and the jump start trolly (a sack barrow with two old batteries and frayed jump leads) getting all the relics running. The shed would fill with so much smoke! I always wanted to be a truck driver but then the age was 21 so I was doing this to bide the time until I could get my HGV rather than want a career as a mechanic. Just as well really since I’m shit at it!

Every Tuesday Lyn Lewis the local Snap-On agent would call. If you’ve never been in a Snap On van They are a sight to behold! They used to do a little credit option where you put tools on account and pay weekly, lethal for a teenage money black hole on £40 a week! The Snap-On tools I did buy are now my brothers who’s a full time and incredibly talented mechanic, just like Dad was (he’s not dead he just gave up the spanner’s years ago at the request of his battered body) so I’ve no idea how that particular talent passed me by! The Snap-On man was also good at being able to find those ridiculous old spanner sizes the elderly busses were plagued with! Whitworth, BSF etc

One of my favourite activities was arranging buses in the yard at end of day. It was size of a postage stamp so needed a certain amount of organisation! The workshop manager was called Hayden I think and he was highly strung to say the least. Full of character! Would love to know what he’s up to today.

I left after a year to work on forestry machines which was something of a change, but fascinating. This time in a workshop that had doors but no heating! But that’s another story.

Moving busses would stand me in good stead for when I returned to Davies Bros. and properly started my driving career.

I was so proud of my Snap-On knuckle bar! Still looks new

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