Vintage postbag, August 1984

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Eccentricities

Sir,

Some of last month’s correspondents did not seem sure whether they were eccentrics or cranks. I assumed an eccentric rotated on an axis within its circumference and a crank on an axis outside the crankpin circumference, but an engineer friend says he knows of no such distinction. Is there an accepted difference?

Waltham St Lawrence A. F. CARLISLE

A Ford in the “Land’s End”

It was a great pleasure to read Tom Threlfall’s all-too-brief account of the Land’s End Trial — and to see that one motoring journal still regards this historic event as worth covering.

With typical modesty, though, Tom failed to record his successful ascent — and re-ascents — of Bluehills Mine. Having made his “observed” climb, and managed the stop-and-restart on appallingly over-doctored surface, he stopped at the top for a breather — where he was approached by the Press for an interview. To provide a suitable sound background to the tape-recording, he conveyed the radio-journalist, via the return road, to the foot of the hill — making a second ascent, complete with running commentary. Having again reached the summit, he stopped — while the journalist ran the tape through to see that all was well. Since he had been sitting on the machine, no more than an incomprehensible jumble of sounds emerged.

At that moment I had to leave them — but, an far as I could gather, he was preparing to make a third climb to get the recording right!

Newlyn PETER GARNER