Jennospot 34 Cart Making Continued
This 'ere 'll 'ave ter do yew fer a couple o' weeks 'cos Oi'm goin' away fer a sorta 'oliday. Moi last blog was about 'ow Peter an' me started ter make moi very first soap-box racin' cart. This is wot Peter wrote about 'ow we went on wiv the rest of it:
‘Oi've got the coach bolts,’ said Jenno excitedly. ‘Wot we goin' ter do wiv 'em?’
‘Come into the shed and I'll show you. They're to fix the box to the plank. We'll also need a good one for the steering pivot. I just hope they're the right length.’
We went into the shed and Jenno handed me the bolts. Each was equipped with a square nut.
‘They look as though they'll do,’ I said, ‘except perhaps for the steering, but I've already found a bolt that I think will be okay for that.’
‘Can Oi fix the bolts?’ asked Jenno.
‘Sure you can. But first we'll do the steering bar. When we've done that, we can better judge the overall length.’
With a brace and bit, I began to bore a hole at the centre of the steering bar. I did this carefully. It had to be a nice close fit for the pivot bolt.
‘John Jay's bin called up,’ said Jenno suddenly. ‘He's goin' inter the army.’
‘JJ's going into the army? I didn't think he was old enough.’
While Jenno held the front axle in place, I marked the position for four judicially placed u-bolts to retain the axle.
‘JJ was eighteen last month,’ said Jenno.
‘Who do you reckon is going to replace him as your next gang leader?’
I began boring holes in the steering bar to take each of the u-bolts.
‘Dunno who it'll be.’
Between us we began to bolt the axle to the steering bar.
‘Do you want to be leader?’
Jenno gave a short laugh. ‘Yew'd better get yer 'ead examined. Even moi bruvver 'ud stand a better chance than me an' he's a year older. Me leader? Yew're barmy.’
We finished fixing the axle on the steering bar and tightened the nuts on the u-bolts.
‘That weren't too difficult,’ observed Jenno.
‘Not when you know how.’
‘Yeah— but 'ow do yew know 'ow?’
‘Don't know exactly. I just watch I guess. And then I've got Lightning to copy. Come on, let's fix the front axle to the plank and then I reckon that'll have to do for today.’
I measured a point at the front of the plank where I estimated the front axle should go and made a mark.
‘JJ's mum is in a roight stew about 'im leavin'. She was a-finkin' the war would be over afore JJ got to be eighteen.’
‘Perhaps it will be over soon.’
‘Now I know yew're completely barmy. Wot wiv them Gerries all over everywhere in
, there ain't nuffink stoppin' 'em from comin' over 'ere 'cept a bit o' water an' the Royal Air Force.’ France
‘And the Royal Navy,’ I added, thinking of Winnifred's brother.
‘Yeah,’ said Jenno.
I took up the brace to drill the hole for the steering bar.
Jenno asked: ‘Can Oi do it?’
I passed her the tool, together with the drill-bit.
‘Just make sure you keep it at right angles to the plank,’ I said.
Jenno fitted the bit, and while I held the plank, she bored the hole.
‘Do you think the Gerries will come over here soon?’ I asked.
‘They'll try, but we'll be ready fer 'em.’
We fitted the steering bar in place, passed the bolt through the holes with a large washer on each side, and another two washers between the bar and the plank. Jenno put a nut over the threads of the bolt and screwed it up with her fingers.
‘Don't we need a spanner to tighten it up?’ she asked.
‘Leave it like that for now. We'll put a lock nut on it later when the rest of the cart is done.’
‘If the Gerries come, let's stay together.’
‘'Corse we'll stay tergevver— wot d'yew fink? It'd take more'n them rotten Nazies ter split us up.’
‘I still think you'd be the best leader.’
‘Aw— yew're jus' barmy. Stinky'll be the next leader. He's the oldest. Besides, he's that close wiv Itchyprick an' moi dear bruvver, that yew'd need a crowbar ter get 'em apart. 'Ow much longer ter finish the cart?’
‘We might be able to finish it tomorrow. Except for the painting of course.’
‘Will you teach me 'ow ter race it?’
‘You're already pretty good at racing. I remember last year.’
‘Yeah but that was the only time Oi'd ever raced in moi life, an' in any case it were moi bruvver's cart. Oi've got moi own cart now an' Oi want ter race 'er real good.’
‘But we'd have to do it without anybody knowing. I don't see how it would be possible.’
‘Yew're allus sayin' as 'ow fings ain't possible an' then yew go ahead an' do 'em anyway.’
‘Now it's you who's talking barmy.’
‘Lucky fer yew that yew ain't moi bruvver.’
Jenno grinned. ‘'Cos if'n yew were, Oi'd jus' flatten yew out fer sayin' that. Look, Oi gotta go now. Cripes, if'n Oi stay any longer yer aunt'll find me in 'ere an' then she'll flatten both of us. See yer at school termorrer.’
Gang Loyalty Chapter 11