01:00 in the early hours of the morning found me standing in the middle of an unfamiliar milk yard. Base of operations today was the Sparkford depot and during my journey over, my car suddenly made a whole new noise.
Some kind of hose or diaphragm has broken and I’ll damned if I can tell where it is… Basically, every time I accelerate I hear air! There is a small power loss, but nothing great for now.
Anyway, back to work… The run was to go to another depot at a place called Grately which is right next to the UK home of th AH64 Apache helicopter at the Army’s Middle Wallop base. There I would drop an empty tank and pick a full one and take it to the Dairy Crest dairy in Chadwell Heath in east London.
As ever, few things ever quite go right and I head east on the A303 at 01:30 and suddenly remembered that the A303 had been shut for carriageway work for weeks…
Soon enough I came to the signs at Wincanton that told me to take I diversion, but oddly enough my gut told me to go straight on… However, logic said that I have a large truck and should follow the signs, so I did!!
Only to be taken almost right back to Sparkford!!!
I then followed this incredible detour around all the country lanes and villages you could imagine before almost an hour later getting back on route!!
Getting to Grately I found another problem – access, or lack of it… The site had a large RSJ barrier secured by a combination lock for which I didn’t have the number – and there was no cellphone coverage.
After walking quite some way to get a signal, I rang up and got the combination numbers only to then find that you can hardly hold the lock in a position to see the actually numbers… 40mins it took me to open this gate – crazy!!
A further 30, and I’m back on the road heading into a somewhat busy London for 5am on a Sunday morning.
It was only when I was at the dairy and asking other drivers which route they took around the Mere roadworks when everyone started smiling at me – I said “what?”
Mere road works had been cleared and open for the last two days!! It’s just hey haven’t bothered to take down all the ‘road closed’ signs!!
The journey back was awesome, sunny and it was most certainly the most beautiful Sunday of the year so far!
12hrs work done, felt like I had worked every minute of it too – couldn’t find my air leak when I got back, but the TWBrit Car of Character did, as it always has… got me home