India here we come

Sue Adams (Budd) & Linda left London on Sep 1973 west bound, I was the driver having just flown back from Delhi after doing my first westbound departing London March 1973. This was my first trip on my own and I did find it a big responsibility. Still we got there and even though we had mechanical problems it was still a great trip. Sue has great memories if her 3rd email is anything to go by.

"Oh my God Ive just found the music I cant believe it, it SOOOOOOOOOOOOo reminds me of just jogging along through those amazing places, truly evocotive. When I hear any of those tunes on the radio I always feel like phoning up the radio station and asking them to broadcast----is anyone out there from  my trip???"

Try the music clips at

Checkout Sue's other photo's at

If you were on that trip we would love to hear from you.

Stories from the workshop

I just received an email from John Knowles who worked at Swagman's workshop in Slough for several years, he has fond memories of the place and a few memories of life as a "Greyhound".

"When Norm informed me that he was closing the place down I was really devastated. Working at Asian Greyhound felt like working with a sort of family. I loved it there, and the thought of going somewhere else was unthinkable. Oddly I still have dreams about those days, it’s really weird." 

John's been thinking of some funny episodes which may bring back some memories.

Sam the workshop dog trying to be helpful.

I remember the time when I was working under one of Sundowner’s buses and was dropping a propshaft. I was lying on my back and had placed the pile of nuts and bolts within arms reach as I removed them. I held the shaft up again to replace it and put out my hand to retrieve the nuts and bolts. I felt everywhere, but for some unknown reason they were nowhere to be found. I had to drop the shaft again, pull myself out from under the bus and noticed that they had all completely disappeared.

I initially thought that one of you ‘Jokers’ were playing a trick on me. We searched everywhere in the workshop and later found them across the far side of the workshop in a small pile under another bus.

Dear old Sam was sitting nearby looking very pleased with herself.  I guess she thought she was helping me!!

Norm never really got on with Sam though.  I remember him crawling under a bus and quickly crawling back out shouting “AH this fuck’n dog shit under the buses” and Gordon retorting in his usual unsympathetic manner “Well - she’s got to go somewhere”.

Medium not Course

What about the time when I had just rebuilt an old Sundowners bus and was mostly finished but hadn’t replaced the engine cover which was at the front next to the driver’s seat. One of their brainless drivers (of which there were many at Sundowners) decided to sweep out the gangway and thought the hole in the floor around the engine a handy place to sweep all the shit and crap.

I came back to pick up all my tools and noticed that one of my pin punches were missing.  I looked into the engine and saw piles of shit and rubbish and bits of old dried food and wrappers all over it, jammed in every nook and cranny.  My eyes were drawn to the air intake which looked very vulnerable and inviting, almost asking for any hard steel scraps to be swallowed. I thought ‘Oh no surely not’ I mentioned it to some of the lads and they all thought it would have been a tad unlucky if it had gone down there. We looked inside as far as we could but decided to give it a go. Over went the engine only to stop in a violent BANG!!!

My worst fears had been realised.  When I again looked in I could see a small piece of red paint the same colour as was on the punch. As the bus was going out the next morning we had to remove the cylinder head that night.  As we lifted it off I could see the pin punch firmly jammed between the inlet valve and the seat. Norm pulled out the valve and noticed that there was an exact copy of the knurled punch shaft recreated right across the valve seat.

Norm being Norm grabbed a huge screwdriver and hammer, and began smashing away trying to cut a new seat in the head – as you do!!!

He hadn’t actually done a bad job considering, and asked me to get some grinding paste toot-sweet. I went into the store area and grabbed a tin of paste and handed it to him – he looked at it and said “I think some medium would be better than course” I said to him, "Norm – you have just dug out a seat with a fuckin’ hammer and screwdriver and you’re telling me you want a finer grade of paste"!!!  We all cracked up - even Norm.  

Ex Overlanders - 30 years on...

Fred & Jan Fisher with Phil Stevens (right) in Hobart Tasmania. Phil dropped in to visit them on a recent trip to the island for a wooden boat festival.

Fred has a great collection of Overland info, he just sent me several mid 70's brochures from companies such as Sundowners, Top Deck Travel, Capricorn, Exodus, The Overlanders, Transit, Pennworld, Trans African & Vikings. I will scan the best of these and get them up onto the site. If you have any old brochures that you would like to share please email me anything you think would be of interest.

Do these bring back any memories

The new Overland DVD

It is still a works in progress and not very much progress I'm afraid. I have been a bit busy fighting termites for the last 2 weeks. I discovered a large termite nest in the wall of our laundry that was eating its way through the frame of the house. That's what you get for living in the tropics, if they try and come back they will find the house has been turned into a toxic dump with all the chemicals having been pumped under the footings.

I hope to have some better news next month, till then dig out all them old photo's and try and put some names to them so we can all be remimded of our fellow travellers.

Next month John has a story about Dave Watt & some tales of Norm and his antics.

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