One of the call takers took a call from a a motorist who had managed to blow his engine by putting diesel in the petrol tank. "How could they do that", she asked ! This sparked a memory. As I said, just recently we have been back in touch with our friends from the Forest of Dean. Well, Steve's son Russell was a squaddie in Germany and had met and decided to marry a German girl. We were all invited to go to Bielefeld to celebrate the nuptials. Being poor we decided to go in a transit, which Steve had hired from a local garage. Orf we jolly well go ! down to the ferry, and off the other side at Calais. Diesel, being the price it is and Russell being in Germany (at this time English service personnel were issued with petrol coupons, which allowed them to buy petrol/diesel at much cheaper rates) he had arranged to meet us at Calais and top up the tank in the van with a load of jerry cans he had in the boot of his nice new BMW !! He had a boot full of jerry cans - some of which had petrol and some of which had diesel ! We get to a deserted part of the huge car park by th Calaise ferry terminal at about midnight and start the top up. You guessed it ! - Russell's fairly brain dead mate got the wrong jerry can out and started pouring diesel into Russell's nice new Beamer ! Doooooh ! There we were in the middle of the night, in the rain, with Steve trying to get under the BMW and undo the drain plug on the tank - lots of bad language, and trying not to notice the large spreading pool of fuel from the draining tank ! - quick kick some sand over it - no one will notice !! Re-fill with petrol, fingers crossed and - phew it worked - great weekend - Russell duly got married and we had a very nice time at the reception etc - back in the Transit for the journey back - half way down the Autobhan and everything begins to get dim - wipers slow down and - red battery light comes on ! Bloody alternators ! - Pull in to garage and try the ADAC (german equivelent of AA)
Man eventually arrives but not much help - rain bucketing down and trying to drive with no windscreen wipers - great - ring ferry - divert to Ostend, but not till next morning. Try to find somewhere to stay the night - go to local NOVOTEL - far to expensive so try to sleep in van in car park. Well, as you may know I have suffered with sleep aponea for years, and at this time had not realised it and was not treated (i.e. no pump) so snored like billyho ! Van full of suffering people trying to doze with me snoring like a very large and happy peeg ! Very unhappy night !
Managed to get the van going in the morning and limped in to Ostend ! - On to ferry - Just to keep the trip going it was a very rough crossing with the ferry unable to make docking for some 5 or 6 hours. Yo ho ho and a bottle of crisps ! Get off the otherside - now all very much the worse for wear and run into an AA man - who takes one look at the recalcitrant beast - makes a few adjustments (which he said any competent patrolman should know about!!) and lo we had lights, wipers and a functioning engine !! This was the final cherry on the top - I can now look back and laugh !!