COVID Special: November No.2 2020

Club News – Ian Payne

Items arising from Committee meeting 5th November 2020 (by Zoom):

  • Some members have not paid their £30 annual subscription due in April. We still need this because we’re continuing to pay room hire at Purley Sports Club (partly to help them keep afloat). Please make your cheque payable to Coulsdon Probus Club and send it to Michael Southwell at 28 Warwick Road, Coulsdon CR5 2EE. Phone Michael on 020 8660 3888 to check if you’ve already paid. Companion members are exempt.
  • Please find attached updated Membership List. Please let me know of any changes.
  • The Committee have agreed updates to the ‘Constitution & Rules’ and the ‘Constitution & Rules Addendum’ (previously ‘Introduction & Explanation Document’). Please let me know if you would like copies.
  • Would you be interested in Business meetings by Zoom? Please let me know if you are able and willing. Similarly, would you be interested in external speakers by Zoom?
  • Ian Payne: iangpayne@btinternet.com : Tel: 01737 554449

Vincent is running short of items for the Newsletter.
Please email items or requests to vincent@fosdike.com


With a Squeak and a stutter by Vincent Fosdike

Finally, the noise had become unbearable, particularly if there was only a light drizzle which I did not want to supplement with precious washer bottle fluid. Have you got it yet? Yes, it is the tedious sound of old windscreen wipers that have lost their youthful suppleness and now groan as their stiff old blades drag across the ever more greasy screen. I must face up the chore of getting and fitting new ones. One can of course go to the local parts provider and browse a catalogue of registration year numbers and then identify your make and model, then proceed to the shelf and find the required packet, more than one make is offered so more brain strain. If one feels confident with what psychologists call, “spatial manipulation” you take it home and put it on yourself at the first attempt, having succeeded in finding out how the old one comes off. What could be simpler? Well, apparently, many otherwise intelligent people can’t do it. That is why the store will fit them while you wait at the modest price of about £3 per blade, (might as well include the back blade and call it a tenner).

Now it’s not as if I have done it before many times but seldom succeeded in one smooth operation at the first attempt. Surely if you pay attention when taking off the worn item it is just a matter of reversing the operation? Well I think the problem is that there is a resemblance to mirror writing which I certainly can’t do. Then of course the old item may require a firm hand to dislodge it culminating it its sudden departure from the arm. This means you can’t actually see how it fitted because it was all too quick, as has now happened. By way of preparation for the new transplant I try to briefly re-fit the old item before rotating it for its final departure. Totally impossible. I buttonhole my neighbour who is highly adept at these things and a skilled craftsman well used to reading diagrams and rigging sailing craft. He says, “Oh no I never can do these, always pay them to fit for me”. Off he goes to the shops. So “phone a friend”, a very highly qualified professional design engineer. “Oh no I can’t face doing those, just pay them.”

Well I have now immobilised the car and don’t even have the new wipers yet.

So, let’s order an on-line delivery! I am not really an “on- line person” but nothing ventured nothing gained. After a couple of cracks moving round the web site, I find the wiper page. Joy, you just put in your car reg and bingo, not only does it show you the optional wiper sets it tells you when your M.O.T. is due without being asked. Just double check the item and add to basket, delivery charge is less than fitting charges but of course I still have to fit them.  They arrive in well under 24 hours. They say preparation is everything. So back to psychology/learning theory. Divide the problem into small sections, also don’t multi-task and ask for help as needed. A time frame is very helpful to prevent overload whilst maintaining momentum and morale.  Loss of morale will be fatal and could result in a dry weather trip to the £10 (told you so), place. This must not happen. So, look at the diagram on the box, then read it again, then switch off the brain to avoid overload. It is 11 am and there is a rugby match on at about 3 pm. We eat a very early lunch, so a brief aperitif is taken with a view to dispelling doubts. Now is the time to ask for guidance and support. My wife is something of an artist and an accomplished seamstress. It follows that she can visualise how things are constructed. After perusing the diagram, she does have an idea of the procedure which is hopeful. I then recall a warning by a garage mechanic that when fitting these things, the spring-loaded wiper arm may snap back onto the screen which will shatter! So, cloths and towels are assembled as pads. Time for lunch, an excellent stress break, coupled with a small whisky.

By 2pm we approach the car and compare the new blade with the old one. The fitting is of course a different option but should be O.K. 

Right chaps this it – we “going in” – the arm  is put through the gap in the wiper frame  and the blade offered up to the final embedment point, pressure applied, careful, careful if it snap fits in the wrong position it will be hell to get it out without breaking the plastic locking tab!!!

Breath is held………. Dam, a near miss, it looks nearly right, don’t panic, steady remember the diagram!! Yes, it needs one more rotation and fitting through the other access point in the frame. The towel is still in place and the rain has held off. Here we go again. Re site, turn and push, CLICK! I think we’ve got it. Swing back and lower to screen. YES! Only the passenger one to do now but surely, it’s a home run and in time for the rugby.

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