A Sgt. Pepper moment!

On our arrival at the Brocante in Sarlat last Saturday morning the first thing that I noticed was a Sgt. Pepper’s costume and wow it did bring back fond memories of the Beatles brilliant album and the area of “flower power”.

I remember my parents not letting me get a ticket to go to a Beatles concert because they thought that they were a bad influence! So I stood outside the concert hall with hundreds of other fans waiting for the Beatles to come out, I was a few inches for Paul.

It is fifty years since Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.
 

Another wonderful memory recalled from seeing this peddle car.

A boy that lived on the same road as my family had a red peddle car for his Birthday that I fell in love with. I was only five or six.
 

This is one of the brilliant things about Brocantes, the memories, whether it is your own memories or other peoples memories. For example; when I look at linen pillow cases that have been embroidered with the initials of the persons name and I wonder who the person was and what history do they have?
 

Wonderful copper pans gleaming in the sun.
 

We found a chair for the veranda and it is so comfy. Unfortunately only one chair so Paul and I are on a “time share”, one hour me, one hour Paul, it works until we find another chair, perhaps at the Daglan Brocante this weekend, 3rd and 4th.
 
 

Operation Percy Pink

We had never heard about Operation Percy Pink until we visited Saint Cyprien market a week ago. We had just finished buying our produce and were on our way back to the car when we spotted a vintage car parked at the end of the main road.
Operation Percy Pink

We soon found out that Operation Percy Pink was the code name that was used by US Special Forces to parachute thirteen men into German occupied France in August 1944 to aid the local ‘Maquis’ resistance fighters in the Perigord Noir. These commandos were the first allied troops to be dropped into the Perigord Noir, their task was to prevent the Germans moving North for as long as possible to aid the D-Day landings. This they did for several weeks which helped shorten WW2.

To honour their bravery a documentary is being produced aimed at teaching students of all ages about these men and the French Resistance in the Perigord Noir. In the documentary you can see veterans of the Resistance fighters telling their story.

Percy Pink PosterBrave men indeed,
who punched holes in petrol tanks so that the Germans would not get the fuel, blow up railway bridges so troop trains fell in the river, set fire to and destroyed what they could and used what they found to help the local people in their resistance.
 

Percy Pink WitnessA witness in 1944 who saw the US parachute team in Cadouin.
 

US Special forces, Percy Pink CommandosThe US Commandos who took part in Operation Percy Pink.
 
Operation Percy Pink Trailer on YouTube

 
Events: 30 April, Cenac Flower Festival.

Wow, Wow, awesome, wow … !

Train A Vapeur De Martel in the Lot Department

A steam train my goodness, a dream come true. I have been wanting to have a ride on this particular train ever since I saw the painted metal advertisement for the railway on one of the pillars of the viaduct going into Sarlat in 2009.

As soon as I saw the train I was instantly transported back to my childhood in the fifties, when I would walk down the road to the station to see the steam trains.  The station Master’s wife would give me a cake or biscuits and a drink, served on a small table, then the station Master would tell me when a train was arriving at the station and I would run outside to greet it.  Once the train was in the station the station Master would let me sit on the train in the first class carriage and I would look up at the pictures of places that I would imagine the train would take me too.  Then after a few minutes he would shout “Christine, it is time to leave”, and I would jump down and run to the overhead bridge to see the train depart.
 

IMG_20160727_103500The society, Association du Chemin de Fer Touristique du Haut Query was formed in 1991 by a group of volunteers interested in restoring the line and turning it into a tourist attraction. They have cleaned the track, repaired bridges and points and replaced several hundred sleepers. A rock climbing club cleared loose rocks from the cliff face. They then acquired rolling stock which consisted of a Vesta (small steam shunter built in Lille 1927) and classed as an historic monument! Plus two diesel powered and two track maintenance crew vehicles, and a diesel shunter. In 2002 the society obtained a more powerful steam train, four more shunter’s and a diesel railcar to restore. This is a post war train nicknamed Picasso due to its raised control position is very off centre and therefore like a Picasso painting.
 

Train A Vapeur De Martel

“Le Truffadou”, line which ran from Bordeaux to Aurillac took from 1880 to 1884 to build. It came into use in 1889 and competed with the boat traffic on the “River of Hope”. The rail lines were taken up in 1917 for use in the first World War effort. Later in 1919 the US Government replaced all of the rails and that is what is in use today. The trains were used to transport truffles and therefore the line was nicknamed “Le Truffadou”.
 

DSCN1576The power house, my goodness I so wanted to be an engine driver when I was a child. We sat near the front of the train so that we could get a good view of the engine and the driver. My “oh wow” moment continued for about another hour or so with the train hitting all of the senses, sight, smell and sound, the heartbeat of the engine was wonderful.
 

DSCN1578The Mirandol tunnel with its turrets and spiral staircase inside which was erected by the constructors to celebrate the lines safe completion: it is now a listed building.

In the first tunnel the conductor turned the lights off and everyone on the train shouted “Wow” as loud as possible. He then stated that there was to be no acrobatics when taking photographs of the magnificent vistas, he would prefer passengers not to fall out, and the only one allowed to smoke was the train.
 

DSCN1585Magnificent viaduct, the train stops here so that you can take photographs and buy refreshments.

On the journey back the train went at top speed through the tunnels, the smoke curling around, in and over the train, wonderful.
 

DSCN1581At 260ft up the cliff face you get a gorgeous vista of the Lot.

The train runs from Martel to St Denis and back again which is about an hour and twenty minutes.  There are two trains that you can ride on,  the diesel or the steam train.  A good tip is to arrive about an hour before the departure time to get a seat.  We arrived at about ten o’clock, the train was due to depart at eleven and there was already quite a long queue of people waiting for tickets.  The trains run at eleven, two thirty and at four o’clock each day during the summer months and it costs 10,50 euro each for the steam train and 8 euro for the diesel train.

Well worth a visit or two or three.

 

Tear drop and other vintage vehicles at Castelnaud la Chapelle

First of all a large sorry for anyone who went to Castelnaud over the weekend expecting to see a Brocante and vintage vehicles. Like us you must of been disappointed for the lack of things to buy. We found out too late that the antiques in question were antique adornments and spare parts for vintage cars!

However, we were not disappointed with the vehicles they were truly awesome. One of which was “teardrop” that neither of us had seen before.

The name “teardrop” derives from its tear like shape. The first was built in the 1930’s, by Louis Rogers in Pasadena, California and became very popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s America. They are strong and aerodynamic and designed to provide a simple but very functional purpose. During the Second World War they were built with recycled material and aluminium from army surplus.

The standard cabin size: 1980mm length by 1194 mm width by 1066 height. The back opens up for the kitchen which incorporates a sink, oven, refrigerator and storage space. At the front believe it or not is a double bed! Teardrop is compact and lightweight only 500 kg and is therefore except from tax, always a plus.
So ideal for anyone to tow around the many camp sites in the Perigord.

DSCN1397“How did they get a double bed in here”
 

Vintage and Veteran CarsEverything that you could need, including the kitchen sink
 

DSCN1382Bonnie and Clyde Cars- I just needed a gun and a cigar and I could have replicated the famous Bonnie pose.
 

DSCN1387Paul drove a red MG when we were in our teens. Seeing this car did bring back fond memories of our drives over the Yorkshire Moors.
 

DSCN1388The picnic car – vintage basket on top with champagne of course and another first for us, a one wheel trailer.
 

DSCN1391Does anyone remember Dallas? It just needed a man wearing a Texan hat. This is not a Duesenberg but modern day Zimmer, the designers take their inspiration from the 1920/30s classic
 

DSCN1394There was also vintage farming machinery, this is the only one that I have seen made out of wood with only a hint of metal.
 
 
Events:-
Daglan Art’ Ceou Exposition from the 19th June to the 3rd July  http://www.daglan.fr/artceou2016/

Daglan market every Sunday morning.

Sarlat market every Wednesday and Saturday morning.
 

 

We planned a picnic in the car

Oh if only in one of these!

Last Sunday we thought that it would be a good idea to have a picnic breakfast beside the Dordogne River. However, the weather strongly disagreed with me, it was not raining but it was to cold and blustery. Plan B then, a picnic in the car looked good, then we would go on to St Cyprien for the Sunday market where I buy vegetables and fruit most weekends. But first Maison Carré at Castlenaud for their delicious pain aux raisins and croissants aux amandes which are freshly baked.

Imagine our surprise when we drove into the car park to see in front of us a wonderful display of vintage cars – beautiful.

Breakfast can wait a few minutes!

DSCN1232So elegant I so want this one.

 

Vintage and Veteran carsAnd perhaps these for Paul.

 

DSCN1236As we were taking photographs, more and more cars were arriving.

 

DSCN1237I expected Bonnie and Clyde to jump out at any moment.

 

DSCN1240A picnic in the above car would be wonderful, strawberries and champagne – yes please.

 

News and Vintage Pictures of Daglan

Our News

My health scare last Friday morning is our latest news. I had been ill for a few days prior to this, however, the ‘111’ NHS Choices operator summoning an ambulance to take me to hospital for a check up, just to be sure that it was not a stroke or brain tumour came has quite a surprise. So much so that I really thought that this was it, ‘the end is nigh’, “for whom the bell tolls”, type of thing. However, the good news was that I was fine, just a really nasty “bug” going around the coastal area where we live. I know that it is cheesy to say, but it does put life into perspective, I eat healthily and am not over weight, exercise everyday but it will happen one day.

Enough of my morbid news, on a more positive note, let’s focus onto our move to France with; a few helpful news items.

New High Speed Train Service

Plans to build a new high-speed train line in the South West of France have caused concern among winemakers. The new line would connect Bordeaux with Dax and would run through the Ciron valley, close to where Sauternes wine is produced. Winemakers believe it would be a “death sentence” for the famous Sauternes vintages, such as Chateau d’Yquem, as the line would disturb the unique microclimate which allows the wine to be produced. Let me know what you think! I personally am looking forward to a high-speed train linking Bordeaux to Paris, (all those shops, museums and markets to see and enjoy) it should only be a two hour train journey and work should be completed in 2017.

dag10

We used to have a train service from Daglan to Sarlat, bring it back please.

 

Speed Limits on the Roads

The speed limit on some of Frances most dangerous departmental roads is set to be cut from 90kph to 80kph in a two year trial. The reductions will apply to roads that are considered to be accidental black spots, based on recent accidental statistics. However the safe driving campaign group La Ligue Contre La Violence Routiere has argued that the speed limit should be applied to all departmental roads.

dag1

I also wish that the old tree was still there in the square, it looks magnificent.

 

Good News for Energy Savings

In an attempt to encourage more property owners to carry out energy-saving renovation work on their property, the French government has tired to simplify the numerous benefits and tax incentives that are available. Also, it was necessary to carry out several different types of improvements work in order to qualify, but now just one is sufficient. Work that is eligible includes roof and wall insulation, and the use of renewable energy sources to produce hot water.

dag15

Our home is to the left of the picture with the steps leading up to the balcony, what a shame that they were taken down.

 

To Finish

Some very excellent personal news, our son Adam has passed his driving test, first time, we are planning various places to visit; Lancaster Castle, Stream Train Museum and places of natural beauty-awesome.

 

Images… http://www.daglan.fr/

 

Full speed ahead

For vintage car enthusiasts the Perigord Noir is a dream come true, for it seems that most weekends during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months you will see a plethora of vintage cars, being driven around from one village to the next. These can be organised rallies, vintage car shows or just for the fun of getting together with fellow enthusiasts to enjoy the ride.

Paul and I were walking back from the post office one morning when we heard a car approaching, on the narrow road we stop to let the cars past, what a delight it was to see the vintage cars.

determination

Just look at the determination on the drivers face, he was second in the event through our village.

Relaxed driving style

This driver was a very laid back in third place. He was waving and smiling at everyone.

what a beauty

This was my favourite car, what a beauty.

Sometimes you will see the driver and passenger dressed in costumes of the time period.

Dressing the part

Dressing the part

This driver was wearing the correct hat, I think it was a little bit warm for the full outfit.