Life at the end of the road

May 28, 2009

The eccentric ‘Dr No’

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:07 am

It’s all Barry’s fault, the reason that I’m writing this at 5:30am and not last night that is. After what can only be described as a truly miserable three quarters of a day it finally brightened up enough for me to get some outside work done on the ‘Old girl’ . Though I started the day in the barn by giving my 4 doors yet another coat of  ‘Toplac’ with a 4″ sponge roller and I have to say the look the ‘dogs danglies’ and when they’re on the truck you’ll be hard pressed to say they were done with a roller and not sprayed. My only regret being that I did not do the doors in ‘Perfection 709’ that most durable ‘two pack’ by International. Despite the at times torrential rain I soldiered on with some of the bodywork that was less weather dependent, like the hole in my N/S/R, 1/4, panel, which is ‘Landrover speak’ for this bit 🙂



The hole having been self inflicted last year when I reversed into a passing place for an oncoming car but forgot I was towing a trailer! Which is not as daft as it sounds because the trailer is so small you cannot see it behind the old girl, what is completely daft and inexcusable is the fact that it’s the third time I’ve done it in 7 years! I was going to fit a new panel, like I did on the other side a few years ago after the first trailer ‘jacknife incident’ as I’d picked one up on ebay for £30 or so including delivery. I’d even bought one two weeks ago from Buckley brothers of Darwen, or so I’d thought. At £69 it was by far the cheapest I could find but when I phoned them yesterday to inquire when it would be here I was told “it’s on ‘back order’ ” which is ‘motor trade speak’ for you’ll be lucky to see it this year!. Had they told me this on the 12th of May when I ordered it I might have been able to source one elsewhere but not this late in the day so I did what I do best and improvised 🙂 Being a bit of a magpie I’d spotted some nice shiny ‘off cuts’ of 5mm aluminium ‘5 bar chequerplate’ behind a great big guillotine at when I was down there with the Loch Striven in December, a quick word with the owner had transferred their ownership to me and they’d been lying in my workshop ever since waiting to be used. After making up a cardboard template I cut it to shape with the 4″ grinder and a special 1mm aluminium cutting disc, after which I pressure washed it and ‘etched primed’ it ready for its many coats of paint.

It'll look better when it's finished!

It'll look better when it's finished!

Even more painting!

In between fitting a new speedometer cable and engine mounting I assisted wifey in painting the porch and assembling a new wall unit to keep the bathroom towels in. Having spent a couple of weeks completely refurbishing our bathroom we were reluctant to clutter it up with cupboards or shelves so had decided to keep them in the porch instead. Or should I say wifey decided and I just agreed to keep the peace 🙂 of course this meant that we had to decorate the porch first, anyway you get the picture.

cockadoodle doo

cockadoodle doo

All of which we did to the accompaniment of our cockerel who had firmly planted himself on the coal shed roof and was telling everyone what a fine voice he had!

‘Dr Green of  Sussex and the island of Raasay’

It was on the return from the afternoon school run that I received a parcel in the post, a book no less with the above title. I did of course know that Barry Turner,  a regular reader of the blog and visitor to Raasay was writing a book about the eccentric Dr Green. The strange ‘doctor’  who had a  stranglehold on Raasay for 18 years but was expecting more of a booklet and not a 250 page hard back copy to drop through the door. Dr Green being the last of a long list of brutal and or eccentric owners of Raasay House who had subjugated the islanders and development of Raasay for almost 200 years.

just what it says on the tin!

just what it says on the tin!

Having at one time devoured books on a daily basis, I have shamefully not read one in years but I could not put this down, hence my lack of posting ( or red wine ) last night! The book is laid out chronologically starting with Green’s first purchase in 1961 and I only got as far as 1968 last night so can’t really review the book yet but I did find it fascinating and meticulously researched. The mysterious ‘doctor’ with no discernible income or qualifications for that matter became known as ‘Dr No’  because of his steadfast refusal to allow any kind of development on Raasay despite only stepping on the island once (or maybe twice) in 18 years and never having spent a night there. He left a trail of  debt and court cases in his wake and the new ferry terminal that the Island could have had 30 years ago at a cost of £500, 000 (allowing for inflation) is finally being built at a cost of £12, 000, 000. It is available directly from Barry at a very reasonable price and I can’t wait to get back into it tonight.

Anyway it’s 7:00am now and I must go 🙂


  1. And what are your plans for those dodgy looking body cappings? You’ll have to do something or they’ll really spoil the makeover.

    Comment by Stonehead — May 28, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    • Hi there Stoney,

      body cappings are in hand. I got some off an old Series II last year, modified them to fit the 110 and got my good friend Donald of Raasay engineering to get them re galvanized when he was taking a batch of hydraulic haulers through to in Elgin 🙂 now all I have to do is remove the sides to fit them 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 28, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

      • It really will look the mutt’s nuts with the paint and the cappings done!

        Comment by Stonehead — May 28, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

      • Hi Stoney,

        At least you won’t have to worry about cappings and doors on your new truck and that air conditioning would have come in handy today 🙂

        Cheers, Paul (who for the first time this week is not up to his neck in Land Rover!)

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 29, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

      • Maybe not the cappings, but I’m thinking of treating the truck to Polybushes all round, new Bilstein shocks and perhaps new springs. I’m also looking at high-back seats for the boys, which will mean doing a bit of modification to get them in. Oh, and a swingaway wheel carrier would be useful too.

        I can’t have a Defender and not do anything to it.

        Comment by Stonehead — May 29, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

      • Morning Stoney,

        Fancied Bilsteins myself but they don’t make them long enough for my modified suspension as I’m needing new rears for the MOT. Went back to ‘DeCarbons’, after ‘Calum’s road’ destroyed my ‘Koni’s’ I bought ‘Pro Comps’ but find them a bit soft, 4 on the front end sorted the bow but I’ve never been happy with the stern 🙂 I toyed with the idea of fitting 4 on the rear but could not face welding the extra brackets required to my beautifully painted rear axle! I did however get a Bilstein steering damper which I’ll fit shortly.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 30, 2009 @ 8:45 am

  2. I am driving through Darwen on my way to Mallaig tomorrow, do you want me to go have a word with the Buckley Bros ;p

    Comment by Simon — May 28, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    • Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the offer but I’m just going to use them again 🙂 Wonder if we passed each other on the road today as I headed south 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 29, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

  3. Glad to find this. I recently stayed on Skye (I was on Raasay the Friday before last) and I saw a reference to Dr Green in a book by Derek Cooper but didn’t know who he was. Now I just need to find out what the “Dutch land stripper” was all about…

    Comment by ejh — June 1, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    • Hi ejh,

      I too am glad you found and enjoyed the read 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

    • Hi ejh,

      I enjoyed your visit also 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

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