We decided to have a new kitchen so I went to China for three weeks and Mandy stayed while the Kitchen was fitted, all went well until the kitchen tops arrived and were too short! The error was with the Germans and made the whole thing take a lot longer than it should have. China was a hard slog and the food still not to my taste. The local guides were variable but the welcome no less than on previous visits .It was good to catch up with John and his family in Guangzhou who intend visiting the UK in 2018. By this time Mandy and I were both ready for another next trip, so off we went to Malta for ten days, and the kitchen was nearly finished when we got back ( only nearly). We had a super villa in Malta, Sue and Mandy relaxed while I did my own thing filming the now rather mundane buses plus the still interesting trucks and vans. We had the added bonus of meeting up with transport friends from Manchester and Halifax.
It has taken some getting used to being at home now I’ve retired , well I say retired , but we still have the business which keeps us both very busy, and of course all our travelling. We had a trip to Ireland which brought provincial bus and truck coverage up to date and also to France where I squeezed in more truck film. Our UK film coverage sees us going all over the country from Scotland to Kent. We reconfirmed our status as a not for profit business and are now promoting the PMP Film Archive as the main thrust of our work which naturally focus on transport material but also encompasses all our other interests. We seen our films appear regularly on television, film and arts or community projects at home and abroad as well as creating material for inclusion in part works.
At the end of July and into August I took part in a long distance walk to help raise money for a toilet in our local village church. It was from St Oswald’s in Northumberland to St Oswald’s, Lower Peover over 200 miles in total. Due to prior commitments I joined the walk in Cumbria and over the next 12 days walked down through Lancashire and into Greater Manchester then out through Sale and Bowden through Tatton Park and on into Lower Peover. It was some walk over hills and moors, bogs and canals in all weathers, around 130 miles. The new knee worked well!
I also did my first charity film show which raised £500. We now support Medicin sans Frontiers and well as all our existing charities. Mandy continues as chair of the Cheshire and North Wales branch of the Polio Fellowship. We have upgraded our support for the RNCM in Manchester to the principles circle extending our backing for the arts which already embraces Clonter Opera and WNO. Charity events for the new next year include bingo calling in January at Plumley and another walk is on the cards. Somewhere along the line I have found myself lined up to be church warden at St Oswalds. Mandy increasingly uses the wheelchair to get around, we’ve cut down our transport rally attendance but will hopefully get to a wider variety and different areas each year.
We started to decorate the house this year, we got all the upstairs done plus the hall stairs and landing and the new kitchen, so next spring we will get the living and dining room done, then all it leaves is the dreaded office! Increased storage for my models is badly needed, I’ve given up taking them out of boxes and tried to limit my purchases. The garage was also on the cards to decorate but it hasn’t happened, the walls around the front garden need cementing back into place as well so I won’t be bored in 2017.
Our 2017 overseas trips start with India in February. I’ll be taking an in depth perhaps final look at Mumbai’s double decker buses and exploring Kochi for the first time. There are lots of other destinations lined up to be finalised. Our UK trips start next week and the rail replacement services between Liverpool and Birkenhead are at the fore.
For many of you viewing our trailers on Youtube is your main contact with ourselves. We have clocked up over 26M hits and have approaching 11K subscribers. Top viewing locations are the UK, Vietnam, USA, France, India, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Italy and Romania. A third of viewers are female. Can we ask that you avoid ad blocker apps, when you click on an advert this creates revenue which goes towards the expansion of the PMP archive. Favourite locations for our viewer are Mansfield and Paisley for buses and Dover for trucks. Overseas its Trucks and buses in Vietnam whilst Hong Kong and Canada also join the truck fan base.
Well you will want to join your family and friends and not listen to me, to all our friends, families, customers, viewers around the world may we wish you a peaceful and healthy year ahead. Thank you for your support for PMP which is highly appreciated and all the kind comments received. Remember we have our own shops on our website, plus Amazon and a selection on EBay.
God bless you all.