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Letter To The Editor

Dear Dave,

Thirty years is quite along time!  I had quite forgotten about the Dural ladder, but re-reading the log extract, I felt that a brief note about it would be of interest in these days of more sophisticated laddry and S.R.T.

Dan Hasell and I were fortunate in working in a certain aircraft establishlment (No - not B.A.C.!) We had absorbed Casterets 'Ten Years Under the Earth' and were rather fed-up with carrying the (then) standard ropes and wooden runged ladders to Mendip on pushbikes.

So - aircraft use dural tube, and controls were worked by wire - each of first class quality.  Add to these lots of brass ¼” whit nuts; a lot of 2 BA high tensile bolts and Symonds nuts.  Some flux and solder and we were in business.

For a jig we screwed bits of metal to a mitre block and off we went.  I believe we used rungs 9" long by ¾" dia. at 11" centres. Holes were drilled off-set, the wire passed through them and a loop pulled out of the end of the rung - a brass nut was passed over the loop which was then 'sized' to a 2BA bolt.  The wire was then soldered to the nut, the loop pulled back inside the rung and the 2BA bolt passed through the off-set hole - one rung complete.

We used this ladder for a very long time and believe it or not, when it was scrapped I kept it and still have it - I've also some of the original wooden and rope ladders - any good to the club as Museum pieces?

All the best,
Harry Stanbury
25th July 1979

Many thanks for the letter, Harry.  I have not mentioned this to the Committee yet but I know what their answer will be - yes please.  The UBSS are usually credited with being the first club in the UK using electron ladders but as usual the BEC were in the game first.  I can remember some rope and wooden rung ladder in the tackle store several years ago - what happened to that I wonder?