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I bought a big and joined the circus.


puddlethumper

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Really enjoying reading this! Couple of observations...

DAF fuel gauges - they all do that. I had an XF years ago with an 'eco' LPG kit fitted, which made it 120L of gas, 85L of diesel. Notwithstanding that the LPG was a nightmare to fill (and I had a couple of lovely gas burns up my right arm) if the gas gauge went red, the diesel gauge went orange pretty soon after. Although I also had a CF that the needle just swung about at random. A dipper of thick steel wire did a better job! Fuel gauges aren't one of DAF's strengths apparently.

Stand pipes - I used to move water into festival sites, about 20,000L a go. We used to get the metered pipes off local councils, but the old fireman's stand pipe did the bulk of the work. In a quarter of the time. Was that what Scottish Water's man's problem was? I know we kept an eye out for council clipboard warriors in the hedges, cos the fireman's pipe wasn't exactly legit for our purposes.

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6 minutes ago, CreepingJesus said:

Really enjoying reading this! Couple of observations...

DAF fuel gauges - they all do that. I had an XF years ago with an 'eco' LPG kit fitted, which made it 120L of gas, 85L of diesel. Notwithstanding that the LPG was a nightmare to fill (and I had a couple of lovely gas burns up my right arm) if the gas gauge went red, the diesel gauge went orange pretty soon after. Although I also had a CF that the needle just swung about at random. A dipper of thick steel wire did a better job! Fuel gauges aren't one of DAF's strengths apparently.

Stand pipes - I used to move water into festival sites, about 20,000L a go. We used to get the metered pipes off local councils, but the old fireman's stand pipe did the bulk of the work. In a quarter of the time. Was that what Scottish Water's man's problem was? I know we kept an eye out for council clipboard warriors in the hedges, cos the fireman's pipe wasn't exactly legit for our purposes.

I'm not sure whether Water man thought it was theirs or took it for, very, safe keeping. Didn't ask. He was back with it within a few minutes. Just glad to get it back.

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38 minutes ago, garbaldy said:

Thank you @Split_Pin¬†for putting me onto this thread ūüėČ

@puddlethumper Is this the circus that's coming to Kelso soon ?  Excellent thread keep up the good work

ūüĎć

We are off to Stirling later today and tomorrow till 3rd July. Then it's Howden Park, Livingston till 7th July followed by Low Green, Ayr till 12th July. Then Noocassle. Circus Extreme is in Dundee at the moment and where they are going next I have no Idea so it could be them going to Kelso. 

Shows how little I know, as we have shows on today. As I said, if anyone wants to have a look let me know. 

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2 hours ago, puddlethumper said:

 where they are going next I have no Idea so it could be them going to Kelso. 

 

The date for Kelso are 16th July for 3 days and just looked and its £7 quid a ticket so need to sell a hell of a tickets to make the 60k per week.

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2 hours ago, garbaldy said:

The date for Kelso are 16th July for 3 days and just looked and its £7 quid a ticket so need to sell a hell of a tickets to make the 60k per week.

Those were my thoughts. How many caravans is old Ivor flogging to keep afloat?!

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On 6/26/2022 at 10:16 PM, puddlethumper said:

No more guesses on cost per week ? OK. It's £60,000 a week.

I was going to guess 30 in base wages plus shares of the door money, I'm way out of date!

How much of that is in fuel? I'm guessing you'll have some of the big containerised genny's to power everything?

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15 hours ago, DodgeRover said:

I was going to guess 30 in base wages plus shares of the door money, I'm way out of date!

How much of that is in fuel? I'm guessing you'll have some of the big containerised genny's to power everything?

The generators use £2000 a week. Pic of truck and workshop trailer below, taken from my window, because it's Scotland and it's raining which it does here. As for the rest of fleet I have no idea, yet. 

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Moving to Stirling. Last show was Tuesday 8ish finish and nearly everything was in Stirling by 3ish, except the two Yank trucks. My last trip got me to the site at around three in the morning. As one of my jobs is to get water to everyone, as soon as, the previous day I had a scout around to see where a hydrant would go. Didn't need to because the council put one in on Saturday afternoon. Thanks for that. Saved me a bit of time. When I got to Stirling at three I had a look at how I was going to lay it out. Remember I have only seen one set up as the last one, I was doing drivey stuff which is first and foremost. Got a plan sorted and started chucking some hard plastic piping around from the back of my van when I noticed it was only firing on three. Bugger, not what I wanted at that moment. Broken injector pipe. Bollox! Spraying anti rust treatment everywhere. This old van I've got is an ideal shed, in more  ways than one, for getting around the site with all my tools in the back and hose, connectors, barriers, etc. and I get an allowance for it and fuel, so I chugged on for a bit on three and gave up. Shanks's pony then. Luckily, or possibly not, I was interrupted by a phone call, at about 4 from Ivor, a well known character in this, erm, series? asking me to get a strap and bring it to the hard shoulder of the M8 heading To Edinburgh in the minibus. Okey dokey. Have to get a torch and hunt for a strap coz all the power isn't on yet. Eventually get one and hop in to the Ldv and head off. Find them with the Tranny, no offence to transitionals, on the hard shoulder. As you can Imagine they do all their own recovery work having trucks and a low loader if necessary. Can you imagine the bill for a roadside  recovery deal? Carried on to Edin to get the trucks where I had to chuck all the wood we used to get over a real shit entrance on to the field. A kerb and then a slope down which coming in or out with trailers that are quite close to the ground is a graunchy experience, so wood is used to make it less so. It took 5 mins to do this so was not far behind. Did I see them on the road ? Did I fuck. When I got to Stirling after thrashing the Ldv, they were already there and parked up. Showman shite allows you to drive yank trucks at 70 or more here, it seems. I've put a couple of pics below of the Kenworth. Bad quality of course.

I was about to say that the Dublin trip yesterday morning didn't happen coz the Tranny had cam belt breakage but it's back all fixed up and ready to go. From broken yesterday to being fixed today. I might need to find out who, for future ref. So it's off to Dublin on the 7.30am boat to Belfast tomorrow and back Friday at some point to be arranged. So I'll get some grub down and some shut eye before leaving about 3 I reckon. Got to be at the boat no later than 45mins before the off. 

The van woes. Luckily I had some pipes including a new one so did a bit of bending and got that sorted this afternoon while I was  thinking of a nice easy couple of days and I was going to sort out a new passport, in case we go to Holland and can't do it online for some reason so it's a trip to the P.O. What joy.  

More circus shite to follow, I'm sure.

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2 hours ago, puddlethumper said:

The generators use £2000 a week. Pic of truck and workshop trailer below, taken from my window, because it's Scotland and it's raining which it does here. As for the rest of fleet I have no idea, yet. 

This is the Genny truck with workshop trailer. It's quite funny when you see the Hungarian electrician driving this coz he's quite small and sort of peers over the steering wheel so from the front you only see a head.

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2 minutes ago, puddlethumper said:

This is the Genny truck with workshop trailer. It's quite funny when you see the Hungarian electrician driving this coz he's quite small and sort of peers over the steering wheel so from the front you only see a head.

I've lost it. Back in a bit.

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Thanks for the updates, this thread is bringing back a lot of happy memories. Here's the rig I used to drive

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I drove it from Somerset into Central London two days after passing my C+E - I learnt a lot on that journey! Still, I was following this so I figured if he could fit I could!

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We were a much smaller affair than your lot but all this was entirely run on solar.

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I did three seasons - May to September but our schedule wasn't as full-on as yours. A typical week would be

Monday - take-down, once we got slick the whole show could be packed away in 3 hours which gave us the rest of the day off

Tuesday - travel to next pitch, usually not more than 3 to 4 hours  (we didn't run tachos but were limited to 56mph)

Wednesday - set-up, 6 to 10 hours depending on ground conditions - we didn't have JCBs and a pneumatic pin hammer, just a knackered Transit called Gloria (sic transit...) and some sledgehammers!

Thursday & Friday - schools shows 10am - 3pm, evenings off.

Saturday & Sunday - public shows

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16 minutes ago, Sunny Jim said:

I did three seasons - May to September but our schedule wasn't as full-on as yours. A typical week would be

Monday - take-down, once we got slick the whole show could be packed away in 3 hours which gave us the rest of the day off

Tuesday - travel to next pitch, usually not more than 3 to 4 hours  (we didn't run tachos but were limited to 56mph)

Wednesday - set-up, 6 to 10 hours depending on ground conditions - we didn't have JCBs and a pneumatic pin hammer, just a knackered Transit called Gloria (sic transit...) and some sledgehammers!

Thursday & Friday - schools shows 10am - 3pm, evenings off.

Saturday & Sunday - public shows

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This crew can take down and put up in about 24 hours. I was well impressed. Funnily enough Steve, one of the four brothers and one sister on site, bribed me to go down and get him and me some fish and chips on expenses and while we were troughing I managed to have a chat. We were sitting in the sun with a circus in performance eating and I asked him about it. He said, nobody believes it when I tell them. Had a quick chat about doing a backstage film about setting up, taking down and the move. He's up for stuff like that. I'm going to look into that, so if anyone has any contacts for that sort of thing or who to approach with the idea. I'm off to get some z's in if I can. 

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Episode ? of Circus shite. As the Transit, which they call a van for some Irish reason, was back with a new belt I had the 7.30 boat to get. Hitched up and got my small pack of travel stuff together. Phone charger , Lithium power pack, bottle of skoosh, a snack, etc and hit the road at about 3am. Just before I left, Steve, one of the owners, asked me to keep an eye on the temp gauge. Coming out of the site my phone said turn left which I did and it was after a couple of miles I realised it was sending me to, I think, junction 8 instead of 9, which was more on the route. I thought about turning round but by that time it was easier to go on. I'm keeping an eye on temp. Gauge sat nicely in the middle. As I joined the M9 I glance at the gauge and it's rising. Bollox! When has something like this ever been good news. Also, it went into tick over mode to supply power to p.a.s, brakes, etc . On the hard shoulder I switched off and had a look for a bonnet pull. Couldn't find one. As I walked round the front I glanced down and there is a slowly enlarging puddle and I also noticed what looked like a button in the top of the grill with a hole in it. You have to realise this thing is one of the most modern vehicles I've driven, 07, and it took me a while, to get ,that it was for the ignition key to unlock it. Had a head torch so could see that the rad was steadily dripping away from the bottom corner. Here we come to the bad choice of the sat nav actually helping me because 3 miles ahead was a services. If I had got on at junction 9 I would have been fucked. As It was it took me an hour and a half to get there. Even though I've never had anything with electronics, sensors etc I worked out, from reading about this kind of shiz on here, that it was the low coolant sensor stopping me, or others, from lunching the engine. A fair idea but in my situation, can't call recovery, I had the choice of waking people at 3ish in the morning to come and help, or get it to the services. Got it into the entrance of the fuel bit and stopped wher the was plenty room to get round me. Into the small one person operator size shop to see a guy with the coffee machine open and asked him there was a tap I could get some water from and he said I could use the staff toilet, a one person type. I then asked if he might have a container I could beg, borrow, etc, and as he was telling me he didn't I was looking round and at my feet were two empty 2 litre milk bottles coz he was chucking it the machine. Aha, those will do nicely. The first 2 litres gone but only about a third of the other one. Went back in and refilled and fired it up to get it up to temp. Steady in the middle of the gauge, which I expected. Gave it a bit of revs to see if it would rise. Looking good. Back to the site no bother but, of course, no getting of boatshite. So that's two missings of boats with this Transit. Ivor wants me to have another go this week but it's a more than usual busy week coz we are only in Livingston for two days of shows and then it's pack up and fuck off to Ayr. I wait with baited breath. 

So that's the tale of a Transit that doesn't want to go to Ireland. Maybe third time lucky. 

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The move to Livingston went easily as it's only a half hour drive. Got it all here by 2. 

After logistics I have to sort out the water. This is as important as electric so has to be done a.s.a.p. Seemingly crew/performers can't go more than a couple of hours without needing a shower so I have decide to get on with it as soon as we arrive at whatever time in the morning and get some kip later. This somewhat contradicts how I was shown by the previous guy. He had pipes and hoses all over the place and finding a connector was like a lucky dip for ten minutes in a box of shit loads of bits and he would start when he got up, finishing at 12/1 ish. Well, he is one of the owners after all. I prefer to get it done by 8 at the latest when there's no one around. Problem here is the standpipe is about 400 yards away, from the edge of the field, in a housing estate and then another 150 to where it needs to be. Only just had enough pipe to get there. Had to wizz down to toolstation as soon as they opened at 7 to get some more connectors. Keen, eh ? I even got a compliment on my work from a rather attractive young lady from NZ in the next caravan. The ladies will appreciate it she said. 

The following pics, coz you luv em, are of the tent drying out as we have had a fair amount of rain and it's been cold. I had the fuckin heating on yesterday morning coz it was 11 degrees FFS. The first is the dome up and all the sheets laid out and that's how it stood until about 8 last night when the crew got into action and everything was done by not long after dark. Shows today. The second is putting the circle platform together for the performances. Last ones are of it going up and a sunset over tent shot

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Just heard that an attempt to get to Dublin will be made on Sat morning and Ayr is only an hour from the boat so won't have to leave at an ungodly hour, just bloody early instead.

The circus was bought about 40/50 years ago by the husband of Mona, whose RV and her I drove to Dublin, who has since passed away, and now there are 4 sons and 1 daughter working it. Not sure if there is a family connection with Ivor. There are two grandchildren here as well. So, it's a family, affair as someone once sang.

The Dublin Connection. The circus in Dublin is a larger tent than here but is still Circus Vegas, and is there for a month. I don't know, but I think it's for longer durations because it took 5 days to set up so no good for touring. The four sons have different roles, although they all do truck moving and telehandling, with Steve being the tent crew boss, David, accounts, John, circle setter trucks, ex water, and Tommy who does the same but not tent. Steve came back on the boat but John and Tommy stayed over there until Sunday when they flew back to help the move here and who flew back today. Jet setting stuff.

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1 minute ago, puddlethumper said:

Just heard that an attempt to get to Dublin will be made on Sat morning and Ayr is only an hour from the boat so won't have to leave at an ungodly hour, just bloody early instead.

Are you in my neck of the woods, then?

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3 minutes ago, AnnoyingPentium said:

Are you in my neck of the woods, then?

If Ayr is your neck of the woods then yes. We're at the Beach park and the shows are from Sat 9 till Tues 12.  Like I've said, if you want a nose I'll PM my number and I'll give you a tour. Mm ! Backstage circus tours. Could be a revenue stream as they say. Get your free one before capitalism lets me get my grubby mitts on it.

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1 hour ago, puddlethumper said:

If Ayr is your neck of the woods then yes. We're at the Beach park and the shows are from Sat 9 till Tues 12.  Like I've said, if you want a nose I'll PM my number and I'll give you a tour. Mm ! Backstage circus tours. Could be a revenue stream as they say. Get your free one before capitalism lets me get my grubby mitts on it.

Aye it is! I stay (or live, depending on your grammatical persuasion) just outside of Ayr. :)

I'd definitely be interested in a tour. Will have time to kill when I take the car in on Saturday to get it balanced etc. :)

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4 minutes ago, AnnoyingPentium said:

Aye it is! I stay just outside of Ayr. :)

I'd definitely be interested in a tour. Will have time to kill when I take the car in on Saturday to get it balanced etc. :)

Saturday is good as while the shows are on I don't have so much to do. I'll Pm my number.

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  • puddlethumper changed the title to I bought a big and joined the circus.

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