Lotus Elan

Mini visit to Delamare road this Wednesday 17th July

PostPost by: Pastapesto » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:02 pm

This coming Wednesday the 17th I will be taking Maureen (who I'm sure you all remember posting on the forum about her time working for Lotus at Delamare road) for a mini visit to see the old factory site (probably her last visit before they redevelop the area sometime in the future). Then the plan is to have some lunch in a local pub & then hopefully I thought we might go & see what is left of the Hornsey site. It's all very casual & informal so if you would like to come along & join us then please do so. So far it will be Maureen, myself, Alan Thomas (Spyderfan) & Bill (billwill).....plenty of room for more so if you can make it then let me know by PM & I'll exchange mobile numbers with you. You can of course just turn up but I may need to book a table in a local pub & so may need to know numbers! Not sure if I will have a working Lotus to come in but Alan should be there in his lovely +2 & Bill should be there in his Elan.....

We plan on arriving at the Cheshunt site at around 11.15/11.30am .....have a quick look around (probably only be allowed to look from the outside) & then off to the pub to hear what Maureen can tell us all about working there in the 60s then if we fancy, off to Hornsey......should be fun.

Sorry about the short notice!

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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:14 am

As mentioned, I plan to be there.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:06 am

Please post pictures of this event. Thank you.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:36 am

I won’t be able to make it (sadly) but is the “monster gym” still open ? Maybe worth giving them a ring to see if you can get internal access ?

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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:51 am

For those with working Sat Navigators the postcode of Delamare road is EN8 9SU and the postcode of the first Lotus factory in Hornsey is N8 9DP.

My own sat nav stopped working last Friday and though I have GPS on my android phone, I'm not used to using that yet, sigh.

Checking Google maps the straightforward driving route from Cheshunt to Hornsey (down the A10 then Westbury Av, Turnpike Lane etc) will be rather busy on a Wednesday and might be lots of frustrating traffic jams. Ironically the railway from Cheshunt to Hornsey seems dead straight, about 4 stops ?? though I could have that completely wrong.


~~~~~~~

The Monster Gym looked to be open last Friday, when I had a trial run to there.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:20 pm

billwill wrote:

Checking Google maps the straightforward driving route from Cheshunt to Hornsey (down the A10 then Westbury Av, Turnpike Lane etc) will be rather busy on a Wednesday and might be lots of frustrating traffic jams. Ironically the railway from Cheshunt to Hornsey seems dead straight, about 4 stops ?? though I could have that completely wrong.



It's on a different line. The nearest you'll get from Cheshunt is Seven Sisters and that's a couple of miles from the Hornsey address. (I used to have to take that route + a couple of stops to school for seven years)
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:50 pm

Sorry I can't make it from this side of the pond, but. I've been to 7 Tottenham Lane twice, in 1990 by myself when it was being used as a duct work shop and the manager gave me a personal tour. And then I went back in 1993 when it was vacant and looking a bit derelict. In that neighborhood, the last 25 years may not have been kind. I hope the brass plaque is still safe on the wall of the office building. I need to convert my old film to digital so I can share my pics.

Never been to Delamare road, but would love to.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:13 pm

It was a very good day out starting at 11am at Cheshunt followed by a good lunch at The Crocodile pub then on to Hornsey, although I don't recommend the traffic in the Hornsey area if your car is misbehaving like mine was. I thought I was going to get arrested for terrorism with all the backfiring!

Silly me for playing with the warm up map on the Emerald engine management and forgetting to bring my laptop so I could change it back or analyse the problem. A good old Italian tune up solved the issue when we finally got onto the North Circular to head for Hethel.

Maureen was very good company and gave us a good insight into what it was like working at Lotus in the 60's. There is a picture of her below looking whimsically at the entrance door to her office. The Monster Gym occupies what used to be Lotus Components, this is the unit that's adjacent to the assembly factory with the iconic ramp where the Cortina's used to roll off. Maureen told us that Chapman drove the first car down the ramp and pranged it, he blamed the design of the ramp which very quickly had an alteration made, couldn't have been his fault, could it? Very embarrassing...... Apparently Ron Hickman had a huge ego and Colin was an absolute control freak and busybody. Ron Hickman had a huge wood panelled office, nobody was allowed in unless by appointment or invitation.... Take a letter Miss Macrae "From the office of Ron Hickman OBE, innovator and founder director of Lotus Cars".

At Cheshunt the owners of Monster Gym are really friendly and quite happy for Lotus pilgrims to call in, there's one photo of the inside, I was nervous to take more as there were lots of lycra clad bodies and I looked like an old perv in my casual shirt and trousers, but you can see that it really just looks like a factory inside. Unfortunately the owners of the main assembly building with the ramp are the total opposite and have told visitors in no uncertain terms to go forth and multiply, but this didn't stop us from taking a few photo's of the iconic ramp and Maureen's old office entrance. Hornsey has far less to see, but the showroom that used to have the Lotus Elite on display is there complete with the drawing office above. It now says JEWSONS instead of Lotus, but it didn't take much imagination to visualise LOTUS instead. The staff at Jewson very kindly allowed us to park and take photo's, Stan's pub is still next door, although it's a sort of nightclub venue now with variable reviews.

Then it was a bit of a rush to get to Hethel for 6pm for the Classic Team Lotus tour, Richard Parramint did the honours with the tour, and there was a lot of banter and reminiscing.


Lot's of photo's below, some of the lighting at CTL was quite harsh, but I think most came out well.

The images are quite high resolution, if you right click on the photos and choose open image in new tab you will get the full size for detail.

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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:30 pm

Thanks for posting Alan, looks like a great day out!
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:44 pm

I've nothing to add to Alan's message above really, he has done an excellent description though for some of the photos you seem to have uploaded a cut down icon, rather than the actual hi-res picture.

I didn't go on to the Hethel do (I think you needed a ticket?)

Adam commented that Jewsons ought to get an Elite or Elise and put it in the Window and make more of the fact that the site used to be the Lotus factory. I chatted to one of the Jewson staff after you left and mentioned it and he said they have plans to put a big poster filling the window with Pictures of Ally Pally and Lotus, so something may come of that. He also said that they do now use the building behind the pub despite the twigs growing through the window frames, but he said the original stairs and component racks inside had rotted away. When last I was there the brickwork around the door was broken, but now it has been repaired and has a strong steel shutter door.

I will add a picture of the Plaque at Jewsons when I get a moment to xfer it from my camera. I was at the unveiling of that one and the Monster Gym one. I can hardly believe that the Jewson one was as long ago as 1984.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:37 pm

Glad to see you had a good day.

In all I’ve seen and read about senior people at Lotus they were all strong characters. I think you had to be able to stand your corner !

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:25 pm

Well done!
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:17 am

billwill wrote:I've nothing to add to Alan's message above really, he has done an excellent description though for some of the photos you seem to have uploaded a cut down icon, rather than the actual hi-res picture


I think that the pictures have sorted themselves out now, approximately 50 hot links to my photo hosting package. I can split them up if they are causing display problems to anyone?

I like this one of Maureen standing outside the entrance to her old office

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:53 am

dscn7231.jpg and
Signs of the Monster Gym at Cheshunt.


dscn7237.jpg and
The Lotus Plaque at Jewson's site in Hornsey.




~~~~

This is the topic containing photos of the Hornsey site that I took 8 years ago:
viewtopic.php?t=22078&p=146050
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:43 am

Thanks for posting these historic photos both of you. It is a shame about that bloke in the yellow shirt who kept photobombing the Hethel photos :lol: :lol:
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