Update to the A-Frame failure saga:
On 28 October we collected our Smart from LNB Towbars in Bristol. They had carried out repairs, following our little “coming together”, and had lent us a courtesy car for the few days they took to carry out the work. The front end looks as it did before, with the exception of the two caps that cover the towing connector holes. They are now colour coded white which actually looks better! We were also reimbursed for the amount the French garage charged to swap out the failed crossmember. Full marks, so far, to LNB Towbars.
Yesterday we collected our van from Bristol Caravans, where we had taken it for repair to the rear end that the Smart had clobbered. The repair is excellent and, once again, you would not know that anything amiss had occurred. Only one panel (the large corner panel that runs from the bottom of the van all the way up, and then under, the black panel at the top) had to be replaced. Bristol Caravans had arranged, through Craig Robinson of Hobby, to be sent almost all the panels/parts that comprise the rear end. This was insurance against casualties during the dismembering process. No other part was damaged when taking the rear panel off, however, so the surplus parts were returned (against a re-stocking fee) to Hobby.
John Hindle also deserves a mention here. At the AGM he promised to replace our damaged flyscreen. I know that Dave Lawson had reminded him of this and I reminded him too at the NEC. I had suggested to Craig Robinson in an email that it would be a good opportunity to send the fly screen with the parts that were being sent to Bristol Caravans. I was delighted to discover yesterday that, not only had the fly screen been sent, but that it had been fitted as well.
We are grateful to both John Hindle and Craig Robinson for their part in bringing our van back up to spec once more.
I had to pay Bristol Caravans for the repair to the van, and have asked LNB Towbars to reimburse us. The invoice was made out in their name so that they may claim back the VAT. I have not yet had a response, but the request only went to them yesterday afternoon. I live in hope and have no reason to doubt their assertion that they will foot the bill. I gather that they, in turn, will be demanding recompense from the firm that carried out the dodgy welding in the first place.
Merry Christmas to you all.