Correspondence with 'HONEST JOHN of The Daily Telegraph

Extract from HONEST JOHN

'Do you know of any company that sells reliable foot pumps? Everywhere I go, in the UK or abroad, the market is flooded with cheap and nasty Chinese-made rubbish. I have so far been through four of these - the record was one that collapsed the second time I used it. No wonder their economy is so strong, with a captive market for such total rubbish'.


C.E., Cyprus published on November 29 2008 in The Daily Telegraph.


My Letter to HONEST JOHN

'Your letter from CE in Cyprus (November 29) struck a real chord in terms of the 'ankle breaker' cheap Chinese foot pumps flooding the market. Maybe he (and you!) might consider joining me in my 'sustainability' campaign - to drive these from the market by discovering and renovating old vintage British foot pumps from the 1900-1950 period.

There are thousands of these old pumps around - they are usually found in the back of old garages, go under such evocative names as Kismet, Sutty, Aerite and British Goodrich - but are destined for landfill unless someone intervenes! They are invariably of heavy duty, high quality manufacture and often only need some oiling of the internal washer (or replacement of this) to give them a new lease of life. They are built with screw threads and bolts so they can be dismantled and overhauled - unlike the 'ankle breakers' which are often held together with plastic and bits of bent tin.

Please put CE of Cyprus (and your other readers) in touch with my website As my wife will confirm, I have a garage and half a house full of restored vintage foot pumps - I sell some on, give refurbishment advice to other sympathisers and keep the most beautiful examples to sit in a glass display cabinet in my living room.'

GE, Tewkesbury, November 2008


Extract from HONEST JOHN

'That's an interesting philosophy that will find a lot of sympathy in classic car circles. And anyway, there is not much point in 'disposable' products if their disposability does not keep people employed in the homeland. Unfortunately we have gone so far down the cheap products from China route that there is no turning back and in 10-20 years the Chinese will rule the world'.


HONEST JOHN published on November 30th 2008 in The Daily Telegraph