Yesterday, if you were following me on Twitter, you will have seen me describe a situation on the green outside my house where futile attempts to shift a couple of stuck vans unfolded into farce.
Sometime during the late morning/early afternoon, one of the local scrap merchant’s vans had become stuck in the mud on the green. I have no idea why they were there. I expect it was a failed attempt at a short cut. What I do know is the green gets waterlogged and walking across it after rain or thawing snow can be interesting. Taking a van across it in wet conditions is not recommended. So, by about 1:30pm, when I first noticed what was going on, there were two red vans, full of scrap metal, on the green. One had clearly been brought along to rescue the first, but that had also got stuck, and the front wheels were sunk pretty much down the the axle.
A little later, a Range Rover turned up. I expected this to be of some help, but I was informed later by an off road expert on Facebook that it was not the right vehicle for the job, and as this video shows, it was only making matters worse.
In fact, over the course of a few hours, this is pretty much how things were. They did eventually get one van off by using the Range Rover on the road, but it took them a couple of hours to work out that roads offer more traction than wet mud and grass.
The other van was more of a problem. It was bogged down, and was clearly much harder to shift. In fact, they didn’t get it moved until about 8pm, by which time they had tried pushing it by hand and pulling it using the Range Rover and rocking it by revving the engine and jumping the clutch up and down.
Eventually, they did manage to get it moved (using the brute force of the Range Rover), but got it close up against a mature oak tree, and no amount of pulling or pushing was going to move it around or clear. By this time it was dark, and work was continuing in whatever light their vehicles could provide.
They appeared to jack the front of the van up and rotate it that way. By 8pm, they had got it to a position where it could be towed out and then driven off the green, but only after they had brought in an even bigger van and use that to pull it free.
I am amazed that no one was injured during this escapade.
The mess and wreckage this morning is clear. This video and selection of photos shows what has been left behind.