Ajan Kulku Scupltures, Oulu

From Rovaneimi we made our way down to Oulu, the capital city of Northern Ostrobothnia region.

The new City of Oulu was only formed this year, 2013. It is the unification of five far older towns Haukipudas, Kiiminki, Oulo, Oulunsalo and Yli-li. In my humble opinion it is justified just to avoid trying to pronounce the old names.

Oulo is a strange mix of old and new, and most of the old is made of wood, typical of the Nordic countries. However, because a building is constructed of wood does not mean it cannot be very old, which was the way my mind tended to think. For example, Oulu Cathedral was built in 1777 of wood on stone walls. Much of the original city was destroyed in a fire in 1822.

What impressed me most about the cathedral, was the two church organs, both of which I thought sttod out from the usual instruments, one because it was apparently a modern design and the main organ that is a visual work of art. I have no idea what either sound like.

Oulo has been a trading port since the 13th century and a major portion of its exports went to Britian. The main products were fish, no surprise there, and tar. The later was used in the building of the big sailing ships and so when iron ships started production the tar industry all but ceased.

Modern Oulu prides itself on being a worldwide hub of technological expertise.

The local Market Hall is Oulu’s answer to Covent Garden, dating back well over one hundred years. Today it is full of fish stalls, fresh and preserved, and restaurants. It is surrounded by the Aittori, a congregation of old wooden granary buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of these now house craft shops, boutiques, souvenir shops or restaurants.

The current City Hall is a neo-renaissance building, the back of which faces the old City Hall, now the Valve Cultural Centre (not sure where ‘Valve’ comes into it). The building also housed the police station and jail cells. At the rear of the New City Hall is a low wall with 32 bronze figures depicting a timeline of residents from around 1600 to the present day.

Before leaving Oulu, I located a garage that was prepared to carry out an oil change for Bridget, although I did not check what grade of oils they stocked. It transpired that the only grades they had was 5/40 or 5/50! They said that was all anyone in Finland used and as I couldn’t put the old oil back in that is what Bridget now has. Just down the road from the garage I found a Michelin tyre dealer and had two new front tyres fitted and the wheels balanced. The others were both badly worn on the inside rims. I wasn’t able to get the tracking checked and am a little concerned so I will need to watch the tyre wear.

Caterham F1 Team

Many of you will have seen the report of the cost breakdown released by Caterham F1 team this week. I have nothing but sympathy for their problem although I think there are a few savings they could make.

For instant, they put the cost of a new floor at around £300,000. As my regular followers will know I recently had to have a replacement floor for Bridget and I think Caterham should approach Dave Cooke at Kennington Motors before spending any more. They won’t get a better job done anywhere.

A new monocoque body at £1M seems a little excessive. I am sure Heritage could help Caterham out on this. I know they are producing a limited number of shells for Midgets this year, if Caterham don’t mind a slight alteration in their body design I am certain we could more than halve their budget.

There are many other areas in which Caterham could improve their financial position if they would like to take a page out of Bridget the Midget’s experience including a set of replacement tyres coming in at under £400 and Michelin’s wont break-up like some.

Finally, on this subject, the MG Car Club offer a very good line in overalls that could save Caterham a fortune. If you, or indeed any other Formula One team, need further advice just get in contact with me through this website.

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