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So who is it that does all this dodgy stuff and how and why did this website happen?

Hello :) My name is Greg and I am to blame for this totally shambolic yet informitive website, back in the winter months of 2001 I was bored, I had just finished an 8 month circus tour and had nothing to do, I had set up my circus website the previous year and that was all running great, I had done a whole bunch of searches on the web for dodge 50's and only found a couple of pics and the odd mention on some forums and nothing else, this was not right I thought, someone needs to do something about this........

2001 There were no social media sites, facebook no twitter, not much at all really, ebay had only just got going and I needed something to do, so I set up some pages on the back of my circus site, the first page is still there for all to see.
This was found by some dodge 50 owners who emailed me and sent me some pics, I put some more pages together and then had to leave it as I was back on tour again.

Jump forward to October 2002, quite a few people had now sent me emails about the dodge 50 pages, this made me realise I had to get a separate domain, so on Oct 1st 2002 dodge50.co.uk came alive, I copied some of the original pages over to the new domain and linked others, I then went looking for a workshop manual, the holy book of the 50 series, rare and not available from Renault unless you had £300 to pay for one!!

2002/03 So I started to buy data sheets and brochures off ebay and scan them in, the site was getting bigger about a month later there were around 60 pages (index page here) which I was well happy with, by Christmas Greg Taylor had sent me a copy and I started to scan it in, a daunting project with a dodgy slow scanner, a very slow connection and not much idea about how to put something so big together, the manual covers 6 engines, 4 gear boxes, an auto box and so many different brake systems the mind boggled, I only had a S75 with air over hydraulic brakes and had no idea about the others (xmas dated index here) now there was around 90 pages online.

Back on tour and off to Dubai in Jan 2003 I didn't get to update the site for around 8 months, when I did I scanned and made up pages as fast as I could, I was gathering much more info and contacts, more people were finding the site and I set up the owners forum in Oct 2003, membership rose to around 300 and there was also around 300 pages on the website at this point, Toby, who was one of the first people to find the original pages on the circus site typed out text files from images of handbooks I sent him as I was very slow at typing, he emailed me the text and I added to the site.

2004 On tour again but not before adding another 200+ pages from the workshop manual, when I returned I spent time trying to find someone at Renault Trucks to help me with more technical details, parts and general knowledge, I got passed from piller to post, no one wanted to help ......... until .....

2005 I was put onto Andy at Renault Trucks Head office in Dunstable, I rang him, he asked where I was, I told him I was living in Yorkshire, he said you don't sound like you are from that way, No I replied I am from a little Village, Plumpton Green near Lewes in Sussex, well that opened a bag of something, I am from Lewes he said and we started to chat about the place and came to realise that his dad knew my dad!!
I continued to build up the site as and when I could, by now it was up to around 600 pages.
Got Given a Mk2 crewcab S66 Tipper by local roofing contractor who I had helped keep his truck on the road, my 3rd dodge 50.

2006 / 07 On tour again...... Well we started to phone each other and he was very helpful, he sent me exl files with Renault Stock Lists and invited me to the Dunstable plant, I went in my second dodge, our circus tour bus, I parked up on the site where my bus was built, well the DAFE (drive Away Front End) for a few days and was given access to the manual archive and a photocopier and all the paper I needed, I scanned in all the parts manuals, 100's and 100's of pages, was given a workshop manual with bits in that no other had, then came the biggie...........

Andy managed to get Renault to fund getting all the parts manuals and over 15000 vehicle build sheets (all vehicles built between July 1982 and July 1990 ) which were in microfiche format and converted to jpeg at a cost of over £4000, this took a few months and in Feb I started to upload this goldmine, quite a few gigs of info never before available for owners and repairers to get their mits on, the build sheets took 5 days continuous uploading, we were in a village and on a very slow connection, the parts manuals also went up in Feb 07.

2008 This was the year that people really started to want me to supply parts, up until this point I had not been selling parts via the website, just some when people phoned me, circus was still my main income, small that it was, I kept just passing on contact info and guidance but I was getting fed up with touring 8 months a year, my health was suffering as was the whole family, so at the end of the season I decided to retire within the next year or so, having bookings well in advanced put the kybosh on just stopping there and then.
In Sept we were given Brian a 30ft 7 berth motorhome by Lou and Phill who emigrated to Australia and wanted him to go to a good home, our 4th dodge 50.

2009 more and more info was going up on the site, I was selling parts on ebay and over the phone but I was still circusing all over the UK, 10,000's of miles driving and it was getting harder and harder but I had to continue, I had been circusing for nearly 20 years, it was in my blood.
Got given Bertie a 1984 S35 uprated to S46 Horsebox (now my mobile workshop)


2010 /11 My last years touring, I cut it right down and spent many weeks at my yard with my trucks and parts plus adding more brochures and data sheets and manual pages to the website, I had also taken on a couple of vehicles to work on, an engine change and a 30% running gear rebuild on another.

2012 /13 did a couple of circus gigs but mainly spent all my time at my yard, sorting out parts, finding parts from other vehicles that fitted or could be bodged onto a dodge, things really took off and I started to strip two old vehicles, the website didn't get updated much, I had by now added over 26,000 pages / images / build sheets etc and needed to give it a bit of a rest.

2014 And now, March and I am very busy, working on local dodge 50's and supplying parts as well as support and help and advice to people all over the world, this has been an exciting project, started as something to do and has ended up being my business with my circus being my hobby.

Throughout this time I have been visited by many dodge 50 and RB44 owners and many have become good friends, you know who you are, I would also like to thank my wife Shealagh for supporting and putting up with me and letting me have more vehicles than I should :-)


I have left so much out here but it gives you all a bit of an idea of how and why the site happened but not that much about me, I am sure I will add more to this page sometime soon.

Tata for now and keep it dodgy :)

Greg

 

 

 

 




This Site is maintained and owned by Greg who has
A 1982 30ft S56 Motorhome (Brian),
a 1984 S75 van (Big Vern),
a 1984 S35 Chassis Cab Luton Box Van (Bertie)
1990 S56 Converted Welfare bus (Bonnie Bertha

 


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