Yes, I too had not made the connection and certainly intended no disrespect to Dave Carter. For the record, I must say that I can see how it must have looked to him as the thread developed and I'm morally certain that not one of us intended any offence, merely following the etymology rather than the subject. My opening line was a throwaway, I admit and perhaps I should have been more temperate in my words.
I agree absolutely that he has the right to say his piece as he sees fit and would always defend a right to free speech in any forum. That said, as I'd more or less run the text in this NG some weeks in advance of it appearing in a wider medium, I'm surprised that it attracted no comment at that time.
I included the description of the trailer and tyres in my article quite deliberately. It was not accidental or witless, but cautionary as Nick Highfield has assessed. I'd made as sure as I could that the trailer was in towable condition before I set out to travel the 440 miles from Bristol to Glasgow, but at the end of the day the purchaser is at the mercy of the vendor in accurately describing the condition of the goods as they are supplied. Readers will recall that the Parsons engine was collected following an e-bay transaction, so, in fact, I was merely collecting something that I'd purchased sight unseen. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, things might have been arranged differently, but like I said, when you have travelled so far to collect something that you have already paid for, your choices are very limited.
The trailer was very well built, just unsprung and I will put my hand up to being unaware that an unsprung trailer is subject to the law as Dave Carter has indicated in print - not that I doubt him at all, but I did not know this. As far as I was aware, the tyres were the only matter for concern. At the end of the day, I chose to take the risk, driving at no more than fifty and stopping at almost every services to check the tyres for any signs of lifting plies, tread shedding, the walls breaking down or the crazing extending into wider cracks. I spent a good deal of my working life in the motor trade and have a fair working knowledge of tyres and their structure. I'd increased the tyre pressures to minimise deformation and although this naturally increased the jolting from the unsprung trailer, I was prepared to put up with it. Nothing I did was thoughtless but a calculation of risk from a knowledge of engineering practice.
In fact, the trailer followed the Volvo without deviation, hesitation or - God forbid - repetition! It towed absolutely straight and the journey was - as stated - uneventful if wearing. Perhaps I should add that the trailer has not moved since as I have sought to have its faults rectified. Having a course of action thrust upon you is one thing, but gratuitously repeating that action when not in need is - in my opinion - another thing entirely.
The magazine is read by about 8,000 engine enthusiasts around the world. I suppose this could be described as a public forum, but certainly a specialist one, the great majority of whom will have towbars on their vehicles. If by my comments in the article and Dave Carter's subsequent letter we have jointly contributed to road safety and made prospective purchasers of trailer-mounted large engines that bit more leery of putting their money up front sight unseen, then we have both done well.