If it wasn't dark, I'd post a picture. The day started well, I took the car for a jaunt up to the fringes of the Big Smoke to visit my Mother. The return trip took me near the Dartford Tunnel of Love, or hate if you have to actually use it. Even at 2.45 on a Friday it was well and truly fubared, solid traffic on the coast bound A2 trying to get off for the tunnel and the M25 tailed back for miles. The idle speed rose to 2k for no apparent reason (a carb rebuild is happening soon) so I sat there in the steaming heat for twenty minutes until breaking free to pick up my route towards Brands via Darenth to pick up my 6' 15 year old son. We managed to get past Brands when the car got really hot and rattly. We pulled over and inspected the obvious and boy was it hot!
The walk back on ourselves to the garage we passed gave the car a chance to cool down and us two to have a chat at normal volume. Having topped the oil and the water, it started fine and we carried on. Some five miles later we had to pull in again, more heat, a bit of steam and very rattly something mechanical. When it had cooled some we poked about and I figured that the thermostat had got stuck as the bottom hose was cool to the touch. Girlfriend was called and she turned up within 45 minutes, thankfully not to far from home. The tools she brought let me whip the thermostat out, it was definitely stuck shut. More water and off we went, until about 4 miles short of home so we parked up, crammed into her MX5 and came home. I made dinner, calmed down (apart from when I splashed water all over me when washing the wok) and let the poor Westy cool down again.
After dinner, with quiet lanes and cooler temperatures we went to get it again. It started fine so I whizzed it home now thinking that the water pump had failed. There's a ton of other projects that must take priority but having found Burtons sell new ones I'll at least order one. If it's not that, then I'm not entirely sure other than a head gasket issue. Time will tell.
Oh well. That's old cars for you.