Memoir circa 1965
Wow! Love the number plate for Eunice Carol! What a great little car! Reminds me of the tiny Fiat that 5 of us used to travel in- like sardines from Worksop to Retford when I was a TO in the Tax Office around 1965-67.
That must have been not long after 10 of us squeezed into a Jaguar after a party to drive the same country road. Fortunately only 8 miles.
At that time in the Swinging Sixties people everywhere were cramming into vehicles to try to create a record – for the number of idiots you fit in at one time. It will be in The Guinesss Book of records.
Anyway it must have been after a ‘do’, ,at the Retford Tennis Club, where a colleague and I were members, that I accepted somewhat warily, the offer a lift home, not expecting to be perched on some stranger’s knee, crouched down, and totally silent for the whole trip through dark winding roads flanked by the high hawthorn hedges that still are a feature along most Nottinghamshire roads and lanes today.
I do remember how The Jag – a classic car today – would sort of roll slightly in the back on each bend, which proved to be a flaw in that design. Honestly at a higher speed I am sure we would have been killed!
Later,a group of us who lived between Sheffield, Clowne, Worksop and Retford, chose to avoid the long bus ride to work through the winding villages which was a nice run from the top of a cream-painted double-decker No.85 Gainborough-bound bus. Not as much fun every morning at 8am when my part of the trip took 45 mins just to do 8 miles, even if on a misty morning you could be gazing across the hazy fields to where a large red brick Georgian mansion stood with only its long graceful windows, roof and chimneys above a sea of gently undulating mist and see a russet-coloured pheasant suddenly leap up out of it and flap its way stage right. A beautiful scene to behold, but once was enough.
So the deal was: five of us out of a car pool of six travelled to work in Malcom’s tiny cream car (seemingly not much bigger than the model above) five days a week. The one whose turn was on the roster caught the bus that week. We were all much slimmer at that age but it was a cosy ittle squash for the three in the back seat of the Fiat..
I should point out that this was only 20 years after WW2, mass car production was not yet churning out thousands of cars, and owning a car of any size was a luxury rather than the norm. If a father owned a car (never the mother) an outing in the family car was a memorable event, usually accompanied by a packed lunch because not one McDonald’s was yet on the horizon in Britain, (that joy was yet to come) and thirty miles was viewed a a long journey!.(See Our First McDonald’s on another page).
All went well with the car pool. Apart from Malcolm who owned the Fiat we all took turns to have week on the bus.
On my week off I arrived in the office to find the others were not at their desks. It was a couple of hours later (no mobile phones) that they straggled in, shaken and stirred.
Unfortunately they had a minor accident on a country lane, but due to the fact that they were so densely packed no one got thrown about or even bruised!
I think the car pool must have been relegated to the bus by the District Inspector after that, as that is my last memory.