Friday, May 27, 2016
More About Cars
I've written about some of the cars I've owned in an earlier blog. I can't say I remember exactly how many I've owned over the years, but certainly quite a few. As I mentioned in that blog, my parents bought me my first car, a Ford Anglia. It cost the princely sum of £75, which was probably quite a lot of money in 1969. I mentioned that I passed my Driving Test that year, when I was a Student A.S.M. at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham. The car was two-tone green and it had this strange thing when ever you had to use the windscreen wipers. When you went fast, they would move slowly, but on the other hand, if you went slow, say, going up a hill, they moved fast. Which could be really annoying when it was raining, so going up a hill, particularly one that was steep and you had to go into a low gear, the things would splash around, going back and forth across the windscreen and in some cases, squeak horribly. The poor little car was kept going for several years, taking me across the country for many thousands of miles. I can't remember what caused it to cease and eventually die, being taken away to a scrap-yard, but I imagine it failed it's M.o.T. which would have been the death of the poor old thing.
My father had a passion for fast cars, or at least, cars that he could tinker with and hopefully make more efficient. He bought a Triumph 1300 salon, and it was gray in colour. Unfortunately he had a predilection which meant he drove it all around the farm at Cardington and as a result it got covered in mud, both inside and out. I don't think my mother liked driving it much because it was always so dirty. So he bought her a second Triumph 1300, but this one was mauve and she made sure it was kept clean and it wasn't allowed any where near any of the farm tracks and so get bespattered in mud and grime. The gray Triumph seemed to develop a strange squeak, no doubt caused by being driven down really bumpy farm tracks and across fields, particularly at harvest time when he would drive it across newly-cut stubble.
An earlier car he owned was a Standard Vanguard estate, green in colour and certainly the right model to draw a horse box or a boat, particularly when we went on holiday to Fronton-On-Sea. Plenty of space inside to take us children together with all our luggage and extra things needed on holiday with a boat or yacht. That car's registration number was YBE 722.
My grandfather Ferriman had Jaguars. I rather enjoyed it when he came to collect me from school as it was good to show off to my school friends. It had real leather seats and walnut panels inside the doors and along the dashboard. He died in the early 1960's and my grandmother bought herself what was probably the first Austin Mini. It was red and I can even remember the registration number, 838 FMJ. I suppose it got all sorts of comments as it was such a small car. Granny Ferry, as she was often referred to, was a somewhat inconsistent driver. I remember, on one occasion, going into Bedord with her (I can't remember for what, perhaps we went to the cinema or something.) It was a foggy evening and on he way home, back to Cardington, the fog got very thick and you could barely see your hand in front of you. Granny was weaving about all over the road, clearly unsure where she was going. We children sat in the back, really quite unsure whether we would land up in a ditch or whether the car was going to veer off into the wrong lane and into an on-coming car.