The year is 1969, my car was the minivan described in 'My
first motor car,' but when my friend Paul
and I decided on a camping holiday in Cornwall,
Paul’s father amazingly and kindly agreed to loan us his more reliable
mini saloon, which up to that point, had never been raced or rallied!
While camping in Cornwall, Paul and
I decided, on a whim,
to ‘pop’ up to Scotland to see my old girlfriend Phyllis Bell.
We never thought to ring and ask if she wanted to see us!
We later found out her latest boyfriend was hurriedly removed from the
scene. Fortunately Phyllis and her
parents made us very welcome allowing us to sleep in the lounge rather than our
suggestion of pitching our tent in their front garden.
The journey to Scotland became really exciting when we suffered a shattered windscreen on the M6 motorway. We cleared the glass out of the frame into a blanket and rang the Police. They were very impressed that we had cleared the glass from the road and quickly disappeared to deal with more important things.
Adrian waits patiently for the Mini to be re-fuelled - four gallons for a quid! Note the ICI Imperial Pump!
Paul - minus screen, finds a new way to warm his hands!
drove into Manchester, freezing
cold, but as it was a Bank Holiday
everywhere was closed. We were two
poor students who couldn’t afford lodgings so we found a suitable car park and
parked between two HGVs where we thought we would be safe.
Paul slept in the front and I was in the back (I was the biggest ).
We were woken up in the early hours of the morning by a group of drunken
yobs who had discovered the mini. Unaware
that we were in the car, they prodded about a bit and urinated up the side of the car
(fortunately not in the petrol tank!). I remember Paul passing me a wrench,
whispering “You sort them out Adrian”.
The next day we found a Kennings Garage and a bought new windscreen, sadly we
couldn’t afford to pay Kennings to fit the screen.
Neither of us had done this before, so it took us a couple of hours using
a piece of string and soap to fit the screen - while parked on the main road
outside Kennings. When we had finished we stood back to admire our handiwork
and received an ovation from Kennings’ administration staff who unknown to us,
had been watching our clumsy progress through the first floor windows.
5006 RH in Scotland. Paul on the Phyllis Bell
roof, me to one side and Phyllis’
on the bonnet.
Later, after we had returned the mini to Paul’s father, he found out that the windscreen leaked like a sieve, however he didn’t seem to mind too much, so perhaps he was just pleased to get his car back in one piece.
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