This story was inspired by reading Gloria’s memories of Laindon, how are you, its been a long time.
This memory of Fred Rand and the hearse, it wasn’t an actual hearse, it was an ten seater funeral car, Daimler with a six cylinder sleeve valve engine built about 1930. Ten of us brought it between us, the ten being, Brian Cordell, Vic Mansell, Peter Bassett, Nigel Flashman, Peter Collison, John Rowe, Dave Norton, Mick Riches, Keith Adams and Fred Rand. I think the price paid was £30 shared between us £3 each, Vic had to sell his tape recorder to raise the money. Fred being a very important shareholder as he was the only one who had passed his driving test at the time. Also at this time you could get more than 4 gallons of fuel for a pound. So it was cheap to run when we all chipped in. As I said it was a ten seater so we all had a seat. We went all over the place in her, it was a laugh a minute we went to Mallory Park one time for a motorcycle race meeting. On the return journey driving back down the M1 the radiator sprang a leak, we managed to fix it by sticking a piece of wood in the hole.
Fred did a couple of jobs (funerals) with the old Daimler for a local undertaker, the first time he didn’t have a suitable black overcoat for the job. Anyway as luck would have it, that night before the job Vic and Fred were in Southend on a cold and frosty night, when they spotted under a lamp-post a car with a black overcoat covering the radiator to protect if from the cold. Just what he was looking for, he borrowed it for the job the next day. Fred not being that tall it came down to his ankles, but it did the job.