Yet Another Memory

A Bit Random

Having seen several photographs accompanying certain articles, I have been roused to share this tale with you all. 

My friend John drove a Ford V8 Pilot that was somewhat different to the others. It was different in the sense that the front wings had been severely cut down, to the point where they only just supported the large chrome headlights. In these times very few cars had windscreen washers, only the very latest models had them as they were a new thing. We drivers of older cars were quite inventive, so made use of an empty “Squeezy” washing up liquid bottle. Filled with water, it could be aimed at the windscreen, by way of an arm poked through the opened door window and squirted onto the screen. Boom !

John didn’t live in Laindon, although he hung out with the Laindon boys. His knowledge of areas outside of my scope of familiarity were, to me at that time, astounding. One day we had been to a distant land known as Ingatestone and on the way home via Stock, John asked me to give his screen a squirt. I did so, but he told me it wasn’t enough to clear the screen. He then suggested that I stand on the seat and sit on the door while the window was open, thereby being able to reach further and have more effect. So there I am, hanging out of the window, with only my legs in the car, concentrating on my task, when suddenly a huge torrent of water engulfed me. John’s knowledge of the area told him that a ford was coming up, and he timed it perfectly to soak me to the skin, by way of the cut down wings. The b******. That’s what mates are for!  

It was photos of the ford along Wash Road that rekindled this memory, in case anyone wondered what had inspired this ramble. 

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  • Alan, really good story, well told. I could picture this in my mind and had a small chuckle on the strength of it. I can’t help thinking you paid over the odds for “The Pram” though. I paid £8 for my Pilot and after a year sold it for the same amount, with only one brake working. I paid £30 for a mk2 Zephyr and £30 for an automatic mk3 Zodiac, both amounts that I could barely afford. I do recall that the core plugs frequently popped out on the old BMC A series engines, wish I’d known the halfpenny trick, could have saved myself some grief  that one. 

    By Donald Joy (02/12/2015)
  • Most of us young lads (as we were then) probably have a story surrounding a car. I purchased a 1934 Morris Minor for seventy pounds. One Saturday a couple of friends and I took the pram (as we nicknamed it) to the Saturday night hop at the Archer Hall in Billericay. There was a slight dusting of snow on the ground and, on the way home, at the top of Noak Hill, there was a sound like an explosion and a cloud of steam came from under the bonnet.

    We stopped, got out and as the steam cleared, opened up the bonnet and took a look. In the wall of the block was a plug which had blown out allowing most of the water to escape. Apparently this was a not uncommon occurrence and the manufacturer had sized the plug (now lost) exactly the same as a half penny. Presumably for easy replacement. We pushed a half penny into the hole and hammered it in with a shoe. Tools being in short supply. We gathered snow in an attempt to fill the radiator with water but this soon proved to be futile.

    What to do. Laindon lads were seldom short on ideas. In turn we each climbed on to the bonnet and relieved ourselves more or less in the general direction of the radiator cap. No doubt we were aided in our endeavours by an earlier visit to the Rising Sun just opposite to the Archer Hall. All well that ends well and we got enough liquid into the radiator. to get safely home.

    By Alan Davies (01/12/2015)

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