Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sufferin’ Taters

Does every family have its unique sayings? Dad, who never, ever swore at home used to say ‘Sufferin’ taters’ with great regularity. It was a way of sort of bemoaning his fate or expressing misery. Needless to say he was ragged about it on occasion. I have never heard it anywhere else and as a phrase it doesn’t Google so I assume it was unique to Dad. Heaven knows where he got it from.

I wonder what phrase will my children recall me regularly using.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Matchbox Series - Those were the days


When we were little GB had mainly Dinky cars and I had mainly Matchbox Series. Appropriate really – Dinky being bigger and older than Matchbox...

I used to play ‘The Archers’ with them. Each character in The Archers had a car that I thought suited their personality.

I can recall the following:-

John Tregoran had a triumph sports car (the TR4?)

Jack Woolley had a bluey silver Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

Someone else who was basically an offcomer (can’t recall his name) had a Citreon but I’m sure mine wasn’t yellow. I'm sure it was white or cream.

Carol whatever her name was – the girl that all the menfolk were chasing – had an older Triumph MGTD sports car. I think this indicated that I thought she was better matched with John Tregoran than with Jack Woolley who didn't really 'belong'.

Sometimes I’d let her have a big pink Ford Zodiac convertible but I wasn’t really very fond of that.

Tom Forrest, the gamekeeper, had a Landrover.

Dan Archer had a Morris Minor – unless I needed Walter Gabriel, in which case he had it.

Nelson Gabriel had a flashy Vauxhall Cresta.

Phil Archer had a Wolseley and Jack had a Ford Anglia.

My other cars were scattered around the village (made of Airfix houses which I had bought as kits and put together). The only building I can recall properly is the pub of which I was quite proud because it had been hard to do.

(Photos of most of the cars are by kind permission of Marco. )
(A timeline for The Archers can be found at timeline.)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Morris Thompson Edwards

Dad would have been 101 today. I'm not feeling moody or anything; I just happened to register the date as I was blogging. So I thought I would post a few pictures of him -

That's Dad in the middle between his brother Frank and his Mum, Ada. They put little boys in skirts in those days!

27th July 1916 aged 8 - into cricket.

1921 aged 13 - standing behind his Mum with his nephew, Frank Dennison to the right.

As a Birkenhead school boy

His school mates - I think he is bottom right corner but wouldn't swear to it. (Any ideas GB?)

The walker / cyclist and camper - in his twenties.

The footballer - in the centre of the back row - goalie for Furness Withy's football team. I have always thought all goalkeepers were mad. Fancy standing there having people hit a hard lump of leather at you; having to dive in the mud and risking life and limb taking the ball from the boot of a ferocious attacker. The funny thing is he always seemed quite sane to me.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Vauxhall Heritage Centre

Flog It visited the Vauxhall Heritage Centre this week. In the Centre there is the oldest Vauxhall in existence - a 5 horse power single cylinder four seater. It’s used every year on the London to Brighton run.

The most valuable is the 30-98 E-type Velox Tourer– the supercar of its day – tested at speeds of over 100mph in 1926. Bearing in mind the poverty of the brakes that’s pretty incredible. The right hand lever on the steering wheel was the throttle. The car would probably cost £¼ m nowadays.

As they rolled through old photos of new cars running off the production line I kept my eyes open for signs of Uncle Eric (Eric Spencer Body). He worked at Vauxhall from the 1930s. He was the head of advertising at Vauxhall when he retired and would almost certainly have been involved in such celebrations. Hey presto – there, rolling off the line was an Astra in 1981. At first I thought it was Uncle Eric driving - the face wasn’t that clear but the large ears suggested it could be him! However, working it out he probably retired in 1976 so it wasn’t him.

Instead I’ve settled for showing you a picture of Uncle Eric advertising Meccano when he worked there – a little younger!!!