Thursday, June 03, 2010

I survived the 1950s

This weekend they were celebrating the centenary of Jowett Cars, a company that manufactured cars in Yorkshire between 1910 and the early Fifties. My brother in law took this picture of a Jowett van at one of their events. We think it's the same model that my parents had when I was a small child. One day they put me in my pram, loaded it into the back of the van and then set off to Leeds. On the way round Tingley Roundabout it became apparent that the back doors weren't closed properly. The doors opened and the pram rolled out - with me in it. There wasn't as much traffic then as there is today and, this being the fifties, there was a passing District Nurse who yanked me and the pram out of danger. Doesn't mean I stop thinking about it. Obviously, as is traditionally the case with those isolated incidents of heart-stopping terror that happen when you first become a parent, they never told their parents.


  1. I recall (now with horror, though not at the time) watching the road passing underneath me through some (small) holes in the body of the plywood side-car that my father had made for his Norton 500. Then he got a Bond mini-car.

  2. Regarding heart stopping incidents, my mother received a knock at the door once with a stranger holding my baby younger sister. Apparently she had escaped her pram and crawled across two lanes of a dual carriageway across from our house. Another time the same sister opened the door of a speeding taxi and I caught her before she fell out. Thankfully she is alive and well at 40, the last time I checked.

    And I was not averse to walking on the ridge of the roof of our semi in Liverpool, and occasionally leaping from the roof to the attached garage. I pray that my 5 year old son hasn't inherited out suicidal tendencies.

  3. My Dad was a London taxi driver for a while and sometimes he would take me and my sister out in it and I used to stand in the front in the space next to the driver's seat.

  4. A scary incident indeed, but if the popular BBC documentary series "Last of the Summer Wine" is to be believed a not uncommon event in Yorkshire, save perhaps for the involvement of pram and infant rather than bathtub and pensioner.

    You should drop them a line; they might just use it in the final series.

    (PS Not meaning to belittle an event that's clearly stuck with you.)

  5. As I drove to Yorkshire this week with baby Archie firmly strapped into the baby pod in the back of the people carrier, with obligatory sun shield on the window, my sister reminded me that we used to make the same trip in the back of a mini van perched on a bench seat which we used to have to brace against the side of the van when going round roundabouts, being careful to not kick over the potty (or spill it on the dog). and it never did us any harm etc etc. Upon arrival, incidentally, we used to have to wait in the back of the van after a five hour trip while Dad celebrated making last orders by having a quick pint at The Salutation before makin' us entrance at mi' Nanas. And you tell the young people...oh, you get the idea.