Leaving the EU
VAN DEN HEUVEL, BRISBANE, Sir: It was fantastic news to learn that your country has made a brave decision to leave the EU. I believe as a keen reader of your publication, that the quality of your editorials, the magnificent portrayal of your rich history, the articulate way in which the argument that England should not be beholden to the EU kept alive the conversation and debate.
By keeping all this alive, whilst providing interesting and informative stories and articles, you have been proven correct over the many years of politely stating the case tirelessly.
Even though I live in Australia, what you did was awesome, at times it takes courage not to lose hope. Clearly the British fighting spirit is alive and well; your way of life should not be compromised or dictated by some faceless bureaucrat in Brussels.
I wish you all the very best, a prosperous start as an independent, self-governing country. It will no doubt present challenges but your publication has demonstrated again and again that there is nothing to fear, the rich tapestry of history that Britain possesses will see it through. — CHRIS POSTHOUWER,
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.
Sir: What a result! I was at a Bridge game when my partner saw the result on her ipad and announced this to members playing. Well, there were hoorays, clapping, high-fives and cheers! At last common sense prevails.
Now England can be, given time, its own boss, be happy and glorious, and in the words of Sir Winston Churchill, be with Europe but not of it. England was being swamped by so many problems, including businesses lost, no control over immigration and losing its sovereignty. Hopefully, this decline has been stemmed and I’ll live long enough to see England once again that glorious country fighting with the bulldog spirit. After all, England has fought wars on its home soil and overseas for a thousand years, may she reign supreme again. — CHRISTINA LA PONDER, TEA
GARDENS, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Walter J. Bourne, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire:
The car (see above) is a 1936 Y type Ford 8 hp, registration number CXK 418. It was my pride and joy during the early years of my marriage in the 1950s. The car was black and finished in what I think was called in those days “stove enamel”. It shone like a mirror, a beautiful hard-coated paint that seemed ever lasting. The car was on the dealer’s forecourt priced at £65.
My wife and I travelled for many thousands of miles in it, it served us really well, it added a new dimension to our lives. I had previously had a couple of motorcycles as our means of transport.
Compared to modern-day cars and motoring, driving the Ford was quite an adventure, if somewhat “hairy”! It had rod brakes, no hydraulics in those days, meaning the harder you pressed the brake pedal, the less effect it had as the rods just bent downwards and did not apply any more braking pressure. Even more hilarious, the windscreen wipers worked from the exhaust manifold, which meant the harder the car’s engine was working, for instance going up hills, the wipers ceased to work! Imagine that with rain pouring down. Happy memories though of many seaside holidays in that old jalopy!
Duncan Adams, Durban North, South Africa:
Please may I introduce “Lady Fiona RabbitVacu-um” (see above). She was named after the character (played by Jo Kendall) in the hit radio series “I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again”. My parents bought Lady Fiona for me in 1967 when I passed my test. She was a youngster of some six years. How I loved that car. With my brother’s help we fitted flashing indicators to replace the trafficators, and Maserati air horns to terrorise the pensioners of Worthing where I lived! Sadly, Dad saw a (solid-roofed) Morris 1000 flip over when snow was falling. “If you were in Fiona with no roll-bars, you would be killed,” he said. I was made to sell Lady Fiona and bought an Austin 1100 — “Kallikrates”.
I am pleased to read that I am not alone in naming my cars. Each has a personality. My brother is the passenger in the picture. I am wearing the snazzy hat!
Ian Hollands, Langham, Essex:
My first car was a four-year-old Ford Consul Mark 1 that my new wife and I bought after my arrival in what was then Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) as a cadet District Officer. It cost £275 and served us well in arduous conditions for three years, never once letting us down. The tops of the bench seats had cracked and faded in colour from exposure to the hot sun and so my wife made antimacassars, giving the car an exceptionally elegant appearance. Its longest single journey was from Kalomo to Abercorn (Mbala) and back, a round trip of over 1,700 miles, nearly all on “dirt” roads.
The picture shows K6489 in December 1958 at the Chambeshi Pontoon, where the last shots in the Great War had been exchanged just over 40 years before, on 13th November 1918.
Alan Poole, East Preston, Sussex:
We were rather fortunate as we had been married a few years before we started motoring and were able to buy a Hillman Minx Convertible as our first car. We were living at Rowhedge, near Colchester, on the River Colne and the photograph (see below) shows “Lucy” (our car is always known by that name!) at the riverside on a fine day. In 1961, this was motoring at its most pleasurable. No juggernauts, fewer cars, no seat belts and driving in Essex and Suffolk is a fond memory. We only had “Lucy 1” for two years; the needs of older relatives meant a change to a four-door saloon, but the Minx was truly worth having.
Rodger Gibson, Australia:
I bought my first car (see above) in 1958, while I was still 17. It was a 1938 Singer Super 10, which I bought from a dealer in Roehampton for the princely sum of £35.00. At that time cars were in great demand and this one was very cheap; I soon found out why.
The first day I had it, the battery went flat. The second day the exhaust fell off. The third day the carburettor fell in two. Oil in the coolant and coolant in the oil, were regular occurrences. The voltage regulator overheated and set fire to the bulkhead insulation. I had smoke streaming out of both lowered front windows as I drove along the M40 in Chiswick until I could turn off and deal with it.
A brake pipe blew off (handbrake never did work), the result was hitting the back of a Greenline bus right outside Ealing Common station, after which both headlights shone straight up!
I kept the car for about two years; I did about 30,000 miles, at about 30mpg, in spite of driving it hard. I learned a lot about cars very quickly! When I had finished with it, surprise, surprise, it went for scrap.
H.A. Watkin, Paignton, Devon:
I bought my first car in 1960 when I was a young policeman in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. It was a lovely little Austin A35, colour Speedwell blue, costing £365, bought with all my Premium Bond savings. The registration number was 7265 NO, I had no problems with it although I knew sooner or later I would need a new engine. The day came, two years later, when my girlfriend decided we needed a bigger car. I replaced the engine with a new Gold Seal costing £50 and sold it for £300. I was sad to replace it with an Austin Farina.