Go Back   Shipping History > Swinging The Lamp (Off Topic) > Holiday & Trips Nostalgia

The Road West.

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12th June 2018, 21:37
Dartskipper's Avatar
Dartskipper United Kingdom Dartskipper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Bedford, Bedfordshire.
Posts: 891
Images: 79
The Road West.

The first summer that we drove from the Eastern side of London down to South Devon was in 1968. Dad belonged to the AA, and requested an itinerary to help find the best route. For some reason now lost in the mists of history, Dad decided to use the A30 Route. (The A303 was having a lot of improvements then, so I think Dad wanted to avoid the road works.) Anyway, we loaded up the car on the Friday evening, grabbed a couple of hours rest, and then set out shortly after midnight. I don't remember all the details, but it was a long trip. We saw sunrise in Hampshire, stopped a couple of times so that Mum could use the Ladies loo, and eventually arrived in Paignton around 8.00 in the morning, just as the cafes were opening for breakfast. The car was a 1960 Ford Zephyr, with fairly high mileage, but it hauled all of us and a load of luggage without any fuss or murmur. It was on that holiday that Dad met the crew of the Pride of Paignton, and the manager, a Mr Stan Fordham. It was a fateful meeting, because the next year I spent the whole summer holiday on that boat, and later that year Dad was offered the job of taking command of Kiloran II in Torquay.
That was the beginning for me of a varied career that eventually saw me taking the yacht Orcella to the USA in 1974/75. I returned home in 1983.

Looking back now, that was one hell of a holiday!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13th June 2018, 08:36
Tom Alexander's Avatar
Tom Alexander Canada Tom Alexander is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,204
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartskipper View Post
The first summer that we drove from the Eastern side of London down to South Devon was in 1968. Dad belonged to the AA, and requested an itinerary to help find the best route. For some reason now lost in the mists of history, Dad decided to use the A30 Route. (The A303 was having a lot of improvements then, so I think Dad wanted to avoid the road works.) Anyway, we loaded up the car on the Friday evening, grabbed a couple of hours rest, and then set out shortly after midnight. I don't remember all the details, but it was a long trip. We saw sunrise in Hampshire, stopped a couple of times so that Mum could use the Ladies loo, and eventually arrived in Paignton around 8.00 in the morning, just as the cafes were opening for breakfast. The car was a 1960 Ford Zephyr, with fairly high mileage, but it hauled all of us and a load of luggage without any fuss or murmur. It was on that holiday that Dad met the crew of the Pride of Paignton, and the manager, a Mr Stan Fordham. It was a fateful meeting, because the next year I spent the whole summer holiday on that boat, and later that year Dad was offered the job of taking command of Kiloran II in Torquay.
That was the beginning for me of a varied career that eventually saw me taking the yacht Orcella to the USA in 1974/75. I returned home in 1983.

Looking back now, that was one hell of a holiday!
Oh! Memories --- I had a friend who owned a somewhat older Ford Zephyr which four of us companions used to terrorise the young ladies of Hastings and environs.

Also my wife Mary's grandmother owned a guest house called "Red Lodge" in Torquay.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13th June 2018, 18:54
Dartskipper's Avatar
Dartskipper United Kingdom Dartskipper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Bedford, Bedfordshire.
Posts: 891
Images: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Alexander View Post
Oh! Memories --- I had a friend who owned a somewhat older Ford Zephyr which four of us companions used to terrorise the young ladies of Hastings and environs.

Also my wife Mary's grandmother owned a guest house called "Red Lodge" in Torquay.
Those old Ford Zephyrs and Zodiacs are very collectible and very valuable these days, Tom. Dad bought a Mk1 Cortina the following year, and the prices of those are astronomical now because most of them have gone on to the rust heap in the sky.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 14th June 2018, 06:42
Tom Alexander's Avatar
Tom Alexander Canada Tom Alexander is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,204
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartskipper View Post
Those old Ford Zephyrs and Zodiacs are very collectible and very valuable these days, Tom. Dad bought a Mk1 Cortina the following year, and the prices of those are astronomical now because most of them have gone on to the rust heap in the sky.
Cortinas in Canada were fine when they stuck to the 1600cc engine -- then they put in a 2000cc that wouldn't pull your hat off with a 50 yards start.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 14th June 2018, 19:01
Dartskipper's Avatar
Dartskipper United Kingdom Dartskipper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Bedford, Bedfordshire.
Posts: 891
Images: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Alexander View Post
Cortinas in Canada were fine when they stuck to the 1600cc engine -- then they put in a 2000cc that wouldn't pull your hat off with a 50 yards start.
That wouldn't be the dreaded OHC rubber cam belt Pinto engine, would it? They always sounded very agricultural, even when new.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 14th June 2018, 22:36
Farmer John's Avatar
Farmer John Farmer John is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 1,316
I used to get a lift to work in a Lotus Cortina, it felt very sporty, they are now worth a kings ransom.
__________________
Buvez toujours, mourrez jamais.
Rabelais
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 15th June 2018, 06:47
Tom Alexander's Avatar
Tom Alexander Canada Tom Alexander is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,204
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartskipper View Post
That wouldn't be the dreaded OHC rubber cam belt Pinto engine, would it? They always sounded very agricultural, even when new.
Yep!!!!! That's the one. If I remember rightly, the overhead cam was starved of lubricant which, of course, presented some difficulties.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15th June 2018, 09:07
Tony Selman's Avatar
Tony Selman United Kingdom Tony Selman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: near Folkestone, Kent
Posts: 57
Images: 17
"The first summer that we drove from the Eastern side of London down to South Devon was in 1968." I was at sea then but for a good few years prior to that it was the day of the infamous Exeter by pass traffic jam. Most people came down via the A30/303 or the A38 to get past Exeter and into Devon and Cornwall. On summer Saturdays there used to be a monumental jam as the traffic filtered into each other and then tried to get over the single track bridge over the River Exe. You could be there for hours. The hub of the problem was a place called Countess Wear roundabout and a friend and I used to go out there and offer to take motorists via an alternative route via the back roads through Exeter to get over the river and onwards to wherever. We charged the princely sum of half a crown which was a decent sum when you were in your early teens in the late 50's and then used to get the bus back for 2d or something similar and start all over again. I think I earned 2 one day. One particularly grateful Jaguar driver gave me ten bob which was an absolute fortune. Most people pass at 80mph on the M5 these days.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 15th June 2018, 22:47
lakercapt Canada lakercapt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oro-Medonte Ontario Canada
Posts: 82
Images: 3
That was the time we had a Ford 'Prefect"
A four cylinder with a CC 1100 engine.The windshield wipers worked of the vaccuum in the manifold and under heavy loads, i.e. going up a hill with four people on board, they slowed to a stop. Take your foot off the gas and it would star again. Could not pull the skin of a rice pudding!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 15th June 2018, 23:04
Dartskipper's Avatar
Dartskipper United Kingdom Dartskipper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Bedford, Bedfordshire.
Posts: 891
Images: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Selman View Post
"The first summer that we drove from the Eastern side of London down to South Devon was in 1968." I was at sea then but for a good few years prior to that it was the day of the infamous Exeter by pass traffic jam. Most people came down via the A30/303 or the A38 to get past Exeter and into Devon and Cornwall. On summer Saturdays there used to be a monumental jam as the traffic filtered into each other and then tried to get over the single track bridge over the River Exe. You could be there for hours. The hub of the problem was a place called Countess Wear roundabout and a friend and I used to go out there and offer to take motorists via an alternative route via the back roads through Exeter to get over the river and onwards to wherever. We charged the princely sum of half a crown which was a decent sum when you were in your early teens in the late 50's and then used to get the bus back for 2d or something similar and start all over again. I think I earned 2 one day. One particularly grateful Jaguar driver gave me ten bob which was an absolute fortune. Most people pass at 80mph on the M5 these days.
Thanks for the memories Tony. We also got stuck on the Exeter bypass on the way home that year, and parked on the grass verge and got the Primus stove and kettle out and brewed up! Once the traffic had cleared a bit, around mid afternoon, we got going again. There was a queue of cars ahead and astern, and after dark nothing but red tail lights ahead of us. We eventually got home around midnight. The Countess Wear bridge and roundabout were a bottleneck for years, but the other challenge for cars heading West was Telegraph Hill. More than a few overheated on that climb!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16th June 2018, 09:50
Farmer John's Avatar
Farmer John Farmer John is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 1,316
I have an old engraving "Countess Wear Bridge". Very rural, looks like you might get a bike and a cart over it.
__________________
Buvez toujours, mourrez jamais.
Rabelais
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16th June 2018, 11:14
BobClay's Avatar
BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 958
Images: 50
I remember in 1973 I paid off a ship in Falmouth dry dock, but although we were issued a rail warrant, they weren't of much use as there was a rail strike on. I didn't have a car licence then, so my only recourse to get home was to phone my Old Man and beg a lift !!

He was in Stafford, and when I told him where I was, he pondered that for a bit then said: "Well, I've been as far as Bristol that way, which is almost there."

I decided to say nothing.

He drove down and back up with me and couple of others off the ship who were able to get transport from Stafford. It was getting on for a six hundred mile drive in a Transit Van. I had to keep him in beer for all of my leave.
__________________
"I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Corporal Hicks
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17th June 2018, 12:35
topol's Avatar
topol Wales topol is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Abingdon. Oxon
Posts: 15
The OP reminded me of doing something similar in 1976.

Three families were going together to Paignton, intending to drive down on the Saturday, but in the pub on Friday night we decided to go overnight.
At closing time we went home, dragged the kids from their slumbers, packed the cars and set off down the A34, A303 and thence to Paignton. arriving around 7am.
Had breakfast in the only cafe that was open - a large fry-up, and took a stroll on the jetty till the Guest House opened.

My car at the time was a Mk3 Cortina [coke bottle?] which I parked under a tree in the Guest House carpark.
I was unaware of the sap dripping onto it till I came to clean it [I did my own cleaning in those days].
Took hours of hard rubbing to remove the sap - a lesson well learned.

Don't park for long duration under trees!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 30th September 2018, 13:21
Hawkey01's Avatar
Hawkey01 Hawkey01 is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Highbridge UK
Posts: 234
Images: 1610
Thinking about the road west, I remember one occassion back in the late 60's when I went to Torquay to stay with some friends at a local hotel. As it was the Bank Holiday coming up I had already decided to head back to Bedfordshire were I lived at that time before the mad rush. However we were having such a good time I decided to stay an extra day. What an error that was. It took me 12 hours to get from Torquay to just the other side of Bedford. No motorways available then. Now the journey with motorways is probably even longer during holiday periods. Living in Somerset now and not too far from the M5. It regularly gets to a grid lock situation with queues stretching from Tiverton to Bristol. This then spills out into the roads around Somerset and just about everywhere becomes grid locked - even the small back roads, as people try to escape the mayhem. Thats how much we have advanced!


Neville
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 30th September 2018, 13:38
YM-Mundrabilla's Avatar
YM-Mundrabilla Australia YM-Mundrabilla is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Mundrabilla (haha), Melbourne really but I'd rather be in Narvik
Posts: 330
Images: 1052
Quote:
Originally Posted by topol View Post
The OP reminded me of doing something similar in 1976.

Three families were going together to Paignton, intending to drive down on the Saturday, but in the pub on Friday night we decided to go overnight.
At closing time we went home, dragged the kids from their slumbers, packed the cars and set off down the A34, A303 and thence to Paignton. arriving around 7am.
Had breakfast in the only cafe that was open - a large fry-up, and took a stroll on the jetty till the Guest House opened.

My car at the time was a Mk3 Cortina [coke bottle?] which I parked under a tree in the Guest House carpark.
I was unaware of the sap dripping onto it till I came to clean it [I did my own cleaning in those days].
Took hours of hard rubbing to remove the sap - a lesson well learned.

Don't park for long duration under trees!
Sap here in Oz is bad enough but fixable if you get it off before it attacks the paint.
The YMs parked our 12 year old (but still bright, shiny and in good condition) Corolla under some pine trees at one of her dragon lady lunch venues not knowing that a flock of cockatoos was located above high in the trees ........
Cockatoos happily chewed the stems from a heap of pine cones which fell onto the car - 6 dents in the roof, 3 or 4 in the bonnet and a similar number in the boot lid. Not her fault but I was not amused. Car now 22 years old still bright, shiny and in good condition but with body dents.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 1st October 2018, 11:34
Varley's Avatar
Varley Isle of Man Varley is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Isle of Man, G.B.
Posts: 1,045
I warn visitors about parking under the trees. But only after I learned that the girls prefer to roost in trees rather than the hen house!
__________________
David V
Lord Finchley tried to mend the electric light
Himself. It stuck him dead and serve him right
It is the duty of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 31st January 2019, 06:47
Engine Serang Europe Engine Serang is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Dublin,
Posts: 896
" However we were having such a good time I decided to stay an extra day."


Good Man. This is normal behaviour and fully approved off by me.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 31st January 2019, 10:31
BobClay's Avatar
BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 958
Images: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey01 View Post
Now the journey with motorways is probably even longer during holiday periods. Living in Somerset now and not too far from the M5. It regularly gets to a grid lock situation with queues stretching from Tiverton to Bristol. This then spills out into the roads around Somerset and just about everywhere becomes grid locked - even the small back roads, as people try to escape the mayhem. Thats how much we have advanced!


Neville
I drove up to Stourbridge for Xmas and was dreading the roadworks on the M5 as you approach Birmingham. They're turning it into a 'smart' motorway, which basically means you convert the hard shoulder into another lane, put up some lane control signs and you'd better not break down or you'll never be seen again, apart from occasional ghostly glimpses like some sort of Flying Dutchman wandering the Motorways of the M5/M6 junction.

But the girl in the Satnav had other ideas, she'd clearly been given info via the roadworks plotter so took me off the M5 just north of Worcester on the A449 and we proceeded on an alternative route. This might have been ok, had I been driving a Tiger Tank. Strange single track roads across almost Deliverance style countryside (yes, believe it or not, this does exist in the West Midlands.) After miles and miles of bleak landscape covered in cow sh1t, and circumventing a strange dark place called Kidderminster, I arrived at the family home. (About 10 years older.)

I'm told J. R. Tolkien lived in that area for a while, and some say he based 'The Shire' on Worcestershire.

More like f****** Mordor if you ask me.
__________________
"I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Corporal Hicks
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 31st January 2019, 17:53
Farmer John's Avatar
Farmer John Farmer John is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 1,316
"Strange single track roads across almost Deliverance style countryside (yes, believe it or not, this does exist in the West Midlands.) After miles and miles of bleak landscape covered in cow sh1t, and circumventing a strange dark place called Kidderminster, "

This is called "reality". If you go to the wilds of Shropshire, and turn the time back to 30 years ago, that is wonderland. The lost lands.

It must have gone now, but there was a signpost somewhere between Shrewsbury and somewhere else, arrive at a cross roads, the sign post shows "Shrewsbury" left and "Shrewsbury" right. Ahead the road had grass growing down the middle of a steep twisting track. I pressed on...
__________________
Buvez toujours, mourrez jamais.
Rabelais

Last edited by Farmer John; 31st January 2019 at 17:58.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 31st January 2019, 17:58
Farmer John's Avatar
Farmer John Farmer John is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 1,316
And got to very close to Ludlow!

"Where fragments of forgotten peoples dwell"
__________________
Buvez toujours, mourrez jamais.
Rabelais

Last edited by Farmer John; 31st January 2019 at 18:01.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 31st January 2019, 18:25
BobClay's Avatar
BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 958
Images: 50
Are you saying that luscious blond in the SatNav is a figment of my imagination ?
__________________
"I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Corporal Hicks
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 31st January 2019, 18:54
Engine Serang Europe Engine Serang is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Dublin,
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer John View Post
"
It must have gone now, but there was a signpost somewhere between Shrewsbury and somewhere else, arrive at a cross roads, the sign post shows "Shrewsbury" left and "Shrewsbury" right. Ahead the road had grass growing down the middle of a steep twisting track. I pressed on...

I'm waiting for some smartarse to comment that it sounds like an Irish Crossroads!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 31st January 2019, 19:19
BobClay's Avatar
BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 958
Images: 50
That reminds me of a motorcycle trip I had to Ireland at the back end of the 80's.

Cornwall to Fishguard, across to Rosslare then onto the southwest to get the MacGillycuddy Reeks. But I had to stop over in Tipperary to visit about 50 relatives (and according to my Mum, if I missed one, it would cause a 500 year feud.)

So with a long day behind me, I was trundling toward Tipperary and a signpost appeared saying Tipperary 20. A bit further down the road another signpost said Tipperary 25. Baffled I wondered if I was 180 degrees off course. But apparently they were changing from miles to kilometres and the signing was in transition, and when I asked my relatives in Tipperary what this was all about, they told me: 'Those are Irish miles.'

Some were 'anti-miles' and these cancel out normal miles. Bit like matter and anti-matter without the explosion.
__________________
"I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Corporal Hicks
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 31st January 2019, 21:27
Engine Serang Europe Engine Serang is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Dublin,
Posts: 896
Cornwall to Fishguard was the dangerous leg of your journey, there are Wurzels still roaming about.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 31st January 2019, 22:18
BobClay's Avatar
BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 958
Images: 50
It was also the longest run. Then a few hours on the ferry before heading for Tipperary.

Going back was good though. I met some Irish bikers and was persuaded to go to a rock concert near Waterford which was a great night. Took me about a week to recover.

__________________
"I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Corporal Hicks
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Greetings from the beautiful west coast of South Africa. woodend Say Hello 5 27th April 2017 12:46
South West Ship Show at Portishead DAVIDJM Places, People & Events of Maritime Interest 0 21st April 2017 00:32


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:36.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.