This post is within the MEN BEHAVING BADLY POST DEN as the event took place when society was at a point of sea change. Men were just about to really behave badly
Before I set foot on a Palm Line ship we decided to have our last holiday together, as mates, and go to Newquay. At that time, I was regularly seeing the beautiful and talented woman whose name was Andrea Patricia Clarke. She was a school teacher whose photo had appeared on the cover of “Health and Efficiency”, a naturalist´s magazine. Our trip to Newquay turned out to coincide with Andrea’s and her female friend’s holiday location. We agreed to meet up on my 19th Birthday in the Great Western Hotel in Newquay.
Prior to setting off on holiday it was agreed that the three of us should upgrade the Ford Prefects electrics and fit new piston rings to the engine. Tommy took on the responsibility for the electrics, promising to fit the latest technology with respect to direction indication which replaced the semaphore arms. Joe and I would do the engine work.
The engine work, having been completed on schedule and budget, allowed Joe and I to chase the promised new indicators. So, off we went in search of the advanced electronics which were being tested at my parent’s house. Tommy invited us into the bedroom were the test was to take place. Tommy indicated to us the “advanced electronics” four lights, two for the left, front and back, and two for the right, front and back. He also pointed out the battery which would power the system and, then, he brought out from under the bed his solution to switch the lighting on and off in quick succession to give a flashing indication. Tommy demonstrated the device, on which my mouth and Joe’s fell wide open. The device was a one metre long wooden strip with a one metre long bare copper wire held at each end under tension and mounted on the wooden strip. The system relied upon the expansion and contraction of the wire when it was either passing current or the current was stopped. This meant that the wire was red hot, at times. The device was considered not viable, but that phrase was not used at the time.
The day came for our departure for Newquay, the car being overloaded with luggage and our tent. We had our last pint in the Red Lion, in Little Sutton, at 10 pm and set off South via Shrewsbury. There were no motorways so going was slow. At midnight a red light appeared on the car console and “Oil” warning was its message. So, we stopped, walked down the road and bought a gallon of oil whilst I was berating Joe for not checking to see we had the correct oil level when we left home The garage owner would not sell us less than a gallon because we had got him out of bed. . Two hours later the red warning light came on again. I stopped the car and checked all the engine and sump for leaks. Bone dry. So, we topped up and continued. It was five in the morning when we joined the main traffic to the South West. Up until that moment we had journeyed unaccompanied by other cars. We joined the traffic line to the South West. At that time of day nothing was coming from the other direction and within 10 minutes we appeared to have the road completely to ourselves. As the light improved I was expecting to see the road behind through the rear-view mirror but could see nothing and as we continued this began to concern me until, in the improving light, I could see what was obscuring my rear vision was a cloud of smoke. I pulled over to the side and, as I got out of the car, the smoke began to clear. I could then see that I had a queue of cars behind me. The drivers were all very furious because they could not see ahead of me, safely, to enable them to pass. Later, I was to lean about honing of cylinder walls
GREAT WESTERN HOTEL
My 19th Birthday took place in the Great Western Hotel, in Newquay, which overlooked the beach but set up very high on the cliffs. It was next door to the Blue Lagoon dance hall which had balconies that overlooked the beach. At my “bash” was Andrea, her mate, Tommy and Joe. At the end of the evening Andrea said “who fancies a swim”. But we have no swimming gear!! That did not worry Andrea who sped off to the beach with me in hot pursuit. Soon we were in the water, stripped naked. She went off like a torpedo into the darkness and the crashing surf, but soon returned flying past me a rate of knots. However, on dry land my speed soon overtook her and I was quickly on top of her. The waves rushed in and out the moon shone down and there was an increasing noise in my ears which I put down to the waves and the excitement. The moon had also grown in intensity and then, reality, I came back into the real world to look up to see hundreds of people clapping and watching from the Blue Lagoon balconies. They had trained all the arc lights along the balcony to be focussed on my bottom. What an embarrassment.
To be continued