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Banburyshire Family History

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go back to the last page you were on Memories of the 40s : The Open Road


Although I had no means of personal transport, my sister owned a tricycle. This was inherited from an older cousin who had progressed to two wheels.

A wicker basket before the handlebars (holding Abigail the knitted doll), and a large metal boot behind the saddle. This boot had a curved lid, which hinged downwards; allowing insertion of two medium sized male feet. Alas, one-sister power did not satisfy my desire for speed.

An occasional treat, ['best not mention it to your mum'], was a ride with Uncle Dennis in his BSA motorcycle and sidecar. No safety helmets or seatbelts; we sat in a wooden box, one foot above the ground, clutched the sides, and shrieked our way around the country lanes.

In fact we were probably not driven very fast at all, but apart from a bus it was the only motorised transport we experienced. The road surface became a blur; Ringlets in front squealed non-stop; and the impression of speed was unforgettable.

Uncle Dennis wore an inverted pudding basin on his head, large goggles, a huge leather full-length coat, heavy gauntlets, and flying boots. We wore short-sleeved shirts, dungarees, and sandals. The proximity of the engine, the wind in our faces, each left turn raising us slightly off the ground -- intoxicating!

These outings eventually came to an end. Suddenly we were halted and surrounded by a herd of cows being moved from one field to another. Sitting at that height, looking up at curious bovines with their various bits and pieces, even I felt somewhat uneasy. Ringlet's response is best left in the mists of time.

On our return, the evidence of her reaction was obvious to everyone. I presume the subject was later discussed by Authority, because we were subsequently never again given the freedom of the road.

Written by Smokey