Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Thursday, 28 July 2011

No Need For Speed

This week’s Sepia Saturday picture prompt has a lovely lady sitting on the bumper of a car. I couldn’t find a lovely lady in my family albums, but I did find this lovely man; my then soon-to-be husband, photographed in Hawaii in 1974, where he was on exercise with the R.A.F.
The car is a brand new silver Excalibur SS Roadster, and no, he wasn’t the owner. The owner lived in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, and had just taken delivery of this mighty machine. The Excalibur had a powerful 7.5 litre V8 engine and was capable of very high speeds; 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds, and a top speed of 149 mph, which all seemed rather a waste as there was a blanket speed limit of 55 mph in Hawaii at that time. It is a rather smart car though. On seeing this photo again my husband commented that he himself looked ‘very 1970s’- yes, well there’s a reason for that; perhaps it was the purple crimplene shirt and the moustache. The haircut wasn’t 70s though; shouldn’t it have been a mullet?  Of course, the R.A.F. insisted on short back and sides for their chaps.

I did find one picture of a lovely lady standing by a car; our wedding day picture, but I’ll spare you that. We recently viewed some rather grainy footage of that 1975 ceremony, taken by my brother-in-law with a Super 8 cine camera. He managed to capture some of my husband’s fellow officers and other jolly guests, rigging out the car in traditional ’Just Married’ style, complete with tin cans. Whatever the white stuff was that they used to write all over our nice newly-cleaned Vauxhall Viva, it managed to rub off on his new ‘going-away’ velvet jacket, resulting in a dry-cleaning bill. In the film you can see my new husband gesticulating (yes, I think that’s the right word) at the guests and muttering something through clenched teeth. Oh what fun we had; it’s a good job it was silent movie. We did notice that as we left the reception the camera panned away to a nearby service station sign with petrol at 69 pence a gallon! Ah nostalgia!

My husband was always interested in cars, probably more from an engineer’s point of view, and this may have begun when he was small and rode his very own Triang car in the family’s yard. Not a lot of room for manouevre, as it was still ‘under construction’, and you can see the crazy paving slabs stacked up in the background. So it was probably two pedals forward, one pedal back

He looks so angelic in his 1950s pedal car, home-knitted jumper and Clarks’ sandals. And, in true ‘like father, like son’ fashion, here is my son from Easter 1981 in our back yard in RAF Married Quarters at High Wycombe. It was postage-stamp size; a patio with a border, and the whirligig washing line in the centre. So, it was round and round we go and not much danger of him breaking any speed limit.
And here are his twins borrowing their cousin’s roadster at my Dad’s recent 90th birthday party, (where there was no speed limit).That’s not a black eye my grandson is sporting, he’d been face-painted as a pirate and was trying to get a few more miles to the galleon! In a few years’ time they’ll have passed their driving tests and, following the family tradition, will be asking for ‘an old banger’ to get them started. As long as it’s not a 1974 Excalibur. Better start saving up now!
As luck would have it I DID have a picture of a lovely lady and a car!

How do I steer this ship?

To see one man’s pedal car heaven, watch this BBC News clip.


  1. It's fascinating that the latest child's car is aping the same era as the Excalibur, 37 years later. Also the 1950's car shows the relatively primitive manufacturing processes then, with flat metal panels (and all those sharp corners) in comparison with the 1980s plastic version.

    A beautifully linked piece.

  2. Those pedal cars look like fun.

    I could understand the reporter in the video, but I couldn't understand the collector's accent.

  3. I'll admit to wearing Clarks' sandals but I was too old in the 50s to have a car like that. We did stil have our own home-made go carts. I would have stood by that roadster as well.

  4. Lovely pictures!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  5. You Married Jason King!!!!! :)

  6. Great photos. I know exactly where that photo was taken in Waikiki. The second photo is beyond adorable. This is a great collection of kids in cars.

  7. Love the Excalibur SS Roadster picture.

  8. What wonderful pictures! Your husband and grandkids in their cars are precious.

    I sure do appreciate your visit to my blog. Hope that your SS is great.

    Kathy M.

  9. I so wanted one of those kiddie cars. I remember seeing a tiny Cadillac at a store in Honolulu in the early 60s. I dreamt of that car for a long time.

    That Excalibur is stunning!

  10. Oh this is cool, we go from a lovely lady to a handsome man and his very cool car, and some really fine munchkin rides! Very nicely done!

  11. Wonderful connection of generation to generation.

  12. Lovely pictures. I had a metal pedal car when I was about 4 but I wasn't strong enough to push the pedals.

  13. Love the Excalibur! And your grandchildren are adorable! How great that there's been a succession of kiddie cars through the generations of your family. Delightful post!!

  14. What lovely pictures, and an interesting blog. Thank you

  15. I so enjoyed reading this. It takes the theme and uses images to sew together the generations. Wonderful post.

  16. They all have that same look of pride on their face, it's so cute.

    Saw this and thought of you this morning -


    Also, I have passed some blog awards to you feel free to 'collect' them over at mine!

  17. well, that was a delightful angle on the theme. and to start it with an Excalibur, hats off to you!!

  18. They are all wonderful photos and I enjoyed reading about them all. I thought sure the husband was going to own that car. Too bad.