Monday, 27 February 2012

City Trippin'

Curley and Captain

Curley, as it happened, was best man for his cousin Tommy Hiyab. A few months later Tommy and Mrs Tommy invited  him over to Ayelsbury to spend a few days. It was 1954 and by sheer co-incidence or not - the same time as the Motor Show was on over at Earl's Court. The one thing that Curley delighted in above all else was wheels  and more than that - new wheels. Curley as you might or might not have guessed was my Other Half's favourite uncle (here) and O/H spent  whenever he could on Curley's  Mid Wales farm during  school holidays. To his sheer delight, Uncle Curley invited him to go along on the pending trip.
Suit cases loaded and dressed up to the nines in his peaked cap, wide calico striped braces, new trousers and shiny town boots, Curley hauled himself into the driving seat of his Wolsey 444 with the walnut dash and leaned across on the passenger side handle for 'Corporal' to get in on the other side. He often called O/H 'Corporal'. Curley had a bit of a leaning towards the military, World War II and all that.
Earl's Court was mind blowing.  Never seen such sights - Rollers with fully equipped bars in the back,
''Well I go to sea!''
Aston Martins, shiny black Jags and Lister Bristols in racing green,
"Well. I go to sea!"
Being as they were in London, may as well make the most of it and go 'n have a bit of a look at Buckingham Palace, and educate young Corporal so to speak.
It was a bit of a maze around Hyde Park Corner and Curley'd lost his bearings a bit. Like they say - when in doubt - Ask a Policeman.  A copper across the road was on point duty in his white police sentry box. White leather gauntlets directing five lanes of traffic.  Curley halted the Wolsey 444, his new trousers barely brushing the tops of his shiny town boots and beavered across. Hooting, screeching chaos and mayhem all around him. He almost reached the sentry box and was just about to yell, 'Scuse me ....'  The leather gauntlets gesticulated wildly, a string of obscenities and cursing reverberated like steam off the sides of the box, the like of which he'd never heard in his life. Somewhat subdued, he weaved back to the Wolsey triple 4 and got in. Corporal looked at him expectantly. Turning the ignition on, and all Curley could say was
"Well I go to sea!"


  1. That must have been wonderful to spend time at the farm with the horse. He;s a beauty. Horses are so majestic.

  2. Love the photo, and what a great story, it's hard to imagine what it must have been like in those days in London.

  3. And the Wolsley had that beautiful lit-up badge on the front...What class!

  4. great story. I used to live near Aylesbury :-)

  5. Molly you tell a good tale of times gone by - keep em coming!! xx

  6. Oh, I did enjoy that post, Molly. Curley looks so like the Montgomeryshire farmers I met when we first moved here 40 years ago. What a magnificent working horse in the photo too. I'm glad I'mm old enough to remember working horses on a nearby farm when I was a child growing up in Lancashire.

  7. I love old stories and this was great one. Thank you.