Transport has become an increasingly important part of our lives. When my Great Grandfather came to Australia his mode of transport was a pony and cart.
Holidays a long way from home simply didn’t happen. The car made a world of difference in our ability to move around. This month we are going to look at driving – did your family have a car when you were younger, what age did you learn to drive, what were the requirements you needed to undertake in order to get a license. How important was a car in your earlier life? Is it the same as it is now? Has location varied this need at any point?
Please join in giving your location at the time of your memory and your generation. An explanation of the generations and the purpose of the prompts along with conditions for joining in can be seen at the Times Past Page. Join in either in the comments or by creating your own post and linking. Looking forward to your memories.
This photo always had me fascinated as a child. My grandmother is in the driving seat but she never had a license to drive. My Grandfather (in the back seat) was always the driver.
Silent Generation /Baby Boomer cusp
U.K. Patcham (Brighton) –
My Grandfather owned either the first or second car in the county of Sussex. My Father learnt to drive early in life ancd because of this he served in WW1 as a driver. In those days there were not too many people who knew how to drive. He lied about his age to get in. I’m guessing he was around 17 or 18. My first car was a Bond mini- car which I bought at the age of 15. I didn’t require a license to drive it as you only had to have a license if there was a reverse gear. As this was a motorcycle engine it didn’t have a reverse gear. This wasn’t a huge problem as the single front wheel could be turned to 90 degrees. It didn’t have a door which was only a problem if I was driving a girl wearing a skirt but as the only girl I drove was my sister it didn’t bother me or her. From 15 I always had some vehicle to drive to school but apart from the Bond mini car most were motorcycles until I got my license and bought a Morris.
As a child the church supplied my Dad with a car as he had to take services and minister to people out in the bush. Twice a year we would travel 500 miles to Sydney to visit my Grandparents. I hated the trip. My brother suffered car sickness and we were both doped for the majority of the trip. There was no need for me to have the tablets but I think my mother liked the peace and quiet having me asleep brought. When we did come to we played games to keep us from complaining of boredom. These included I spy, spotto and I went to the shops to buy my aunt an apple and the next person had to repeat that and buy something starting with the next letter in the alphabet. We also had a cricket game that came on three dice like blocks but as our family was non -sporty none of us enjoyed playing that much. I also played kidnapped where I face out the back window (no seatbelts in those days) looking at the car travelling behind gesturing wildly and mouthing “I’m being kidnapped.” No-one in those days paid any heed to me but I doubt that I would be ignored totally now. We also went on one road trip to North Queensland, camping.
My mother taught me to drive when I was 15 and 9 months and that was fraught with disasters. The first day out I ran into a tree – she hadn’t told me where the brake was. We then practiced in the car park and when she thought I was right we were back on the road. For some reason I went gently into another tree and it was back to the car park. I did get my license soon after my 16th birthday and didn’t drive again for probably ten years or more. I did buy a car – I was told a wardsman at the hospital was good at buying cars for trainee nurses so I enlisted his help. The car arrived driven by him. I could never get it to start so it sat in the nurses home car park and was used as a hotel for nurses that got home after curfew. I have no idea what I did with it in the end – probably just left it there or gave it to someone. I then took up motorbike riding. That license was easy as the examiner told you a route to ride. He timed it and if you got back within a certain time frame you passed.
What do you remember about driving? I’m looking forward to reading your memories…….