A diary of one man's (Using the term lossely) utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and impecuniousness, starting in August 1947
Going to work - 1960
I knew of the one-day bus-drivers strike, so set out really early to walk the 8 miles or so to Buwell.
Being greeted as I opened the door by the snow and ice I did not expect.
I went back in and adorned me wellies, and set out again.
By the time I'd got to Arkwright Street, I realised that the wellies now leaked - but it was too late to go back and change them, or this would have made me late for work.
I pressed on, and apart from just one whoopsy-down-I-went event on Carrington Street, I eventually arrived, tired, wet and cold at the gates of Whitehead's Robin Hood Confectionery factory - and read the notice on the gate informing everyone that they were closed for the day!
When I arrived back home, I noticed the letter from the boss, on the floor just inside the doorway, telling me of this!
Going to work - 1965
There I was, on me Honda C50, in Mansfield looking for the Co-op shop I should have been working at - and lost!
As I turned a dual carriageway, I found myself in the midst of a Hells Angels charity Parade of some sort, and drove along besides BMW R69s, Ariel Leaders, Harley Davidson Duo Glides and Hardtails, Triumph Thruxton Evocations, Royal Enfield 750s, BSA RGSs, and Matchless G9s, with my little Honda C50 getting more attention than the others!
Going to work - 1969
Oddly enough it was snowing again on this occurrence.
Setting off in my brown Robin Reliant, I called at a shop just down the road, to get a newspaper and some pipe tobacco.
When I returned to the car, I realised I'd left the engine running with the keys inside, locked meself out of the vehicle - and the choke was half way out!
Oh what a predicament!
I called the RAC, who were very busy due to the weather - but was more concerned about the engine getting hot and melting the bodywork!
A nearby butcher came out and told me his brother lived nearby and had thousands of car keys, and kindly went to fetch him - they returned with a biggest keyring on keyrings of car keys, and within 10 minutes they found one that did the trick!
Just as the engine spluttered and died.
I thanked him, and gave the chap some cash in appreciation.
An hour or so later the RAC arrived, and declared that the engine needed urgent hospitalisation with a garage.!
They towed me back to a garage, where the wink-wink mechanic proffered that 'Wilhemena' (the car) would need at least two days medications and treatment. The RAC then lifted me home.
Where I dug out my old push-bike from the shed, only to find she was knackered through lack of use.
I phoned the shop manager where I should have been working, but got no reply.
I wrapped up well, and set off using the bus to get to work at all costs.
When the bus turned onto Central Avenue (where the shop was situated), it was diverted by the police along another road!
I dropped off at the next bus stop, and started to walk back towards Central Avenue - that was when I saw and smelt the burning and flames that were coming from the Co-op shop on Central Avenue, then I saw the fire engines.
Going to work - 1976
Setting off at 0400hrs, in my trusty Subaru Justy, for the trip to Keyworth, and the Carters Pop Factory where I worked, once on the A453 the engine cut out. I glided into a layby, and tried to encourage her to start again, but she was having none of it bless her.
I walked a mile or so to the Power Station security gate office, and begged to use their phone to call the RAC - they begrudgingly allowed me to do this. I thanked them, and ran back to the car for fear that the rescue vehicle would arrive before I got back there.
Half an hour later, after many more attempts to start her up had failed, an RAC vehicle arrived.
I explained what had occurred, and the man said for me to try once again to start her - and she started first time!
He followed me into the car park at work in case she packed up again en-route, and advised me to get the air and fuel filters checked ASAP. This I did, and had to have the fuel filter replaced, and she never let me down again.
Going to work - 1980
Travelling along the A453 again, this time in me Fiat Panda Sisley 4x4, again at 0400hrs in the morning on me way to Carters, and the right headlight beam suddenly shot up like searchlight!
This was not appreciated by the lorry drivers coming in the opposite direction.
I pulled into the same lay-by, got out into the rain, and tried to make sense of the structure of the complicated maze of wires that controlled the retention and direction of the main beam - I failed!
I waited until a break in the traffic came, and sped (not that speed can be associated with a Panda 4x4), fast as I could to the next exit, and got off the main road, and when into an area with street lights, I turned to side-lights only.
I pulled into a closed garage forecourt, and tried again to sort out the headlight, again without success. So, seeing a phone box near the village, I trotted soaked to the skin to use it to call the RAC.
As I was doing this, I saw me Fiat Panda Sisley 4x4 drive passed with three male occupants, off into the distance... with its right headlight searching for bombers in the sky!
I walked into work.
*The saddest part of the whole thing, was that the police called me back at lunch-time, to inform me they had found the damned car in a ditch!