Competition Winners: Road Trip

For our September competition, we asked you and your residents to recall memories about road trips, driving holidays and adventures in the car. We were interested in your residents’ personal, funny and poignant memories, and hope you had just as much fun gathering them as we did reading them.

Our four winners all showed a real sense of adventure and lovely attention to detail – such wonderful memories! We’ve included them all below for you to read. Thank you to all our entrants and well done to our worthy winners.

A Surprise Day Out in1935

Rhona Handcock’s story (submitted by Dan Peacock, Hastings Court)

“Soon after 9 o’clock we were all ready to go, but where? A scrumptious picnic was packed in the basket and the beach-bag bulged with absolutely everything needed for a day out, whatever the weather! We heard a musical car-horn and there at the gate was Mr Thompson’s beautiful car, cream with brown trim. The front seats were tilted forward. Sheila, Mummy and I clambered onto the low narrow seat, one basket under Sheila’s feet, the beach-bag under mine. I could smell Mummy’s perfume and leather seats, but saw nothing.

Soon we stopped, Mr Thompson got out, put down the hood and we saw Albe, his wife and daughter. Where would they fit? At the back of the car a handle was turned revealing a dickie seat, and they scrambled in.

Mesmerised, I felt motionless, but the countryside sped by. We arrived…at Seaford. It exhilarated me. Fun, sea, sun and TWO ice creams. I was also eager for the journey home in the dickie seat!”


Learning to Drive in the Army

Bob Skinner’s story (submitted by Rhiannon Beckerton, Sunrise Senior Living Cardiff)

“Learning to drive is a milestone in life, opening up our world. After 75 years, I still remember vividly my first day on the road. It was in Colchester, when, as a raw young soldier, I took my turn at the wheel of a camouflaged truck. It was a noisy, nerve-wracking experience. The town’s bustling streets echoed to the clashing of gears as we tried to ‘double-declutch’ – no synchronised gears in those days! I passed. But, not so lucky was one rookie who managed to drive off the road into the town centre’s Woolworth store, smashing through its glass doors.”

Riding in the Dickie Seat

Daisy Hodgkinson’s story (submitted by Emma Rose, Grove Court)

“I remember going to Blackpool from Chesterfield, which is about 100 miles. My Auntie Leila and Uncle Henry took me in their car, in the 1920s, when I was four years old. I rode in the dickie seat on my own. A dickie seat was like a boot, opening outwards – instead of lifting up like a boot it pulled up into a seat. We stopped along the way. I was wrapped up in a rug, it was very comfy! The car shielded me from the draft, I had no seat belt, but I was protected. I was delighted to see the sea, as I had never seen it before.”


Wildflower Picnics

Peggy Payne’s story, (submitted by Patrycja Godzwon, Littlebourne Care Home)

“I was a little girl, but I remember a lovely summer holiday trip with my Uncle George, who brought an amazing car in 1925. A chauffeur drove the car, and then Uncle George changed with the driver, and the driver had to walk in front of the car. We stopped a few miles outside London and had a picnic in the field beside the road – the motorway had gorse bushes beside the road. I was a little girl, so I had to be lifted out of the car and sat by the wildflowers, near a very busy road. For the first time I saw a squirrel, and that was an amazing experience for me, because I love nature.”