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My first proper motor was a 1931 Morris Minor bought from a work colleague for £25 in 1957.  She had cable brakes that worked occasionally sometimes requiring a dive into the hedge to stop, sloppy steering, doors that popped open when going round corners, crank handle starter if needed, (which was most of the time)  a triangular arrangement for the clutch, brake and accelerator so that you could heel and toe the accelerator and brake and and at the same time double de-clutching and going down through the gears, the 'universal joints' were made from fibre discs held in place by 3 bolts two of which were missing, cart springs and dampers that didn't work resulting in a great deal of wallowing but apart from that she was lovely.



I could write a volume about this car.  It's a 1933 MG J1 Salonette picture taken about 1959 outside No 27 and behind Don's shop in Bookham.  I paid £75 for it stripped the engine twice, rebuilt it then the main bearings went again so I broke it up and sold the bits. Sacre bleu!  Not sure who the bloke is!


Sunday 22nd November 2020.  A letter to our Grandson studying at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.


Dear Ivan,


Back in 1956 when I was 17 I bought a Lambretta LD 150 Motor Scooter registration number XPL 43.


In the summer of 1957 for some reason (actually it was to try to forget a failed relationship!) I decided to drive it 270 miles up the old A1 (The Great North Road) to Darlington, I can remember staring at the speedometer for hours watching it hover around 36mph.  I wore a black and white chequered cap - no crash helmet required!


Why Darlington? I had many lovely aunts, uncles and cousins dotted around Durham and North Yorkshire also, I had already spent time up there with my Grandparents when I was 5 as I was 'evacuated' there in 1944 after our house in Oxshott was destroyed by 'The Bomb'.


I started school at Reid Street School in Darlington and also spent weeks in an isolation hospital with scarlet fever. Many other visits during my childhood followed so for me the area holds a lot of memories.


This particular scene I call 'Past, Present and Future'.  


'The Past', because the location is probably the furthest the old Lambretta could manage somewhere between Barnard Castle and Kirkby Stephen, 'The Present' because thanks to you I have the use of a rather special set of wheels and 'The Future' because if I disappear for a few days next Spring I can be found somewhere on the A66 cross Pennine route looking for this location. It's probably been wiped out by the new dual carriageway but I need to check.


I expect you think I'm joking?


Lots of love


Grandfather Dumps x

galaxie 2

1955 Morris Minor Convertible, XOL 958, taken about 1962 outside No 27 with my mother waiting to be taken somewhere.

She was known as 'the rusty one', the car that is and not my mother!

Definitely 'a looker' but not without faults.  She is a 1959 Riley 1.5 taken about 1965 outside No 27 with the rebuilt Little Heath Farm Cottages (birth place) in the background.

1962 Ford Galaxie taken in 1968/9.  Lynwood Washington State USA.

Only got written off once! But came back to life.


Bedford CF Van. 13 seat crew bus converted into a customised Camper Van for family and dog.  Bought in 1976 sold in 1986.  Cooker, sink unit, beds converted from seats, curtains, awning, button padded roof, high level stereo system,  SPAS (sheep proximity avoidance system).

123 mg
1931 Morris Minor
Past, Present, Future

'Past, Present and Future'.

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