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Essence Of The 50s And 60s

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Lyn where do you get proper edible dripping nowadays?
Bryan.
Some proper butchers still sell it in pots. There is one in an alley off dudley street in an alley leading to the Mander centre in Wolverhampton (they sell proper smoked bacon and nice pies as well)
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Roast a good sized piece of beef - must have some fat on it otherwise you will not produce dripping. Size ideally 5 - 6 (or more) lbs. in weight. Not only will you savour the delights of a traditional roast beef lunch but you can also have slices with a salad or sandwiches. Horseradish sauce or English mustard is an ideal accompaniment.

Now if that doesn't make you all hungry, then nothing will! :yum
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
1950s travelling by car when there were no motorways.
We used to travel in a air cooled VW Beetle from Brum to Richmond Surrey about once a month. Start off down the Stratford Rd through Henley in Arden to Stratford. Then though Shipston on Stour skirting Chipping Norton to Woodstock where we would stop for a cuppa. Then on to the 'modern' Oxford Bypass where traffic was a bit heavy towards High Wycombe. Looking at today's map it starts to get hard to trace the old roads but I remember we used to pass Northolt airfield then turn right into Hanger Lane and then Kew Rd to Richmond. VW Beetles were quite rare in those days and drivers used to wave to each other as they passed.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Hi OM,

I just traced your route on my 1972 Lucas Atlas of Great Britain. Basically, you were following the A34 and the A40, a route to London I also knew quite well. Way, way back I had relatives who lived in the Hanger Lane area, and I remember my old man driving us down there in his Ford 100E and its horrible noisy 3-speed gearbox. Those were the days when 'motoring' was still a pleasure, not the pain it is now. I remember how 'easy' it used to be driving to Cornwall before the world went mad and the M5 became just one long traffic-jam, in my 1966 Hillman Minx. Nowadays I wouldn't dream of doing that drive, even in my current car which is far superior to that old but nice Minx.

I never had a VW Beetle, but my mate did, and although it was reliable it was also noisy as hell, and difficult to 'get at things'. A girl-friend of mine had an NSU Prinz, which I drove back from Brighton without being able to get first gear due to the cable linkage breaking somewhere. Driving more than a few miles back then was a real adventure, no doubt about it.

G
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I those far off days driving a car is exactly what you had to do. Poor internal heating, single wipers in some cases, hand signals often needed, low gears for hills, but at least the seats, in the less expensive cars were leather. ;)
It was not uncommon to see many broken down cars, especially on hills: overheating radiators, out of fuel, broken axles, punctures to name a few of the more common problems encountered. Even so, the joys of motoring, as it was called, were a challenge. Today the most likely broken car will have been in a crash.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I those far off days driving a car is exactly what you had to do. Poor internal heating, single wipers in some cases, hand signals often needed, low gears for hills, but at least the seats, in the less expensive cars were leather. ;)
It was not uncommon to see many broken down cars, especially on hills: overheating radiators, out of fuel, broken axles, punctures to name a few of the more common problems encountered. Even so, the joys of motoring, as it was called, were a challenge. Today the most likely broken car will have been in a crash.

Don't know how far back your're going, but my first car, a 1952 side-valve Morris Minor, didn't even have a heater! It was possibly the most uncomfortable car I ever had, but it was at least mechanically reliable, and ended its day being driven (by me) into the rear of an Austin Cambridge right outside the main gates of The Hawthorns. The main problems I had with my first few bangers were: leaking cooling systems, and blowing cylinder-head gaskets. Never ever ran out of fuel, though. Punctures: got a slow puncture at the moment on my Passat, must shake myself and get it fixed!

G
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I remember the route you describe as far as Oxford very well, and this was in the 60s and 70s. After Oxford I branched off.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
My first car, a 1935 Austin 10 (banger) I got in exchange for a £12 second hand Echo or Phillips portable radio in 1957. The radio actually was about the size of a toaster. The engine worked fine; little else did. It was only driven in daylight! ;) I had it for some months and sold it for £25. Police rarely stopped RAF folk - unless they were being stupid. Every vehicle I bought from then on was an improvement. I have to be honest I never had any of the serious issues I described in my post ##226, those seemed to happen to some other poor devil. Some of the RAF vehicles I drove, from time to time, were hard work.
Those Austin Cambridge's and Westminster's were quite tough in the rear. I slid into one on an icy road near Newton Abbot one morning when in a Ford van - the four geared version. The front crumpled, but I didn't. :eek: I then got one of the first A suffix (1963) Fords. It was registered in Plymouth and as Devon did not issue A suffixes I was often asked what it meant.
 

Elmdon Boy

master brummie
Big Gee, yes your right, I had a 1954 Moggie, no heating. Radiorails must have had one of those luxury cars, some sort of heating and probably indicators.
I remember coming back to Brum from my girlfriends home in Sheffield in the pouring rain with no wipers. Her dad suggested I smeared the windscreen with half a potato which he said would repel the water, didn't work just made matters worse, but somehow I got home.
On another occasion, once again coming back home from Sheffield with my girlfriend the water pump bearings packed up. Had to keep stopping every few miles to fill up the radiator.
She was in Birmingham at Teachers training college. Got her back to the hostel in the early hours of the morning. Her friends didn't believe her excuse giving her a lot of ribbing. Still my birthday was only a few weeks away and she enrolled me in the AA for my pressie.
Happy days.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Another aspect of travel I remember well from those days was going to London down the M1 on a Midland Red single-decker. Their boast was Birmingham to London in less than 90 minutes, and they could do it! No speed limit on the motorways in those days, so these buses would get to well over 100 mph, and being non-stop were generally faster than the trains! They were also the first buses I travelled on to have a toilet. I don't recall any serious accident with them (the buses, not the toilets) but I wonder if the technology of the day would permit an emergency stop at 115 mph, fully-loaded.... Back then I used to go to London quite frequently, and always used the bus as it was cheaper than the train.

G
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
Another aspect of travel I remember well from those days was going to London down the M1 on a Midland Red single-decker. Their boast was Birmingham to London in less than 90 minutes, and they could do it! No speed limit on the motorways in those days, so these buses would get to well over 100 mph, and being non-stop were generally faster than the trains! They were also the first buses I travelled on to have a toilet. I don't recall any serious accident with them (the buses, not the toilets) but I wonder if the technology of the day would permit an emergency stop at 115 mph, fully-loaded.... Back then I used to go to London quite frequently, and always used the bus as it was cheaper than the train.

G
I too remember, in the early 60s, during a day trip down to London, watching the Midland Red's speedo passing 100. (Try telling THAT story to the younger generation !). That was the first time I'd ever been at that speed, on the road.
 

Smudger

master brummie
I too remember, in the early 60s, during a day trip down to London, watching the Midland Red's speedo passing 100. (Try telling THAT story to the younger generation !). That was the first time I'd ever been at that speed, on the road.
The first time i did a `ton` was on the autobahn in a zephyr 6. The first car i drove in Germany was a beetle, & you had to pull the choke to get started & when i engaged the clutch it took off like a rocket & with snow on the ground it was a bit panicky, trying to steer the car & fumble about trying to push the choke back in.:eek: The early beetles were terrible cars, but i suppose cheap & fairly reliable. It`s mind boggling how far cars have progressed since then but so has the amount of traffic. :scream: (Love my heated seats in this cold weather ):)
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
Another aspect of travel I remember well from those days was going to London down the M1 on a Midland Red single-decker. Their boast was Birmingham to London in less than 90 minutes, and they could do it! No speed limit on the motorways in those days, so these buses would get to well over 100 mph, and being non-stop were generally faster than the trains! They were also the first buses I travelled on to have a toilet. I don't recall any serious accident with them (the buses, not the toilets) but I wonder if the technology of the day would permit an emergency stop at 115 mph, fully-loaded.... Back then I used to go to London quite frequently, and always used the bus as it was cheaper than the train.

G
My brother Allen did some of the trial runs on those 100mph buses when the M1 opened, he said that after each London return journey they had to replace all the brake pads.
 

adap2it

master brummie
I remember going up to Brum on my Triumph Tiger Cub (my first motor bike). I had moved to Sussex at this time and this was going to be my first visit using my own transportation. The occasion was the opening of the M1....I was there when, I believe Ernie Marples cut the ribbon. I was one of the first on there and it was such a thrill to be able to go flat out and not have to worry about oncoming traffic. Got to Brum in record time!
Dave A
 

Big Gee

master brummie
The worst part of the bus journey to London was the Midland Red bus-station in Digbeth. It was an embarrassment, to put it blunty, and the bus-station near Euston at the other end wasn't much better.

On one fine day in the mid-1960's I was heading to London on the M1 with some pals to go to a model aircraft competition, very early one Sunday morning. We were packed into a Singer Vogue Estate, a car that didn't hang about, and the driver got it up to almost the ton. Suddenly, there was a double 'whoosh' and a roar as two racing cars passed us, and were gone before we hardly saw them. I read later that it was Jackie Stewart and Jackie Ickx out testing cars for a racing-team the name of which I've forgotten, and as they'd been clocked by the police at nearly 220 mph there was a call for them to be pinched. But for what? There was still no speed limit on the motorways at the time. I think they got a stern warning, though.

G
 

Elmdon Boy

master brummie
Dave, flat out on a Tiger Cub, 60 mph. You may have been the first motorbike after the official opening!
I had a BSA Bantam a little slower, lucky to reach 60 mph. Mind most vehicles of that era were a little inaccurate at the top end, the needle fluctuated + or - 10 mph.
 
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