How long ago was this taken? Well, I guess I’m 5ish in this shot. Minus my current age, 45. So about 40 years ago. Give or take a year or two. My grandparents used to take my younger brother and I on caravaning holidays in Kent during the summer. This photo pushes my memory to its limit. I have only the most vague recollection of that white Renault, but I know that I liked it. Not long after this holiday, my grandad bought a green Vauxhall Cavalier. That was the first car he ever bought from new, and would see him through to the end, which came in the summer of 1994.
My grandad was born sufficiently pre-war to be able to serve in it. His military service shone through decades after he was demobbed. I’ve always assumed it was his service, anyway. Perhaps his post war, uniformed job at British Airways was also a factor. Whatever the case, he’d arrive at even the most informal event in shirt and tie with an appropriate jacket. The most telling sign of his past were his well polished shoes. That green Cavalier was one well looked after car. The chrome strips along the side would be unscrewed regularly, to make sure no patch of paint missed the soap and sponge.