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Neville John William Day 7 March 1922 - 26 November 1990

Preface Dad and the Cranes
Neville Day The early years Dad and his duty to the Crown. Including the one on the can!
Dad's Dad's Army Dad’s driving lessons (and some)
Help from Neville’s Father John Day Dad and the Mercedes G Wagon
The Day I met Day Dad, four tonnes of concrete and the gravel tsunami
Dad and the Coronation Norfolk is flat (not!)
Neville Day’s admirable tutoring No pheasant in here Charles
Promotion to Chauffeur You can drive when you're eighty!
Dad and THE holiday Dad and the North Sea Gas pipeline
Dad’s pigs and the Onion Dance Dad's Butt pricking
Dad and me and the Farm Fire Dad’s idyllic office and the end of Neville Day Plant Hire Ltd
Fluffy dog meets Steam Engine (fluffy no more) Dad’s little known speech impediment
Helping with the pruning and tree felling Dad and the not a Volkswagen
Neville Day The early years and the final hour Dad’s wheelies
Dad and Fairstead Dad would have laughed!

Promotion to Chauffeur

This is not one for the woke brigade, or other intellectually challenged individuals.

They would not be capable of transporting the limited scope of their imagination back to times when social values were different. Political Correctness hadn't yet raised its ugly, divisive head. Common sense of the time was still alive and well, and frankly an age when people had far, far more respect for one another.

Dad had need to call upon a neighbouring friend and farmer. A larger than life and jovial character by the name of Kelly Martin. For what reason is not important and I can no longer remember. Most likely to borrow a tool or to return one or to lend one. It doesn't matter now. Friends did that sort of thing in those days.

The meeting naturally involved a little libation. Friends did that sort of thing in those days. Enjoying oneself and socialising was not yet considered immoral, let alone life threatening.

Dad never drank to excess and apart from his wedding day I never saw him inebriated to the point that he was unable to stand. That is to stand without the aid of being strung up by his loyal friends between the pair of poles of our washing line, so as to dry out. Friends did that sort of thing in those days.

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Leaving the door of our friend's farm situated down towards Black Drove Fen, Dad threw the keys to our Ford Consul at me, just twelve years old, and said "You drive!"

The longest stretch of the two mile long road home was narrow and being Fenland, dead straight, flat and featureless. Save for one little bridge over a drainage canal. No buildings, no obstacles, no trees, no global warming activists. No Police. Wrong!

For whatever reason our local tame bobby, along with one of his contemporaries, had placed themselves and their sit up and beg bicycles, at the little bridge over Rands Drain dyke, halfway along nowhere and about midway along our route home. Figuring out for what reason they were there would require a quantum leap of imagination. Other than yet to germinate and break through crops, visible for well over a mile in every direction, along with a few British Great Crested Newts enjoying a leisurely breast stroke and some pollywiggles in the dyke (drainage canal), there was absolutely nothing of any value to be seen.

Dad wore a flat cap. Of the type worn by yokels, thoroughbred horse dealers and Royalty alike. Harris Tweed. Not inexpensive. Dad was never parted from it. As family we suspected he bathed and slept in it. Some say he was born in it but we say they were joking.

Already quite tall for my age I was not yet though of adult stature.

Dad, although having imbibed 'a few' was not so incapacitated as to not recognize the possible embarrassment of being stopped, and admonished (because there were no drink-driving laws in those days) for being intoxicated whilst in charge of a motor vehicle. The slight matter of not being behind the wheel of said motor vehicle at the time of secondary consideration.

Dad removes his size 7 1/8 cap and slips it atop my 6 7/8 head just before we approach the Bobbies. Whereupon it slides down over my eyes. Under the circumstances I suppose I instinctively thought it best to slip down the seat and so out of sight.

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policeman_on_bicycle.png As said, Fenland roads are frequently straight, so as is said in the Fens, I simply continued and followed the local edict of 'keep yew on a troshin’ ' until the hazard had passed.

Dad recovered his cap after around fifty yards and so I never did get to see what it had hidden for the past nine years or so I had thus far known him.

Neither of the Bobbies ever followed up. Fascinating that the sight of Dad's familiar Ford Consul being driven past them, quite sedately, but apparently with no one behind the wheel, appeared to raise not a jot of interest.

In a village with perhaps fewer than thirty motor cars at that time, I cannot believe they thought the car was left hand drive. Maybe they had more important things on their minds. Such as newts. None 'pissed as a' variety.

spacer_transparent.gifChris Latham-Smith 2022.

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