Danger at Large

Photo copyright: A Mixed Bag

Photo copyright: A Mixed Bag 2010.

As dusk settled over the ancient town, the growl of a lambretta could be heard travelling towards the castle. Anyone caring to take the time to look, would have seen a white battle stained scooter with a single weary rider. Nothing seemed to be remarkable about the rider, except perhaps her untidy jet black hair. It was made more remarkable because of the extra long bright yellow jumper which clashed with the drab nature of this part of the town. Perhaps it was the fading light, but the scooter seemed to be floating. Indeed factually it was floating, for at that moment the front wheel parted company with the rest of the scooter.

It was a dazed individual who dragged the lambretta to the side of the road, then left it. Accommodation found and nights sleep under her belt. A mechanic contacted to repair the damage. She dug into her back pack to pay her bill, to find her purse gone. Lost as her possessions had been scattered across the road. A ten shilling note had to be borrowed. A phone call made to Lancashire for replacement funds. Before her journey could be continued.

Footnote: If you feel like replacing the word her with his. Then she with he and purse with wallet. You will have an accurate account from one day in my travels. For then, the above story is a account of my visit to Dover in 1965. Yes in those days I did have black hair and a bright yellow jumper that reached down to my knees!

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. anuragbakhshi

    Ha ha ha ha. So you were the original Ghost Rider, with a flying scooter instead of a bike. By the way, is Dover really this bleak?

    1. ceayr

      At the risk of incurring the wrath of my friend Al, let me just say that Dover is a transient town, being the main port for cross-channel traffic, so it loses a little of its soul to that, I think.

  2. Michael Humphris

    I do not remember it being so, but I only stayed the one night.

  3. JS Brand

    A nice tale, Michael, all the better for being true. It stirred memories – as a teenager I saved my weekend earnings for two years in the hope of buying a Lambretta SX200, then circumstances changed and I switched my allegiances from would-be mod scooterist to long-haired car driver. Your story makes me feel I made the right decision.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I do still miss the scooter. It ended up having a tussle with a double decker bus. It had to be scrapped. On today’s overcrowed roads cars can be safer.

      1. JS Brand

        I agree. By the way, I’m pleased you favoured Lambretta over Vespa. It was one of those 60s/70s “which is best?” arguments – Beatles v Stones, Levi’s v Wrangler etc.

        1. Michael Humphris

          One usually has to come down on one side or another. It was the Beatles for me, and flared trousers instead of drain-pipes.

  4. Susan

    Sounds like you had quite an adventurous youth. Its always fun to visit our glory days. Good story

    1. Michael Humphris

      Adventurous in a low key sort of way. But I would not change anything. Though I wish that I had taken more photographs and kept a much more complete and better diary.

  5. Iain Kelly

    Another little piece of biography. Enjoyed this one Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Iain,

  6. ceayr

    Cool story.
    I once had an exhaust pipe fall off in Dover.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Now I am wondering was the road surface bad in Dover.

  7. Dahlia

    Quite an adventure there! I re-read it with he – it was fun to read but i bet not to be 😀

    1. Michael Humphris

      In reality it was not fun. My scooter had been damaged the day before, when I was fleeing some leather clad Rockers who had pulled a knife on me. Those where the days!

  8. patriciaruthsusan

    I’m glad you survived the accident in one piece, Michael. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Suzanne. Only my pride was really hurt, for having a degree of mechanical knowledge, I should have spotted the front wheel coming loose.

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