« Previous | Main | Next »

100

Eddie Mair | 09:42 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Anne P sent this:

"Thought you might like to see these.

It's my father-in-law Stan on his 100th birthday yesterday, at the tiller of a 1901 Lanchester that once belonged to Rudyard Kipling. He is, as far as we know, the oldest surviving apprentice of Lanchester, who built the first British petrol driven car in 1895. The car was brought to Sutton Park by the Jaguar and Daimler Heritage Trust, and has a 4 litre, 2 cylinder engine with epicyclic gearbox, no steering wheel, no foot brake and a foot operated bell. Stan remembers test driving such cars in the Malvern hills in the early 1920's. We think he really enjoyed his birthday surprise."

centa.JPG

centb.JPG

Comments

  1. At 09:51 AM on 08 Aug 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    AnneP - Fantastic. But I have to ask how do you stop the thing with no foot brake?

  2. At 09:54 AM on 08 Aug 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Oh what a lovely surprise it must have been for him. He looks a smashing chap and I hope he has many more birthdays?

    This links me neatly into something I'd like to ask on the blog? someone may be able to assist me?

    A lady has just requested some Holbrook sauce to put over her English breakfsast. I said to her that I didn't know what it was - and she then said it was worstershire sauce and she normally referred to it as Holbrook/e sauce -

    She comes from Ewell near Epson.

    After a search on the Internet I came up with this link which makes reference to it in 1906 :-

    http://www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk/mag/spirit/spsauce.htm

    Now, is it really so well known under an old obscure brand called Holbrook or is she actually living in a time warp?

  3. At 10:04 AM on 08 Aug 2007, JimmyGiro wrote:

    Nice story Anne P.

    To think that Britain used to make things !!!

    Regards to Stan.

  4. At 10:17 AM on 08 Aug 2007, jonnie wrote:

    I've just re-read Annes description of that car!

    No steering wheel? ! ? !

    Can someone explain how it stayed on the road then?

  5. At 10:20 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    100 not out! An even better batting average than the great Don Bradman and something to be very proud of.

    Well done Anne for getting the phots to PM. And thanks to Eddie for posting them.

    Anne; now you've got to explain to the distinguished birthday boy how his photos come to be on the radio!

    Si.

  6. At 10:35 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Arthur Bellfridge. wrote:

    Thanks Anne P.

    That's a lovely picture of your father-in-law in the Lanchester. Many congratulation to him on his 100th birthday. The mere mention of the Lanchester car name brought a few memories back for me too.

    My father had a 1938 Lanchester 4 door saloon. It was a striking powder blue colour with a full length sun roof. It had running boards a powerful engine with a 'musical note' from the gear box. It had large chrome headlamps and wonderful sumptious leather seats.

    Today I think the car would've been ideal for chauffeuring or weddings. Or just plain enjoyment. I remember my sister and I being driven out to the country in it and having great attention grabbing picnics. My goodness where have all those years gone?

    The Lanchester had a wonderful pre-select 4 speed gearbox which gave easy and quick gear changes. It also had independent suspension, efficient brakes, light steering, and it always started on the button and drove perfectly. It also had an adjustable steering column, I think a first in those days, black leather upholstery with charcoal-grey carpets, a real wooden dashboard and door cappings, armrest, folding foot-rests, and a windscreen that could open, this was a great asset on a hot sunny day.

    I particularly remembered the sun-roof which allowed both front and rear passengers, to stand up readily for a favourite family photo we now cherish. Oh how I wish we still had it. Lanchester certainly knew how to build lovely motor cars in those days. Happy 100th birthday Stan.

  7. At 10:37 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    AnneP: What a lovely surprise for your father in law! And I'm sure it will have revived many happy memories for him - always good when you're getting older and your activities are considerably reduced.

    You must have gone to a great deal of trouble to arrange this. And to think it belonged to Rudyard Kipling! Would your father in law like something else by him?
    Like this (one of my personal favourites):

    *Tommy*

    I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
    The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
    The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
    But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

    Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
    An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
    But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

    You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
    We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

  8. At 11:07 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Jonnie (4) The giveaway as to the steering is in AnneP's description of her Father-In-Law at the tiller of the car.

  9. At 11:08 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Rachel wrote:

    How splendid - the car, the story and the fine 100-yr-old.

    Jonnie - I do hope you insulted your guest in the same manner that Mr Mair reserves for his listeners: "Call it by its proper name, you stupid old bat, or I'll take your breakfast away!"

  10. At 11:17 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Joe Palooka wrote:

    Jonnie @ (2)

    I always have lashings of Holbrook sauce in my stew. Along with two rabbits. I've left a bottle of Holbrook on the NC bar for you. Hurry up before the camels see it. :0)

  11. At 11:17 AM on 08 Aug 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Yes, it had tiller steering which meant your arm ended up well wide of the car body at times - as for braking you used engine braking to slow and secured it with the handbrake.

  12. At 11:25 AM on 08 Aug 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Ahh - thanks Fearless - and Anne, - going off to hide with head in hands.

    All is clear now

  13. At 11:26 AM on 08 Aug 2007, RJD wrote:

    Brilliant idea for a birthday surprise, Anne P. I hope Stan and everyone else had a great day.

    Why do I feel inadequate that you seem truly confident describing the car as having "a 4 litre, 2 cylinder engine with epicyclic gearbox" whereas I just about know that I have to put diesel in mine to make it go?

  14. At 12:26 PM on 08 Aug 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Rachel (9):

    Jonnie - I do hope you insulted your guest in the same manner that Mr Mair reserves for his listeners: "Call it by its proper name, you stupid old bat, or I'll take your breakfast away!"

    No, Rachel you're too early: the stupid old bat is on *tonight*'s programme.

  15. At 12:30 PM on 08 Aug 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Excellent article. This is just the sort of news we love on PM - not rubbish about sport celebrities and their ilk.

    Many happy returns to Stan.

  16. At 04:30 PM on 08 Aug 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Many thanks, all, for your good wishes which will of course be passed on, though I too am not sure how to explain about photos appearing on the radio!

    Much thanks too to Eddie who got the pictures up within four minutes of my sending them!

    You might also like to know that Stan went on to work on Spitfires in WW2 in the Technical Development division at Castle Bromwich. So seriously does he take the personal injunction from Churchill to 'Keep quiet' that he still will not tell us much about what he was involved in, which appears to have included being flown into war zones to fit new technical developments and flying into occupied Norway.

  17. At 11:00 PM on 08 Aug 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Wow Anne what an amazing thing to do, and what an interesting life your father-in-law seems to have had. My very best wishes to you, him and everyone involved in the celebrations.

    A, x.

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.