Monday, September 7, 2009

One Man and his Motor ...

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When C-H-M was a very small boy his favourite car was the Ford Anglia: I think it was the styling at the back that appealed. No other car had quite that shape. The Anglia, according to Wikipedia , was manufactured, in various models, between 1939 and 1967. So C-H-M was delighted to receive this photo of Dave Butler, looking dead cool, leaning in a proprietorial manner on his Ford Anglia at Ullenwood, taken by Becky Sanderson (Spencer) one evening in 1976. Even then the car was at least 9 and it could have been as old as 17 (as this model was first built in 1959) - almost old enough to merit a finds card.

Dr Ferris dips his madeleine in his tisane and writes: "I am delighted to see that Crickley Hill Man has now posted Becky's photo of Dave Butler (Dave Parr) on his blog: I first saw this excellent picture at the reunion in July. Unless I'm mistaken, 1976 was Dave's last year at Crickley, having been present each year since the early 1970s, and being particularly famed for his party dj-ing. For some curious reason John Parry always used to refer to Dave, even to his face, as 'the hippy', even though, as you can see in the photo, he was not hippylike at all.
After I finished at university I went on what was then called 'the digging circuit', an all-year-round series of excavations on which the peripatetic could obtain paid digging work. Having worked in the west country for five months, in February 1977 I moved to Nottingham to work for the Trent Valley Archaeological Rescue Committee (TVARC) and was delighted to find that Dave was by then working there. The diggers lived in Brewhouse Yard, just under the bluff on which Nottingham Castle stands, and drank each night in the excellent pub 'The Trip to Jerusalem'. I stayed with TVARC until April that year; Dave had already moved on by then and I didn't encounter him again until the reunion on July 4th."

Crickley Hill Man, by a coincidence of Koestlerian proportions, paid a visit to 'The Trip to Jerusalem' a few years ago whilst spending a few days attending Nottingham Crown Court in the pursuit of some felons and ne'er-do-wells who had defrauded the general public. Still a decent establishment then.

The man himself writes: "Ta for the heads-up C-H-M. Unfortunately, I had to scrap the car in 1978 after I had a run in with a farmer whilst working on a Roman Villa at Long Bennington (I was still with the Trent Valley Rescue Group). I believe I drove the car with 8 other drunken diggers in the back from the Air Balloon one evening (the Anglia was built like a light tank!!). I now drive a modest Ford Ka but I can still get a ton out of it easy. [Surely you mean "I find, on occasions, that, with encouragement, my current vehicle will nearly attain the National Speed Limit"? Ed.] It was so great to see my old digging mates again in July but I wish I could have spent more time reminiscing with them. I didn't get to talk much to you all but it was nice to chat to 'hippy' John(?) and my old mate Iain Ferris. We must all do this again in 2010."

We will, we will ...

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