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Towing With My Dad In The 70's


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It was a glorious summer morning when we set off from Leeds to the Lake District. We had one of the first Chrsler Alpines imported into the UK and were towing a knackered old Sprite 400. You may remember this was entry level 10foot caravanning and incredibly basic.

 

Within the first half mile my Dad said the car desperately needed a service as it wasn't pulling as it should and confirmed he would book it in as soon as we got back.

 

An hour and a half into the journey my parents announced they would need to stop for ciggies. Most parents at the time smoked and thought nothing of filling kids lungs with smoke as they happened to be in the car with them. As I got out to buy the obligatory bag of Tutti Frutti I pointed out to my Dad a kind of black tar that was running very slowly onto the wheels of the Sprite.

 

My Dad although very new to towing knew a thing or two about brakes and had worked for Mintex in the past. He recognised it not to be tar but melted brake lining. Yes you guessed it he had left the handbrake on!!

 

After he released it we pulled away and he beamed well at least I will save £40 on the service, it's pulling like a train now!

 

We had that sprite for another three years and the brakes were never looked at after the Lake District incident but the car was replaced with a Humber Sceptre estate which really was my Dad's pride and joy.

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They were carefree times indeed!

 

I was born in 1970 and caravanned from 10 days old, initially in a 67 Sprite 400, then a 70 Sprite 400, both towed by a Morris 1000! We went all over (so I'm told!). Four of us, no awning, a full sized pram and baby bath for yours truly. Vague memories of the second Sprite but I was 4 when it was traded in for a Cavalier 1200T! Luxury! It was towed by an elephant grey Morris 1800 and later a harvest gold (ie sick coloured!) Wolsley 6 . ... now it did go like a train but MPG was about 15 to the gallon. My parents had a Polard Pullman awning for the Cavalier which had the now long forgotten 3C pole system, very stable in high winds and my dad could easily erect it single handed. When they changed to a 1978 Sprite Super Major (Real luxury . .. fridge, heater, double glazing!), they tried to get a secondhand pullman to fit as they were no longer available new, but alas none came to light so then we had to struggle with a 'normal' awning.

 

I have caravanned contiuously since . ... the luxuries do make things easier, but the carefree spirit has gone along with flying your Caravan Club pennant, keeping the milk in a bucket of cold water, manual foot pumps etc etc

2018 Swift Elegance 580  towed by a 2018 Volvo XC60 D5 Power Pulse R Design

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the carefree spirit has gone along with flying your Caravan Club pennant,

To which every caravanner you met on the road, waved to. ... :rolleyes:

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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Making me feel old, I was towing in 1970 !! Happy days.

 

 

We maybe passed you Ivan . ... I was the one in the carrycot!! :D

2018 Swift Elegance 580  towed by a 2018 Volvo XC60 D5 Power Pulse R Design

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