Author Topic: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.  (Read 7415 times)

super-se7en (Malc Dudley)

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Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« on: December 22, 2015, 11:13:00 AM »
A couple of weeks ago i was sent a quantity of unseen frisky photos including six of my Monte Carlo car. The one showed a rear view with what i thought was a suitcase turned out to be a petrol tank held on with bungee ropes.
This make me think of the things we used to get away with in the old days which would give health and safety a heart attack today.
Can you remember the antics you used to do to keep you car on the road.
I will start, with a brick under the rear wheel to stop it rolling down the hill and an old stile peg to hold the choke open.

marcus

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 11:42:01 AM »
An uncle and aunt had an old London black cab for their own private car. Although it did have both front doors, there was no passenger seat. Aunt sat on an unsecured wooden kitchen chair, without seatbelt!

Mid 70s I had an MG sports car (2 seater, convertible) and did regular gigs in London. Drove saxophonist there first with his plumbing, another return journey with my drum kit, then a 3rd with roof down, double bass on passenger seat, bassist sat on boot clinging on for dear life...all year round, all weather! Heading home once at 3 am in blizzard (roof down, bassist on boot) I got flagged down and breathalised by a copper. All was fine and he was quite friendly, so I asked him why he stopped me, he said what we were doing was very unusual, I replied that we do it every week!
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Chris Thomas

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 12:08:24 PM »
My old 1955 VW Beetle with a small rear window, and semaphore indicators, had 6 volt electrics and headlights like candles. On one occasion the battery power was so low in a rain storm at night, I disconnected the windscreen wiper motor and tied string to the wiper blades and passed the string through the quarter light, across the dash and out the other quarter light,  back to the other wiper, allowing me to pull the string in both directions and operate the wiper with one hand, steer and change gear with the other, and peer into the darkness to get me home.

The indicators would stick both down and up and to help the 6 volt electrics a good thump on the door pillar behind the Semaphore unit did the trick. But to do that while you were driving along was not so easy as the door post was just behind you.

The front brakes were drum brakes and were very slightly oval so when you jumped on the brakes, within half a turn they would lock up. The only problem was that the front passenger seat was one that folded forward twice, the back rest folded onto the seat and the seat folded forward into the front leg well, and there were no catches or seat belts. When I came to sell my VW I took the buyer and his friend out for a short drive to show them how it went. On the way back they asked about the brakes so I showed them how good they were, Jumped on the brakes, they locked up and both passengers ended up with their faces on the windscreen, in a heap in the front leg well. They were well impressed.

The six volt electrics also meant that the starter motor was US, so I always parked the car at the top of our steep drive or on a hill facing down, so I could bump start it.

Those were the days

Chris Thomas

marcus

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2015, 12:17:43 PM »
^ That sounds a bit like driving an old Morgan:

One hand working the windscreen wiper lever (or winding its clockwork motor) , one hand holding the car in either of its 2 gears, one hand holding the accelerator lever, one hand holding the Mixture lever, one hand holding the ignition lever, one hand holding the hand brake lever as the foot brakes had failed, and your spare hand holding the steering wheel!
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 01:16:54 PM »
Oh what larks... From the Daily Mirror 1962
Malcolm
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marcus

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 01:25:09 PM »
Nice one! FIVE !

Mind you, early 70s I had NINE in my Mini Clubman Estate (2 in front, rear seats folded down and 7 lying on each other in the back) when racing ELEVEN people in a Citroen GS in remote southern Ireland! Although the GS overtook me a couple of times I out-manoeuvred him at was first back to Carrigillihy! Soon after returning I needed to fit a new rear sub-frame, but that was normal on Minis.
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

DaveMiller

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2015, 02:13:49 PM »
Citroen GSs certainly were spacious! I remember buying (far too much) flatpack furniture in a sale, and then driving my 1100cc version to Leeds over the M62.  It didn't seem to like the hills (though, with its oleopneumatic suspension, looked perfectly level).  It was as I unpacked it all, that I read the weights on each box, totalling over 3/4 of a tonne!
As students, we regularly rode 9-up in a '50s Humber Hawk, and I claim 5 teenagers plus an Alsation in my Bond Mk C.

super-se7en (Malc Dudley)

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 03:50:47 PM »
It was new years eve 1966 when i took the girl i fancied to a party in my frisky family3.
In those days girls wore plenty of underskirts and here dress filled the car.
At 12.30am we got back to the car and just as we were pulling off the accelerator cable broke.
I fumbled in the back and pulled the inner cable through the car and over my shoulder.
Drove home one handed accelerating with the other. The engine noise was deafening as the engine cover was off.
She was not amused.
Never saw her again. Thats life.

Big Al

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2015, 09:12:54 AM »
Oh to be young and indestructible! I was always doing things that were not quite legal or sensible with cars. But the nanny state was not nearly so developed, and there was a certain amount of responsibility expected to look after yourself, and others. So I never really encountered the disaster that modern statistics would supply, proving I was reckless and going to die young. There is a difference between being an idiot, and in being deliberately silly. The first is surprised when all fails, and often fails to answer the needs of the situation. Yes, I have done that, too. The second is half expecting a fail, and has calculated several escape plans, even as basic as running away pretending the whole mess was due to someone/something else. This is addictive behaviour, and I have barely grown out of it, if I am honest. The joys of a little spot in the country and a private bit of road. Last of the Summer Wine behaviour.
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marcus

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2015, 10:38:08 AM »
With you there Al....."Growing old is compulsory, growing up is NOT!"
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Rob Dobie

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2015, 02:07:47 PM »
Now I'm an old plodder, Self and Hasty doesn't work and I don't remember what frisky means.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 02:19:23 PM by Rob Dobie »
Ain't got nuffink now except memories.

Grant Kearney

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2015, 02:41:16 PM »
Rob,
You need to have a chat with Mr Meadows, urgently...........
Brilliant picture Malcolm.  Nice mudflaps as well on the rear wheels.  Seems like a sensible place to carry spare fuel to me.  Alternative is to have it in a can in the extensive luggage area inside  :D

plas man

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2015, 03:15:18 PM »
not the 50/60 era but in the 80's whilst touring Scotland the Bond  ***90C developed 'funny' steering , well couldn't do anything about a duff bearing , notably the inner one ! , so it was home James - back to Teesside from Dumfries , traveling at less than MPH and umpteen turns on the steering wheel we finally arrived home , well almost , on a corner within 200 yards from the house the steering shaft snapped at the cotter block - much to the delight of the passing constabulary who gratefully saw the funny side and helped push the car home . 

Jean

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2015, 11:40:09 AM »
I agree there was very little health and safety in our household well into the 80's.
I well remember the time when travelling in the Goggo to a National, at Stratford on Avon that year, having lost our backup vehicle who had all the tools and torch etc., we suffered problems with the carburettor which Edwin fixed at the side of a narrow country lane with the help of a hairpin and light from his cigarette lighter!  The next day, on arrival at the rally field, we were greeted by Kelvin Luty a keen enthusiast in those days who said " Oh good you arrived safely then, sorry I didn't stop to help you but it all looked a bit ****** dangerous for my liking!!   It was water off a duck's back to Edwin who had managed earlier in the year to clear Otto's workshop area by welding up our Frisky petrol tank which had sprung a leak on our journey to Germany.  Well, he had taken the tank off the car and given it a good rinse out with water before starting any welding!!  Jean
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Rob Dobie

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Re: Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2015, 08:09:17 PM »
I've just met an Elf on roller skates in the High Street with a hard hat on for Safety. HO HO

Father Christmas may be late this year because the reindeer have gone on strike and lots of the trains have been cancelled.

Health and safety in the 50s and 60s.   What about me then? I'm in my 70s, not so healthy and need a walking stick for safety.
Ain't got nuffink now except memories.