Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday 29th January 1938

Left Southend (with a weekend's kit) at 11:30. Along the Arterial Road; the warning notices had been altered: “On this road in 1937 – 18 people were killed – 580 people were injured – please drive carefully”. Today there was no chance of speeding! A powerful head wind reduced my maximum speed to 35m.p.h. This soon became monotonous so at Rayleigh I turned off and took the Old Southend Road, through Vange and Pitsea, to Dagenham. Quite a feat of driving which marks a definite stage in my driving experience. I crossed London from East to West, without losing my way and without making any faux-pas. Am becoming fairly confident in traffic. Until recently, driving in Town has been rather a nightmare.

At 8:30p.m. I met Winnie Clow. She had obtained a provisional licence, at my suggestion and I gave her lessons. She first took the wheel, on the riverside road, from Chertsey to Haleham. She gave a damn fine show for the first attempt. In the dark too, and with dipped headlights – to save the battery! She took over again at the Causeway, Staines Bridge and drove right to Bagshot! Then we wandered around talking and eventually reached St. Anne’s Hill. Sat in the car on the Old Coach Road for some time, chatting and smoking. We reached Staines just at midnight and had a supper at Pat’s (Café). Left at 12:30, Winnie again driving, and reached Weybridge at exactly 1a.m.

I drove home fast and alone. Raining hard. Reached Hawthorn Court, 2 o’clock.

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