Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

My First Car: Motoring magic... and mishaps

16:24 20 November 2015

Kate Berridge with the Ford Cortina Mark II 1600E.

Kate Berridge with the Ford Cortina Mark II 1600E.

supplied

Kate Berridge reminisces about some of fun cars she has owned and a few she would rather forget!

It was 1974 and my very first car was a black A40 which Dad bought from a friend for a fiver!

The clutch wasn’t brilliant but it was the car in which I gained my first – kangaroo-style – experience of driving.

I was able to upgrade my vehicle when I met my future hubby and had the pleasure of driving his shiny Ford Cortina Mark II1600E – me hitting the gatepost a few times really tested our relationship.

In my second year at Teacher Training College at Keswick Hall, now UEA, good old Dad dipped in his pocket and bought me a small cream Fiat. I can’t remember which model it was but I do remember it needed a lot of oil... all the time. In fact, it used more oil than petrol! I’m sure there are still ancient oil stains around Norwich where I’ve driven in the past.

By 1980 I had left college, married and started work. We were a bit hard up and were the ‘not so proud’ owners of a number of old bangers. A shiny red but rusty Marina, a brown Daf and a pale blue Moskovitch, the latter being more of a tin can disguised as a car.

The Daf decided to conk out on the railway crossing in Tennyson Road in King’s Lynn one morning on my way to work. Good job it was glass fibre and as light as a wheelbarrow as I, and a few passers-by, needed to get it moved pretty quickly before the 8.05 to King’s Cross in London came thundering past. On reflection, the best place for it might have been underneath a train.

After a few more years with boring hatchbacks and no sign of a baby, we cheered ourselves up with a beautiful, sleek purple Lotus Europa which was great fun to pose in. Cream leather seats, and an almost horizontal driving position, I seem to remember something finally going wrong with the gearbox on it. By ‘wrong’ I have a vague recollection that it actually fell out.

Too expensive to repair and with a baby on the way, we said our sad farewells to the Lotus and bought a Ford Sierra which a friendly garage owner was tarting up as a Cosworth lookalike with rear spoiler and pearlised paint job. It was more family friendly but still great fun.

This was followed by a red BMW, a Volkswagen Polo with a rollp-back sunroof and, my all-time favourite, a silver Volkswagen Beetle convertible.

I wish we had more photos of all of them but it was pre iPhone and Snapchat days and then some were just too embarrassing to take pictures of. This is not an exhaustive list, there were more – too many to mention.

Anyway, off to have a cruise around in my retirement present to me – a nice shiny new Honda Civic.

Tell us about your first car – bright spots, breakdowns, delights and disasters. Email your first car memories, with a picture if you have one, to motoring@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Filming for the new BBC comedy drama 'Detectorists' in Framilngham. Mackenzie Crook on the set.

Film firm which has worked on Star Wars, The Apprentice, BFG and Jason Bourne films hopes to bring blockbusters to Suffolk

Programme Name: Robot Wars - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: The House Robots Dead Metal, Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt - (C) Mentorn Media Scotland - Photographer: Alan Peebles

“For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer.

Flower left at Bramford Recreation Ground on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of toddler Ryan Ward's death.

Travellers have arrived at a playing field in Ipswich - almost three years to the day since a toddler was killed in a collision with a van at the same site.

Abellio Greater Anglia

A person has been pronounced dead after being struck by a train near Needham Market station.

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off since Usain Bolt started using their products. Pictured is director Bente Smith-Rewse.

He is one of the most recognisable, decorated and influential sportsmen on the planet – but Usain Bolt is now endorsing a product made in the heart of Suffolk.

It's hot up there!

You know it’s hot when your thighs stick together. For men out there, it’s more of a woman thing, writes Lynne Mortimer.

The snake captured by residents in St John's Road, Ipswich.

Brave neighbours came to the aid of a father and his three young daughters who were left stunned when they discovered an exotic-looking snake coiled in their back garden.

England's Harry Martin in 2014.

The greatest sporting spectacle on the planet is almost upon us once again.

Sandcastle building at Southwold

What are we doing today? The summer holidays are here and to help parents in Suffolk we are offering a guide to 12 days out on the Suffolk coast that won’t cost a penny.

Firefighters from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service attended.

Firefighters helped free a baby locked in a car in Ipswich today.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24