My first Series IIa 88" in 1973
I bought this Land Rover off a work mate who ordered it from
Richards at Hinstock (Shropshire UK) while he was working in Africa.
It was a 1966 ex-military with dual fuel tanks under the front
seats and the classic military double bumper, bolted not welded!
It was March 1973 when I took possession of the Land Rover, I drove it the 20 miles from Stafford to Stoke-on-Trent with a silly grin on my face the whole time. The way the Land Rover took the bends and roundabouts was a revelation to me after driving 'normal' cars and the higher sitting position gave a view of the road and other traffic which enabled and encouraged a safer driving style based on greater anticipation of the events occurring on the road ahead.
All that in the first half hour of owning a Land Rover.
During the following weeks and months the first impressions were confirmed and the pleasure derived from just driving to work was immense. At this time I was working at Crewe and since I was living in the north of Stoke-on-Trent the journey was never too congested. I could choose from a number of different routes, some quicker than others all routes passing through pleasant countryside as befitting of a Land Rover. I remember one day driving home along a particularly narrow lane a lorry came the other way so I had to pull over into the verge, there was no tarmac there but a ditch full of mud
which was a lot softer than it looked. The front nearside wheel sank and the double bumper buried itself in the bank. The lorry driver had now got past but waited to see if I could get out ok, into low range reverse and out she came pulling half the bank with the double bumper acting like a pretty good plow. I had a quick look round not even a dent anywhere just a lot of mud, quick wave to the lorry driver and off we went.
A work colleague had a big Ford Zephyr like the Z-cars motors and it needed towing from his house to a garage so he asked if I could help with the Land Rover. So of course I did, no problem at all, the thing which amazed me was that the Land Rover didnít seem to notice the presence of the Zephyr attached to the towing hook. The performace which wasnít fast but sort of solid, remained the same.
A friend of mine was at Coleg Harlech at this time, and he used to have books ordered from the shop near home to sell at the college. When I had the Land Rover he asked if I could deliver them for him. This seemed like a good excuse for a run into Wales so became a regular thing. Maybe once a month on a Sunday me and a couple of mates would load the back of the Land Rover with boxes of books from the bookshop and then cram into the front seats and drive off to Wales. This journey through Whitchurch, LLangollen, Bala and Trawsfynd became very familiar and has always remained one of my favourite runs into Wales. We did vary the route a bit sometimes even going round Barmouth and Welshpool when we had plenty of time for the return journey.
During early summer three friends and I decided on a trip to Scotland camping. I hadn't made the roof rack at this point so I hired a trailer to carry the camping gear. We set off about 11:00pm to drive overnight to avoid most of the traffic. Straight up the M6 to Carlisle then on up to Glasgow arriving at Loch Lomond about twelve hours later. Then round the sea lochs to get to Oban about tea-time. We managed to pitch the tents and have some food and still be in the first pub by 7:00pm. We had to have whisky but they ran out of Glenfiddich so we went to another pub. When they ran out of Glenfiddich the man behind the bar produced another malt we had never heard of Glenmorangie, so we tried that as well. One of our company carried on with the whisky when the rest of us decided to be more moderate and changed to beer. On the way back to the campsite he accused me of finding bumps in the road deliberatly but I think it was the Landy.
Here it is pictured on Black Rock sands in North Wales. That must have been the year I was into black and white photography.
Still on Black Rock with Criccieth in the distance.
On the roof tying the camping kit on, Cornwall 1973 somewhere near Newquay.
Somewhere in Wales near Bala.
Could be Wales, friends obscuring my Landy
Hill walking in the Peak District was one of my favourite hobbies at that time.
Here we are in Edale resting after a long walk on Kinder Scout.
If anyone knows the whereabouts of this Landy please let me know.