Sunday, April 24, 2005

Outer Space

This is a map of Bishops Stortford. It’s at the time of writing, sadly, but all the essentials elements are there for a trip round town in 1974…


Yaya's Ride Posted by Hello

This is the route Yaya used to take:

- Start in the top left hand corner, at the junction of Maple Avenue and the main road into town (marked green on the map and known as the Hadham Road).

- Career down the hill at high speed, testing the brakes all the way, past the entrance to Maze Green Road.

- Level out and stay with the green road as it curves all the way round the back of the town and along past the end of Bridge Street. Continue along the Causeway (the oldest part of Stortford) past the medieval castle on your left.

- Turn right at the bottom of Hockerill Street, before you go over the railway line. Continue parallel to the railway until the road loops back round towards the centre of town.

- Switch from green to yellow. Turn right into Potter Street, past Nail Lane and Apton Road. You’re in the heart of town. There’s lots of traffic here, and you may have to go slowly. Open your window and turn up the stereo.

- Turn left at the top of Bridge Street and engage a low gear. You’re going up Windhill, one of the oldest and most picturesque streets in town.

- Turn right at the top of Windhill, into Bell’s Hill. Remain in low gear, try not to wipe out the brakes or clip the wings of all the cars parked on the left hand side of the road.

- Turn left, back into Hadham Road. Continue to the bottom of Maze Green Road.

- Turn left up Maze Green Road. Turn up the stereo extremely loud. You are now travelling through your old school and there’s just a chance one of your old maths masters will be crossing the road.

- Turn right into Maple Avenue. Slow down to negotiate the potholes. Continue until you see the back entrance to 123 Hadham Road on your right.

- Park.

- Repeat (With minor variations) as the mood takes you.

Well wouldn’t you?

If you were at the wheel of a dark blue 1950s Royal Navy Ambulance, that is?

A Royal Navy ambulance with tinted windows?

A Royal Navy ambulance with a freshly-painted white roof (to cover the rust) and a roof rack custom designed and built by Stansted Engineering, no less?

A Royal Navy ambulance with exceptionally loud stereo speakers in front and back?

A Royal Navy ambulance with a spotlight over the cab, admittedly not functioning now but with the legend ‘Bertha the Earthtruck’ emblazoned on the glass?

A Royal Navy ambulance with a two foot high flaming sun mandala hand-painted on each side?

Of course you would.

You’d drive round town a lot

8 Comments:

Blogger broomhilda said...

I would most definitely!
I would need a navigator however.

2:47 am  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Hand-painted flaming-sun mandalas?? Ooo... Dig that ambience, man.

Broomhilda, I'm really impressed by the way you reverse-parked this thing - that can't have been easy.

Does the driver get to pick the music?

3:00 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Oh gawd. No. The music picked itself. It's too late. The choice is, as they say, both tragic and comic. I'll get to it soon, I promise. First we have a festival to go to...

4:47 pm  
Blogger broomhilda said...

thanks Deirdre, Mark was ground guide so it wasn't much of a problem.

Festival...stoned, dancing naked...

5:18 pm  
Anonymous caroline said...

Settle down Broomhilda!

There's always one. On every bus.

9:23 pm  
Blogger broomhilda said...

I'm calm, not even naked...yet!

9:25 pm  
Anonymous caroline said...

Good. I'm prepared to do some yogic breathing but that's my limit. :-)

12:26 pm  
Blogger Omykiss said...

A Royal Navy ambulance with granny's curtains ...

2:57 am  

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