I'm sorry to be continuing this motor show fugue, but don't worry we'll soon be back with rusty Castrol jugs and phone boxes falling over. It's just that an eagle-eyed commentator has noticed a Bedford van in the background of my Husky photograph, and I just had to ferret-out this 1956 sales brochure to share with you. I have said elsewhere that I thought the illustrations made the van twice the size, which I can now see is untrue, but it is still a remarkable coincidence that the street scene contains nothing but other Bedford vans and a token Vauxhall Cresta from the same Luton stable. This is the first vehicle I ever drove, an uncertain and under-age passage down a Northamptonshire lane with my Uncle John leaning over and wrestling with the steering wheel and column change gears in tandem with my own nervous efforts. Gripping an untipped Player's in his teeth.This was a wholesale paint delivery van, but the brochure tells of many variants including personnel carrier, canopy pick-up, milk float, gown van and of course the ubiquitous Dormobile. Many colour variants are shown, my favourite being a duotone mid-blue and cream. The picture shows a uniformed man delivering red tulips to a lady standing in the porch of a posh house. Heavy wistful sigh.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)