In my last post you will have seen the front cover for the new Shires Library book 'British Family Cars of the 1950s & 60s'. The photograph was a last minute choice after I'd seen an immaculate 1959 Morris Oxford Traveller at the 38th Nottinghamshire Classic Car, Motorcycle & MiniShow at Thoresby Hall. I fell in love with it, and on returning home quickly found myself looking for the original brochure. On receipt I was very pleased to see on the inside two gentleman loading cut flowers into the back of a model in the same colours, which I now know to be Dark Green and Island Green. What was it that appealed so much? Partly I think it was because this was the All Steel Traveller, rare I would imagine against the once numerous ash framed version that looked like an enlarged elder sister of the ubiquitous Morris Minor Traveller. But mainly I think it stirred my imagination into picturing it drawn up outside a Southern Region railway station on the Sussex / Kent borders. Early evening light reflecting off the chrome as the signal arm elevates to welcome the 5.15 from Victoria, a red setter getting excited in the back as a lady in a pink gingham blouse drums red painted nails against the steering wheel... [alright, enough of that. Ed.]
Back in the real world at Thoresby Hall my pleasure was further enhanced by my seeing a perfect contemporary picnic basket open on the back seat, cream crockery neatly strapped in against the wicker lid. As the brochure says: This new Oxford All-Steel Traveller is not only robust, colourful, and handsome, but also has line and design to make it the most accommodating and versatile multi-purpose car ever. I love that blatant and confident 'ever'.
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)