Last week I showed you Bould's now extinct garage in Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, and promised that I might show you Bould's yard next door. I'd forgotten that there were two Austin 1300's in there. We don't see many of these about now, probably something to do with the apparently dodgy subframes. But we loved them when they first came out, perfect for those of us aspiring to a larger mini. They shared the same designer in Alec Issigonis, who also brought us the poached egg Morris Minor, and sported hydrolastic suspension on the front wheels that got everybody very excited. Usually known as the 1100, they were available with 1300 and 1500 engine sizes, and in typical BMC fashion were badge-engineered across all their marques, so you could have a Wolseley, an MG, a Riley Kestrel and, if you wanted to be thought posh, you could fork out for the Vanden Plas Princess. Plonked in amongst them in this picture is the Austin A30 van. One of my elder brothers went about in one of these, painted mid-blue with the legend 'Melton Farmers' on the side in yellow, driving up remote Leicestershire farm tracks to off-load artificial insemination plungers and sheep dip. I imagine.
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) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)