Mother

A couple of Mother from 1964.Not really sure what's going on in this one - it looks like she might be taking some medicine. She still pulls faces like that if you feed her cheap red wine.A look, she's using a mangle. A mangle! I thought they went out in the 1800s. I know she's old, but even I didn't think she was that old....
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Honeymoon

Marriage put an end to the petrolhead holidays in France, but in June 1963, the parents went to France on their honeymoon, ambling around the Alps and the Loire. When the French say "chausee deformee", they really mean it! La Grave. The parents stayed here for a few days, SWMBO and myself went a couple of times in the early 2000s, and in 2008, the whole family went back (see previous posting). Looking at this photo now, we reckon that the low building is the restaurant for La Meijette, the hotel we stayed at in 2008. It looks like my parents stayed back up the road, possibly in the Hotel des Alpes. This is down in the valley, by the Romanche river. I've been down to the same spot myself, and that water is bloody cold! While my parents were in La Grave, the Alpine Rally "just happened" to pass through town. Hmmm, coincidence or planned? We shall never know. And from the Loire, Azay-le-Rideau. ...
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Domesticities

March 1963, and what I suppose is a tolerably important landmark in several people's lives - including me. "Do you, John Cristopher Hendy, take..." Yep, the parents got married. I've never seen any wedding photos, and there are only a few from what appears to be a very small reception at the Green Man pub near Silverstone. I imagine this is because my father was otherwise occupied on the day. The Green Man is/was a long time favoured haunt of racing drivers for decades. Now, a racing driver's pub near Silverstone - I wonder how that managed to get chosen for the reception? It's got a modern Premier Inn tacked onto it now, although it burned down just before the British Grand Prix this summer. Mother, on her wedding day... This is probably a unique photo - my father's mother and my mother's father. He was proper Northampton shoe industry working-class. She wasn't. The rest of my mother's family - twin brother, mother and younger sister...
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Monaco

In 1962, just for a change, my dad didn't go to Le Mans. Instead, Bill and he went to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix. Did they fly? No. They made a proper petrolhead trip of it. First up, they drove to Germany (what in those days would have been West Germany, to be precise) for the Nurburgring 1000km. Then they drove down through the Alps to Monte Carlo, watched the Grand Prix, and then drove back up through France, via Arles, the Gorges du Tarn, Le Mans (OK, so he went there, but not for the 24 hour race this time) and then back to Calais. Not something you see every day - a racing car (Formula Junior - the precursor to Formula 3) parked at the side of the road, between a couple of oh-so-French vans. One of the most iconic Formula 1 cars - the Sharknose Ferrari 156, driven here by Phil Hill. Jack Brabham in a Lotus-Climax 24, in Casino...
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Masque Theatre summer show

The Masque Theatre in Northampton put on an open-air show every summer, usually Shakespeare. Traditionally it was always held in the courtyard of the museum in Abington Park, but this was closed for a number of years over the last decade or so. However, they're back there now, which means that the actors once again have to battle to be heard over the peacocks from the small aviary just behind. Assuming there are still any there - I haven't lived in Northampton since 1992, so I've no idea whether there are or not! As this is 1961, it must be Much Ado About Nothing. If I recall correctly, the little ticket booth is green, and always saw additional service in the Borough Show in Abington Park a week or two later. I spent many summer evenings around there, often selling programmes, as my father was generally in the play and my mother helped out, sometimes prompting, sometimes in the ticket office....
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And we’re back…

What do you mean I last posted in March? It wasn't that long ago, surely? Oops... Now, where were we? Ah yes, 1961, and it's Le Mans time again - for the third and final time, my father and his friend Bill went to Le Mans for the 24 hour race. This, believe it or not, is the start of the race. The drivers have just run over from the bank in the foreground and are just getting into the cars. And yes, the spectators really are that close. The two cars are Aston Martins DB4 GT Zagatos. #4 is Roy Salvadori & Tony Maggs' car, while #5 is Jim Clark and Ron Flockhart. This is taken from directly above the pits - the Ferrari garage in this case. This is #10, a Ferrari 250, with Phil Hill getting in. Night view from above the pits, with Bill watching. The Salvadori/Maggs Aston Martin, in the process of retiring, 19 hours into the race. There is...
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