Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

ABC Wednesday - A is for...

...Austin

The sight of this fairground ride really made me smile on Sunday. The attention to detail is fantastic: the little cars, the petrol pumps, the cashiers area - it all just looks totally right. It also took me right back to my childhood as living in Northfield (if you click on the link, there's a couple of photos of the church where NAH I got married), we were in earshot of 'The Austin' factory in Longbridge. I always knew when it was five o'clock as we would hear the horn sounding the end of the afternoon shift. Whilst I believe this make of car was never made, it reminds me of the A40 - my next door neighbour had one and her black model is one of my earliest memories of cars.

My family has quite a few associations with 'The Austin' too - one of my uncles was an electrician at the factory and my dad worked at Triplex, the company supplying car windscreens. When I was little, my gran (mum's mum) lived in the Austin Village at Turves Green in one of the prefab houses built to house workers drafted in for the war effort. The link shows you the kind of house she lived in (these are preserved), but sadly hers was demolished as part of the vast swathe of city suburban redevelopment that swept Britain in the 60s/70s and she ended up on the 24th floor of a high rise tower block, ironically with a view of the street light that used to be outside her house. With the demise of the British car industry and final closure in 2005, it's now the turn of the factory itself to be demolished (you may be more familiar with it in its British Leyland brand) and it's now mostly an enormous 470 acre pile of rubble I pass just after turning off the M5 on the way to see my mum. However, the phoenix may still rise from the ashes...

Mrs Nesbitt has set up a new blog to show all ABC posts for Round 3 - so do hop over there and take a look!

12 comments:

  1. Great post honeybunch.
    Please let me have your e-mail and I will send you the invite to the blog.

    denise dot nesbitt at bt internet dot com

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  2. Ah, lovely St Laurence. Most of my family got married there! Not sure I'm mad about the plans for Longbridge, and I'm preparing to chain myself to the trees on Lickey Road if they try to get rid :) (I'm not joking!) I love it when you post about Brum

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  3. That looks like Noddy's car! xx

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  4. Great post. I am posting on my own site for ABC. I like to see what others are up to on their site.

    Great photos.

    Come visit,
    Troy

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  5. Love your Austin, VP! Wish I was small enogh to take a spin in it. ;-)

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  6. What great fun it must be to ride on these little cars. Thanks for the informative post to go with the pics too.

    A for ann at varying seasons

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  7. I'd like to take a ride in one of these! But, of course, I probably wouldn't be able to get out:)
    I love the attention to detail; this ride looks so much cleaner and appealing than most carnival rides at local fairs here.

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  8. Oh Noddy! Naughty naughty politically incorrectness! LOL!

    What's the garden project? Can I join in?

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  9. Those AUTOS look so unique and fun. I enjoyed clicking on the other sites to see the houses. They remind me of post WWII houses here in western Canada.

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  10. Denise - thanks for sorting that out. I think I've answered the rest elsewhere?

    Deb - wow, we must be from the same part of Brum then?

    Flighty - you're right! I hadn't spotted that before!

    TT - on my way!

    YEGTG & Me Ann My Camera - glad you like it!

    Leslie - no wonder, I think they came over from Canada, so could even be the same design?

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  11. Great post, perfect for ABC Wednesday and it brought back great memories as I'm an ex employee having worked at the Longbrideg plant for ten years before moving to live on the Isle of Man.

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  12. Mannanan - glad you stopped by :)

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