When I was growing up, my family lived a couple of hundred yards from Bob Godfrey and his family. His daughter Julia was a year younger than me at Brooklands primary school in Blackheath, south-east London.
When you are a nine-year-old boy, you are unaware of the particular skills and abilities of your schoolfriends' fathers, but we all knew that Mr Godfrey owned a 1920s primrose-yellow Rolls-Royce. In those days, people still "ran the engine" weekly if they were not driving the car regularly. This kind and laidback man allowed me not only to sit in his Rolls-Royce, but moreover let me rev the engine, both with the foot accelerator and the hand throttle of the only Rolls in which I have ever been sat. With four daughters in the family, the Roller was eventually exchanged for a Vw camper van.
All the kids from our estate were used in »
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