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Karmann Ghiaman

Postcards from the hedge

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Anybody else collect postcards of pleasant places where the photographer has inexplicably decided to include acres of autoshite? Here's the blameless market town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, doubling as Arthur Daley's showroom, circa 1973:

 

 

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Is it to show what a 'super with-it' place Thirsk (or wherever) really is? Yes, people with Townsend Thoreson GB stickers and turd brown Escorts come to Thirsk...

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Yes, people with Townsend Thoreson GB stickers and turd brown Escorts come to Thirsk...

Not sure if I should admit this.......... but.............. I have a brand new Townsend Thoresen GB sticker upstairs, thought it might look good on the back of the van when I finally get the back door sorted in a sort of retro 80's type thing 8)

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Posting poxy postcard pictures seems to be working, so here are a couple more from my extensive collection. OXFORD a few years earlier, or is it Cowley down the road? No, it is Oxford: there's the eponymous Austin in a very non-standard canary yellow. Oh yes, and some buildings by some old historical bloke called Christopher Wren or whatever.

 

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Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of the world's greatest playwright ever, is also good for PARKING IN (as anyone who has ever gone there for whatever reason will know). It is an excellent historic town with which to embellish a PPC collection such as this. The Holy Grail of Crap-cars-obscuring-beautiful-buildings will, of course, be a half-timbered car in front of a half-timbered building, though even such phillistines as these photographers (Who WERE they? Psycopaths on day release?) may have been wise to that irony & gone off and had a couple of pints in the Dirty Duck till the Morris Minor had moved on.

 

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Coming up: Italy and the Glorious Socialist Bloc, comrades...

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Thank you for your comments, corrections & analyses. Better go to work now, but more soon... :wink: P.S. Who can identify the most cars in these pictures? Some of them are quite nice, e.g. 815 HAC in Stratford (and there's a 2-tone Herald on the left in Oxford).

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Don't want to be too pedantic, but think the turd-brown car is actually an Avenger! :lol:

I think Rootes means the light blue cav in the middle of the photo??
55bloke was correcting Mr Karmann not Mr Rootes! :wink: That top Thirsk picture also contains a 1978 restyle Marina (in yellow), so is at least that recent. What's a Townsend Thoreson sticker? :?

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I don’t think they exist any more, merged/taken over by P&O?, primarily because of this:

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/date ... 515923.stm

 

Neatly linking the two subjects, I found this site:

 

http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/Townsend-Thoresen.html

 

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Though not avidly, I certainly like to buy the odd 70’s postcard when there’s plenty of the right cars on show. Posted one or two here before.

 

The Thirsk one is great!

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Townsend Thoresen were rebranded as P&O following the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster in 1987, owners P&O wanting to distance themselves from the Townsend name.You used to see TT GB stickers all over but obviously after 20 years since the disapearance of the company are a rare sight now. I thought a Townsend Thoresen GB sticker would be a nice 80's touch!

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there's the eponymous Austin in a very non-standard canary yellow.

I suspect that Farina is in a very much standard taxi spec colour. Could even be a diesel! :D A friend had one that kind of colour and I'm pretty sure the factory did them. Behind the black Mk2 Consul (I thought it might have been a Tatra for a minute!) is something very much pre-war!

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Dank U meneer stoterstangen! A real Dutch treat.

 

Before going down to Italy I have a Routemaster treat for lovers of that late lamented archaic omnibus. Obviously this is from the Metropolis, the Smoke, the Great Wen, or, as its natives call it Lahn-farkin-Dahn:

 

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Commercial Break fans will also enjoy H. O'Brien Transport Ltd, plus Michael Caine on a scooter. That must have been the only Chinese policeman in the City of London. Talking of the boys in blue, a glorious few minutes this evening when I was watching Car Wars and misheard Jamie Theakston. I thought he said 'P.C. Gavin Prick', but unfortunately it turned out to be 'P.C. Gavin Frith'. (Anyway, P.C. Prick works in Mansfield where he will fine anybody £60 and put 3 points on your licence just for driving past the Technical College on top of that hill on the A60...)

 

Enough sour grapes! While we're looking at Routemasters, anyone know where exactly this is:

 

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:?::?::?::?::?: Aha!

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As you have probably noticed if you've been there, there's a law in France (Loi de Seize Juillet Mille Neuf Cent Quatre Vingt Huite) that no city street will ever be complete without a shitty vehicle (un Camion Paysan Maudit, CPM), blocking the way for any visiting Brits who might be attempting to pass through. To avenge the sinking of the French navy at Oran (July 3 1940), General de Gaulle devised a plan to give generous state subsidies to farmers in order to purchase these CPMs on extremely favourable terms.

 

Although the Simca (or is it a rather cute Renault?) in the centre acts as a perfect focal point, don't miss the 2CV van zooming to the left, hurrying to get in the way of a cabful of Anglais, thereby increasing French taxi revenues. Note how the photographer has waited till just the right moment so that the neoclassical pillars of the Pantheon seem to be pointing out that triumph of French medium-sized family car design. Oh yes, and his name was "Guy":

 

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This is quite a nice, but terribly dull, picture of the baroque west facade of the cathedral at Taranto. 'Oh, Sid & Doris have been to a church in Italy' you would think, leaving it in a pile of bills and junk mail inviting you to join the Folio Society. Luckily that's the boring, touched up version for Sir Hugh Casson, Sir Kenneth Clark & Sir Simon Thurley. What you want is the unedited original:

 

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That's better! Now we know the colour of the pavement. Now we can see hungover Luigi on his search for a Farmacia that's open at midday (the nearest one is actually the other side of the Brenner Pass). And NOW we can have the arse of a bright blue VW Beetle obtruding on those glorious bas-reliefs by Panini. Back in 1975, when the post actually arrived early every morning, this would have provided a whole breakfast's entertainment.

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Certainly, will get it done at some point today.

Thank you! Looking forward to the nostalgia trip it will induce. Hope you can locate it in the relevant bits'n'bobs box.

 

[Actually a friend of my sister-in-law's had a husband nobody liked very much who died in the Herald of Free Enterprise tragedy. It wasn't a tragedy for them though, it was like winning the Lottery when the insurers paid up...]

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Thank you MrRegieRitmo, think you're right about the bus. There is a big clue written on the side of it for its location... Renault Dauphine not bad for a frogmobile.

 

And thank you Mr Lobster! Just think what THAT would fetch on e-bay, still sticky after all these years.

 

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DUCKS COMING FROM LEFT

 

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DUCKS COMING FROM RIGHT

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I'm not sure where that is. But wasn't the predecessor to the Routemaster called something else? AEC Relliance or something?
Ah the old trap of all old style London buses being dubbed "Routemaster"... these ones are indeed pre-Routemaster (late 1940s-early50s), the Reliance was a single-deck bus/coach chassis

 

That GB sticker is freakin' sweet by the way, you should get a batch of those reproduced to sell to sad cases like me. However you would have to get a British Channel Island Ferries version done to crank my shaft, or better yet a British Rail-era Sealink one :lol:

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This is easily the most horrible postcard in my whole collection. Unbelievably it is supposed to show the romantic Italian Adriatic port of Trieste. We even know the wretched culprit's name, as it's accredited to S. Sabba on the back (and dated 1967). Did he photograph the opera house? Did he photograph the lovely Hapsburg Era administrative buildings? Did he photograph the wonderful Inter-war Art Nouveau erections? No. S. Sabba took a picture of the shitest, crap intersection in town, complete with autoshite:

 

 

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Has the green lorry (which looks like an Austro-Hungarian one left over from WW1) just shed that load of large stones/small rocks which decorates the foreground? Presumably that white Fiat 500 recently filled up at the Shell petrol station (possibly owned by Signor Sabba's bruv?). And if you look very carefully to the bus driver's 7 o'clock, you will see our old friend, the blue Beetle from Taranto, beetling off.

 

We can only dream of such awfulness - and it came from Italy!

 

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MADDIE McCANN SIGHTED AHEAD

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I'm sorry to be pedantic (no I'm not I'm positively relishing it :wink:) but neither of the London Buses are Routemasters, the bottom one is definitely an RTL. the Leyland version of the bus that went before the Routemanster (see the fleet number on the bonnet side) and the top one may be the wider version, the RTW.

Here to put the record straight is a Row of Routemasters, if that is the collective term, smoky rattly engines, no doors, tungsten light bulbs to relieve the gloom, etc; bus-shite indeed :)http://www.routemaster.org.uk/

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Thank you MrRegieRitmo, think you're right about the bus. There is a big clue written on the side of it for its location... Renault Dauphine not bad for a frogmobile.

 

And thank you Mr Lobster! Just think what THAT would fetch on e-bay, still sticky after all these years.

 

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DUCKS COMING FROM LEFT

 

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DUCKS COMING FROM RIGHT

WHY CAN I NEVER ESCAPE FROM DUCKS. DUCKS FRIGGING DUCKS THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. WITH THAT EVIL GLINT IN THEIR TINY DUCK EYES. ARGH!!!

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It is now time to head EAST in the postcard collection. I was, at this point going to hand over to our Bulgarian friends:

 

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But they are pissed off that we are not welcoming them with the same open arms as we accorded the Roumanian Diddakoi, so are refusing to write any commentary. They just keep muttering something about 'Daily Mail' and sharpening their yataghans. Not to worry! They've found good jobs cockle-picking in the Outer Hebrides and are moving to the London Underground just as soon as they've saved up enough money for the train fare from Lerwick to St Pancras + all the cans of Tennants Super that will be required for that epic journey.

 

Anyway, we go via blameless Norway where this scintillating shot of the harbour at STAVANGER could be purchased nearly 50 years ago:

 

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I think the fans of Commercial Breakdown will find a few classic trucks on which to feast their eyes in this one. Judging from that pristine Rover* the good old Norwies are still grateful to us for being a bit late with our violation of their neutrality in 1940, though clearly MEANINGLESS ZEBRA CROSSINGS are for the whole world except Blighty. Note how our man in the grey suit has somehow managed to get sandwiched between the only two pieces of traffic that passed all morning, and dead centre of the marked crossing! Pedestrian genius. How one longs for a Smorgersbord at E. Gunnersen's and to purchase a pair of Golf pyjamas from Skorter.

 

[*No, it isn't a visiting Brit. He would have STOPPED at the crossing when there were a lady, a little girl & an old man coming, wouldn't he?]

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