Funny Stuff

When I Were a Lad…

Beginning a bit of a series here recalling the good (or bad) old times and wondering where the hell some of them went.

The Abandoned Car


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

First in the list of things you don’t see any more is the abandoned car. Now I’m not talking about the occasional clamped vehicle parked in the wrong place here, these abandoned wrecks could be found in the most unlikely of places making you wonder, ‘How the hell did they get that there?’

For those of you familiar with the Grimshill Estate (or mini-Beirut as we called it) no explanation will be necessary. For anyone younger or not familiar with it, however, this place of my childhood was similar in atmosphere to a Taliban training camp. Although nowhere near as safe.

In the summer months especially, gangs of roving children would gather at the playground – featuring one of those tall, metal, kid-killer slides – to skin their knees and elbows on the cracked concrete which had been finished in a cheese-grater like top. (More on death playgrounds later)

vw camper

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

At some point someone had managed to park a Morris Marina next to said playground. It was one of those colours that seem to be reappearing now – Babyshit beige or brown – and had already seen some violence when I discovered it.

For a kid of the eighties, the Abandoned Car was a playground of its own, with a million possibilities for an imaginative boy to entertain himself. From the mundane pretending to drive it to the malevolent using it as a prison to torture the younger kids and poke them with sticks, that desperate old car provided at least one day of entertainment.

Of course when night fell and the older kids took over, the Morris Marina became a place of heady delights, a den of debauchery and excess where all manner of things we had no idea about took place. Like some kind of infant CSI team we found the evidence of their presence the following day.


Minis and Beetles were among the most popular abandoned cars. Thanks to Pixabay for the photos.

From cigarette butts – stubbed out on the brown plastic dashboard – to crushed beer tins, always Tennet’s Extra in the tall, black cans. In some exceptionally lucky  circumstances one of these abandoned vehicles might have been used as a love nest and some enterprising youth would collect the soiled prophylactic on a stick to chase others around with.

Many good times could be had with an abandoned car but, inevitably, some twat would set fire to it and then it would get towed away. Our only memory of those great times, a Marina-shaped scorch mark on the ground and occasionally some melted tyre.

Let me know what you remember about your youth and stuff you just don’t see any more.


Image courtesy of Skitterphoto. Sometimes an engine or oil sump was all that remained.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s