GEOFF Stead, of Kendal, recalls his first car:

There was great excitement in the Stead household when, in 1969, we bought our first car, or rather I did, having passed my driving test at the first attempt.

At last, I could take my parents wherever they wanted to go and generally make life easier for them.

Admittedly, we’d had many happy years of coach excursions, mainly to Scarborough, but now it was luxury to set off from one’s own door to enjoy the pleasures of the Dales and coast.

Every care was lavished on our new £700 Morris Minor four-door saloon, with endless polishing and constant drying down when it rained.

Dad made a box with a fawn, Formica-topped lid, which served as a table for picnics, usually eaten sitting on our folding chairs in a busy lay-by on the A64, blissfully unconcerned about the noise and exhaust fumes of the traffic heading for the east coast.

A thing of the past for our picnics were vacuum flasks, now replaced by a kettle, and a stand made by Dad from an old biscuit tin. The water, which took a very long time to boil, was heated by a propane gas cylinder. “Nothing like a freshly brewed pot of tea,” Mam declared.

Understandably, Mam was, at first, a rather nervous passenger, always sitting in the back seat, and insisting on getting out to walk up steep hills in case the car went 'back’ards road'.

Dad, who was of a more placid nature, had a proclivity for dropping off to sleep in the front seat on long journeys, causing Mam to keep a long woollen scarf by her with which to administer a smart tap to the back of Dad's head to wake him up so he didn’t miss the scenery.