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Catherine Weatherall

(Mechanical Engineering 1973-76)
Catherine shares her memories of her much missed Morris Thousand Traveller acquired in 1974

While a few of our more financially well endowed confreres were busy acquiring the 70s equivalent of "chick magnets", my fellow Mechanical Engineering husband-to-be and I invested 35 pounds each in a twenty five year old tank, our only regret being that we missed the split windscreen by a year.

Beit HallBeing residents of Beit Hall, we applied to the City of Westminister for a residents' parking permit and so could proudly park this monument to automotive engineering among the Bentleys, Rolls, Rovers, etc. that citizens of the City normally drove. Our tank survived, unscathed, in the confines of Westminister streets for many months, revelling in its curiousity value if nothing else.

One evening, however, we parked on college grounds and went off to enjoy some now forgotten revelry. We returned to where we thought we had parked, only to find an empty space. A gang of friends joined us as we roamed every inch of the parking area, only to find, hours later, our treasured vehicle, standing as far as possible from where we knew we had parked it. It was still locked, the hand brake was on and there was no damage.

Cars were frequently "bumped" a few yards in those days, usually putting them between parking meters, which were spaced at conveniently short intervals so that the cars fitted neatly between them, with only an inch or two to spare. This meant that they were impossible to drive out of their position and the hapless owner had to coral amused bystanders or friends to "bump" it out again. This required considerable strength and effort, I seem to remember, and only usually occurred after prolonged periods at the Union Bar or other watering hole. Despite the superhuman powers endowed by alcohol, vehicles could only be moved a short way before reality set in and we never understood how our Morris Thousand made it almost a mile.

Queen's TowerWas it a plot by aliens, temporarily hiding out in Queen's Tower?

A car thief who tired of our trophy and who had the courtesy to lock it up again before abandoning it?

A dastardly experiment by an aeronautical student who wanted to see if half a ton of steel could fly without being encumbered by wings?

We never found out but maybe someone, somewhere, has the answer!!

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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