OBSERVATIONS

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OBSERVATIONS

IISERVATION in an area in which the military is more in evidence than is usual even in these times, indicates that the praiseworthy LIFTS FOR TROOPS movement has apparently died a youthful death. The present high cost of motoring and the growing worries and restrictions certainly are not likely to place the car-owner in the happiest of moods; but it should not be overlooked that the troop with the extended thumb cannot help being possessed of a very natural desire to return home to his people when he gets leave, or at worst, to seek a change from life in barracks or billets. It is not his fault that he is no longer a civilian and can no longer afford the fares or the time demanded by public service transport. We have yet to come across an ungrateful ” liftee ” in uniform, whether Army, Air Force, or Navy, and consequently it is pathetic to see civilian motorists in empty cars driving past without so much as a glance at the would-be passengers. On a Saturday afternoon, especially, the early offer of even a short lift may make all the difference to a man getting home for the weekend or having to return disconsolately back to barracks. It can no longer be said that the majority of readers of this paper drive sports ears so restricted in passenger-space as to offer no accommodation to a. troop in full battle-dress. Moreover, the modern highperformance car on a straightthrough journey affords the most useful possible transport to the traveller in a hurry. So let us help whenever we can (drawing well into the side before we stop !) and ,not leave transport for troops almost entirely in the hands of the commercial vehicle drivers— who repeatedly stop their vehicles, particulafly platform lorries, for the purpose under discussion, with the best possible display of good will. . . . Even the most hardened motorist might be expected to stop at the request of a member of the women’s armed

forces. A big expansion of the W.A.A.F. is scheduled for the immediate future, when the need will be greater than before, amongst these “young women of between 18-i and 45,” as “Flight” so flatteringly refers to them. Yet only recently we saw a smart A.T.S. young lady (blonde) walking along a busy road with the thumb of her right hand permanently raised, although she had ceased to lift her arm or face the traffic ; something wrong here, surely ! Observation in the area aforementioned shows that when Army convoys wish to reverse direction of travel along a certain main road its component vehicles, in our experience without exception in every ease, dive across the road, down a side-turning, and then reverse round a blind corner against the traffic-flow on this side of the road. What happens so frequently at this particular point is likely to be universal, nor is there the excuse that no other method can be followed, for at the place. in question an open pull-in exists in a most useful position. An experienced motorist always reverses into a turning on his own side rather than reverse out into a main road, and the army driver, • at

carrying private and commercial traffic, should do likewise. This seems to constitute a minor oversight in training, but one that is nevertheless important enough to justify revision.

Those motorists who feel that motoring is no longer worth while on account of the cut in the basic petrol ration which is to come • into effect for the next quarter, would seem to have a solution. By lettingthetax lapse and laying up the car for a winter averhaul dining October, those nct in receipt of supplementary petrol will be able to run their cars in November and December for the same outlay per gallon as formerly.