To report the motor race at Southport in 1936 (pictured) I was without a car until I hired one locally, but it ran so badly I promptly returned it. The replacement also ran badly, so I gave up and rang Duncan Robinson, a friend who was to accompany me. He said, “Hang on, I will ask my father if we can use one of his company cars.” This was agreed to, and he collected me in a Morris 8 saloon.
We set off for the long journey to Southport, and going out to the circuit we encountered people walking to it including a girl on her own. We offered her a lift and she was grateful for this and able to accompany us with the Press passes we carried. We then told her we were driving back to London through the night after having a meal, at which she joined us. When a waiter appeared we ordered three soups but as the girl had not re-appeared we thought she had ‘stood us up’, so we cancelled one. Finally she appeared, more glamorous than before; the waiter was not too pleased when we had to re-order. She told us she had left her mother’s car down the road to avoid the congestion of the racecourse parking. It turned out to be a smart drophead Vauxhall. We followed her until she stopped and pointed to a large house on top of a hill and asked if we would like to come in for a drink. This we refused, as we had a long drive back to London.
Same years later I discovered that her father was a prominent member of the MCC.