Yes, I know it’s not a very good photograph but it does purport to show a very young me at the Great Working of Steam Engines at Dorset in either 1981 or 82, well, it could be me although I’m not 100% sure. I visited the show quite regularly in the late 1970s and early 80s and always had my camera(s) with me, but I recall on one occasion I went with friends specifically to collect some rally plaques for an event we had organised so left the camera in the car whilst we accomplished this task, and that is when I was supposedly snapped by another photographer. The person who sent this to me is convinced I’m in this shot, although he didn’t take the picture. I suppose it could very well be me, as this young man is wearing all the right clothing I would have worn in that period!
So, is that me in the bright orange anorak? It would have been a garment acquired some years before when I worked at a children’s home in London and specifically purchased for its brightness so I could be seen and identified by the youngsters should we become separated at an event such as this. I was, and still am, very frugal with my clothing, tending to wear things until they fall apart and then bemoan the fact I’ve only had ten years (sometimes much more) wear out of them. So it was with the orange, it was a regular rally jacket for years eventually ending up as suitable only for crawling under cars or wearing for filthy work on one of my restorations.
This must have been my jeans period as well, I don’t do jeans, or at least, I haven’t done jeans for many years. I still own a pair though even if I haven’t worn them for about seven years. I really don’t like them, much prefer pliable and softer materials or, as most of you know, knee-length cargo shorts which I tend to wear from February to November only discarding them for the coolest of winter months.
Wellington boots were, and still are, my footwear of choice for muddy rally fields although I recall on my first visit to the Dorset show I was in casual shoes and smart trousers as no-one had warned me about the possibility of mud – big mistake. Obviously this is in my pre-Hunters era, the wellies would have been bought cheaply at an Army & Navy Stores somewhere as I hadn’t yet discovered the comfortable luxury of Hunter wellingtons, that wouldn’t be for another twenty five years!
This photograph was sent to me in the early days of e-mail, some twelve to fifteen years ago, and has lain forgotten deep in the darkest recesses of an external hard drive until recently when it was rediscovered whilst searching for something else. I’m still yet to be convinced it’s me striding into this picture though!
Photograph and text originally posted to flickr on 2nd September 2012 and included in the “Me” set, re-posted here for another audience.