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The Day Before Yesterday: 111 - A Ford Popular

Gladys Schofield and her family are so proud of their first car - a tiny Ford Popular.

I took a bit longer to get well after this last baby and feed times were worse if Linda was awake. She hated me feeding the baby and would try to climb onto my knee also at these times. It was alright when I had someone home to distract her. The afternoons were the hardest, as this baby was on three hourly feeds at first, to gain more weight. She was a little angel, never seemed to complain and never has really throughout her life.

I almost passed out one day when Pauline was about four weeks old. Only Alan's intervention as he walked in the door from his day at the Technical College saved an awkward situation. I was feeding Pauline and Linda as usual was trying to scramble on to my knee. As I made an effort to support her, I felt faint, grabbed our struggling toddler just in time.

Spring came at last, after a wild Winter. I felt much better and was able to walk down to the shopping centre or go for a walk. Our two smallest daughters had plenty of room in the large pram, the younger one under the hood with Linda tucked into the foot of the pram. We were a familiar sight travelling this way.

We began to talk of holidays as soon as the days began to draw out again. This time we were planning to take a chalet as these were more private for a family. You could come and go as you wished, it would be easier with the children. We chose a new seaside called Mablethorpe. This would be our first holiday travelling in our little black Ford Popular. We were so proud of that first little car, with its box like shape and tiny rear window. It's surprising how many children you could fit in it.

Alan was too adult at seventeen to want to travel with his parents now and spent his spare time out with his own friends, so Rod would be the one who sat beside his dad with the road map on his knees, plotting the course through the towns and villages as the motorways had not been opened up at that time.

Pauline's bed was a carry cot as Linda needed the larger cot yet and this travelled with us on several journeys and also on holiday,, wedged between the front and back seats on the passenger side for the first few months of her life. Linda on my knee with Susan and David tucked into the back seat beside me.

What did it matter if it was a tight squeeze and the four hour journey seemed to last forever. This was something new, not many families were as lucky as us to be able to afford a car. We were slowly climbing up the social ladder and we were very privileged.

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To read earlier chapters of Gladys's autobiography please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

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