Contributor Philip Whiteland’s recent observations about car journeys as a child in the 1950s and 60s prompted some stomach-churning memories for Gwen Cooper, of Walton on Trent.

PHILIP brought it all back to me – how I used to hate car journeys. Oh, I know I should have been grateful to my sister’s boyfriend for fitting us all in to his Austin 8 and taking us to see granddad in Kniveton. “All” being Mum, Dad, his girlfriend (my sister Christine), me and younger brother and sister, together with a large picnic basket, which my mother would never go anywhere without.

I don’t know if it was living through a war, or having so many mouths to feed, but she would always be prepared so we wouldn’t starve. Food was the last thing on my mind, though, as, like Philip, I had a dread of suffering from car sickness. My mother flatly refused to believe I felt sick or, indeed, my poor brother who suffered from the same affliction. She had the idea we were attention seeking when we screamed “stop the car, now!”.

On one occasion, we had travelled to Bakewell Show by bus from Drakelow, as was our want every year, Dad having been brought up there. In the 1950s, the old charabanc rattled along churning up our insides while some inconsiderate person at the front of the bus proceeded to puff cigarette smoke all over us. Even Dad, who enjoyed his twist tobacco filled pipe, felt ill. We were so relieved to get off the bus but our mother, thinking again that we would need sustenance, ushered us all into the Bakewell Pudding Shop for a slap-up meal followed, of course, by the famous Bakewell pudding.

I wanted to crawl into a corner and die, as did my brother. Mother was not happy, though, as money was tight and she had laid down a considerable sum to give us such a nourishing meal – she said we were ungrateful little devils and hardly spoke to us for the rest of the day. Robert was so ill, he swapped places with our younger sister, Philippa, who, to her disgust, had to vacate her pushchair.

I just dragged myself round the Bakewell showground dreading the return journey. Some years later, I was taken on a coach trip with my friend. True to form, I was as sick as a dog but, on the return journey, her thoughtful mother acquired some Qwell tablets and I was perfectly well. I told my mother about the tablets but she said I was ill because I kept thinking I would be. It was many years later, as a middle-aged woman, I came across wrist bands which are supposed to work on pressure points.

I have to say, they don’t always work, so I am willing to try Philip’s old method of clutching an old penny – what have I done with my old coin collection?

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