Thursday, 22 December 2011

In which my faith in the spirit of Christmas is restored

Picture the scene, dear reader(s). We are driving from Bristol to Castle Combe, a well known racing circuit, because S wants to get some jiggery pokery done with some hoses for his TR6. On the way we overtake an impossibly large "Smurf** Kappa" wagon.

We arrive at a small village in Wiltshire called Burton (according to Wikipedia, a place with only 96 households) and spy a pub that looks a possible lunching spot. S turns into the carpark but decides there is not enough space so comes out into the road to turn round. Remembering that there is this large blue Smurf due to come round the corner very shortly he smartly puts the car into reverse. Except that the gearstick broke off in his hand, right at the bottom.

We are now stuck in the road, in neutral but unable to engage any gears, with a large wagon about to come round the corner any minute.

Leap out, energetically push car on pavement, breathe.

Possibly fortuitously we discover that we are actually on the forecourt of a garage (as in mending, not as in fuel) which even has an RAC sign. Mechanic comes out, but says cost for transporting dead vehicle back to Bristol will be at least £100 and that I should phone RAC and see if they will pay.

Phone RAC who accept my call, but say it will be about 2 hours. I point out that a snapped gearstick is not really repairable roadside but I'm told that it will be up to their man to make the shout as to whether we need transporting, or not.

Things are looking rather bleak, but then the garage owner comes out (having finished his lunch) and decides that the gearstick can be taken off and welded back together again which will at least get us home (via Castle Combe, obviously).
And then, when he's finished and reassembled the car, he refuses to take any money for this - "Happy Christmas", he says.
There, see, goodwill does still survive.


  1. The gearstick just came off? Blimey. What a lovely garage chap though.

  2. No it didn't come off - it snapped in two.