After several busy months, we left for a welcome holiday. We were heading for Burnham on sea in Somerset. Not a long journey so we had a leisurely start in our red MGF – much more fun for a holiday, although it makes you think carefully about how much luggage to take. The weather was not perfect, but good enough to have the roof down as we travelled down the Foss Way and through the Cotswolds. We had picked a National Trust property, Newark Park, to visit for lunch and a break. The visit turned out to be longer than expected.
We left the M5 at junction 13 (an omen?) and as we drove through narrow lanes, there was a bang. The driver had problems with the gears but we managed to reach the car park at Newark Park. It was about midday.
We found that the car now had only one gear – third. No reverse, neutral or anything else. It appeared to be a broken cable. We called our breakdown service who said they would send someone. In the next hour we had something to eat (sandwich from the cafe) and made some phone calls. There was an MG recommended garage not far away, who said it was something that could take several days to repair. By the time the local breakdown truck arrived we knew that we would need to return home. He confirmed that there was nothing he could do and he didn’t have facilities to take us home. In fact he was low in fuel and had problems starting his vehicle. At 2 pm the rescue control centre told us that a truck was coming, from Rugby, to pick us up. It would be there by 5 pm. We called the hotel to say we would not be arriving that night. We now had plenty of time to explore Newark Park.
We went round the house and followed one of the paths through the grounds. It’s in a lovely situation on top of a hill, but we rushed back to the car by 4.30, in case the truck was early. It wasn’t!
We had been having regular phone calls from the control centre and at shortly after 5 pm they said the truck was at junction 13 of the M5. We relaxed and expected it to arrive soon. It didn’t!
It was after 6 pm that we rang the control centre to find out what was happening. Of course, by this time, phone batteries were running low and the signal was very erratic to start with. They checked back with us several times and then just after 8 pm we started getting calls from the pick up truck driver. He didn’t know where we were, he was worried about the narrow lanes. He stopped to ask locals (The was a language problem – he was not British). How would he turn round? We assured him that there was plenty of room to turn round. The gates were not closed and we were in the middle of an empty field.
Finally, he arrived at 8.33 pm.
The journey was uneventful and we arrived home some time after 11 pm.
We had a bite to eat and went to bed, exhausted, ready to start again the next day. Even more in need of a holiday.
To be continued