WHEN the horse and cart was still in fashion, and a tram ride could be such a luxury, our uncle owned a second-hand Austin Seven, which Aunty called his rattlebox.
She had a point, bin as ow its clonking engine was akin to a biscuit tin of marbles being vigorously shaken.
Nevertheless, we'd tootle along to this cacophony of sound, and to Uncle's trained ear he knew that all was well under the bonnet.
We had moved on from the Meccano set to cut our mechanical teeth by helping Uncle with his periodical maintenance, getting daubed with grease, and oil spattered, ending up in the tin bath to have necks scrubbed.
We'd be full of the joys of spring, brother and I, when a Saturday came along for us to get mucky, and earn a few pennies, not to be sniffed at in those days.
We learned about left-handed spanners, and once we were sent along to the local garage for a squirt of bell oil, a fruitless venture.
I do remember a posh-frock Saturday when mother and aunt had got a friend's wedding invitation, and Uncle borrowed a farmer's saloon car to ferry them.
It came spattered in mud, so I got roped in to spray the bodywork using a stirrup-pump after the ladies had set to sprucing up the interior.
However, I decided to cut a corner with my task by throwing the entire bucket full of water over the vehicle, unaware that the side windows had been left open to air the upholstery, whereby the interior became swamped.
It might have been at the time I was whacked on the rump with a hand brush. Happy days!
PS The Bugle is such a good read, thanks.