Archive for the 'rolls royce' Category

The Phantom 1 Rolls-Royce

Our Phantom 1 Rolls-Royce was getting low on petrol and spotting a sign saying Petrol Pump a mile ahead I decided to get filled up there. We were in Ireland where we had rented a small bungalow near Rosscarbury just above the Long Strand. The Rolls Royce had a 40 gallon petrol tank which befitted its 10mpg and the gauged showed it was now on the last gallon.

Petrol pumps were often found attached to small shops and this was one of them. In 1958 all pumps were manually operated and quite tiring to work. After the attendant had been pumping away for some time I could see he was getting worried. At one moment he stopped pumping and, on his hands and knees, examined the ground under the back of the car. He then returned to his task and gave the pump a few more strokes. Again he stopped and peered under the car!

Scratching his head he looked at me imploringly. I told him to carry on! But instead of doing so he walked back into his shop which, like all shops in Ireland, had a bar and I had to go there to get him back to finish filling the tank. Well resuscitated from the pint of Guinness I found him finishing he returned to complete his task. It was only then I let him into the secret of how much the tank held!


Between 1959 and 1961 we all went to Ireland for our summer holidays. We went in our Phantom 1 Rolls Royce and had adventures from the start: None of the dockyard staff could drive the car and they had to break the rules and allow me to drive it on to the platform and to remain behind the wheel whilst we were lifted by crane some 20 feet into the air and lowered into the ship’s car-hold. And, of course the same procedure in reverse when we arrived in Ireland.

Other memories during these lovely holidays there are bass-fishing on the Long Strand, the friendly and delightful people, the lack of any urgency at all times and the incomprehension when I pulled up for petrol. Petrol pumps were hand-controlled in those days, so filling up the Rolls’ 40 gallon tank could be a tiring and lengthy process. On one occasion the fellow at the pump stopped half-way through and came to the car and had a good look underneath to make sure petrol was not going onto the ground and on another occasion he stopped altogether and disappeared to be found in the local pub refreshing himself with a Guinness before returning to the job.

We had rented a bungalow on the hillside above the Long Strand. We had to fetch our drinking water from a nearby spring on the hillside which also supplied the few people living nearby. We made friends with a family of ‘five’ holidaying in a tiny caravan nearby. It was Inspector Reynolds and his family, all friendly and good company and typical of life in a country as yet unspoilt by the sophistication of our own. We enjoyed some excellent bass fishing on the Long Strand and Lobsters on Galley Head, and pony riding for Linden.

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