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Monday, 12 April 2010

Charles Rolls (1877-1910)

The other recent addition to the illustrious lists of blue plaques is Charles Rolls whos blue plaque is in Conduit Street Mayfair. Thats half of Rolls-Royce, and a Cambridge man at that. He studied Mechanical and Applied Science at Trinity. He was the fourth man in England to own a car (how freaky is that - only four cars in the entire country!!) He was a founder member of the Automobile Club of Great Britian and also a founder member of the Royal Aero Club and an avid enthusiast, promoting the new and growing motoring industry. He was the salesman and joined forces with Henry Royce who was born just down the road near Peterborough. Rolls died early at the age of 32 in an air accident. He was in fact the first Briton to be killed, and only the eleventh in the world - possibly not a first he was looking for.

I'm not sure that his daredevil, pioneering spirit would recognise the queues of metal boxes crowding our roads day in day out. Its a far cry from early motoring...

I guess I should say that Im attempting now, at nearly 41 years of age to learn to drive. I'm ploughing through the Theory Test book in an effort to cram some motoring know-how into my cranium. Most of the questions are rather common-sensical and then once that hurdle is jumped then its on to actually do the scary driving thing. M is allowing me behind the wheel of her Clio and I havent killed anyone yet so BONUS!! I have to admit its not a skill that I particularly cherish. The practical aplication of driving will be is that we can if we choose find a house out of Cambridge, which is damnably expensive. It'll also help spread the load of driving so that m doesnt have to do all of it. And yes it'll be nice to get into the car and drive but alternatively itll be less miles cycled which wont do my waistline any favours, I have to say that of late cycling is just a delight, layers are being shed, the fleece tog ratings are falling as the warm weather approaches and there are days when I would happily keep cycling rather than wander into the office round about 9 in the a.
Not I have to say that a Rolls would be much of an option I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a Mk II Jaguar for when we win the lottery -- actually theyre very reasonably priced certainly compared to one of the aforementioned metal boxes. It would be nice to own something with a little personality but at the mo I have to say that car ownership does not appeal - the present idea is for me to be included on Maries insurance policy.

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