Frances, my younger sister was “quite different” from Valerie and I. Perhaps it was a 3rd child syndrome (does such a thing exist?), or perhaps she just learned to express herself at a much earlier age, but she was certainly a topic of conversation numerous times in my earlier years!
When my plans to go to sea dissolved*, I moved back with my parents with the aim of getting some kind of work and then seeing what develops from there. Given their rural area, and with the coast so near, there were very limited work opportunities, and what there was tended to be seasonal. I ended up moving back to Peterborough and into a very independent lifestyle.
While I was staying with my parents however, Frances (yet again) established her free spirit! We were sitting around chatting one sunny afternoon when we heard the sound of a motorcycle. My interest was immediately aroused (I love motorcycles) and out of the front window we saw this motorcycle pull into our driveway with Frances in the sidecar.
Well… the term sidecar is used with some degree of latitude because it infers a standard motorcycle and sidecar combination. That is exactly what this wasn’t!
Apparently the “bike”, which belonged to Frances’ boyfriend of the time, had somehow “lost” its sidecar body somewhere in its history. He being clearly creative, decided to put a steel bathtub on the frame that originally supported the sidecar! What we saw through the front window was Frances arriving home in an old bathtub!
In hindsight, I dread to think how it was anchored in place! I have no doubt that, with today’s traffic rules, it would have been declared unsafe and illegal, but the world was different in the 1960’s… especially in rural Essex!