PUBLISHED: 17 Mar 2010 SHORT URL: http://timprint.co.uk/s/5/ COMMENTS: 5 RSS

THROUGH THE GLASS

1960s newspaper ad for high roost hotel 1960s newspaper ad for village hall dance

On the 19th June 1969 my parents were driving from their home in Chipping Campden on the edge of the Cotswolds to the village of Bretforton in the Vale of Evesham. I know it all sounds very middle earth but it's actually a really beautiful part of the country. It was 8 o'clock on a clear summer morning. My dad was taking me and my mum to my grandparents house to spend the day before he went to work. Life was good, they had no idea of the turn their life was about to take.

1960s newspaper ad for John Olofson wig centre 1960s newspaper ad for woolworths and job ad for drivers

Our car was a light green Ford Anglia (that's the exact same model as the flying car that Harry drives in the Chamber of Secrets film). My Dad was driving and my mum was sat in the back with me. I was only 12 weeks old, wrapped in a blanket and cradled on her lap. It seems incredibly dangerous when you're used to modern safety standards, but this was before the days of seat belts and baby seats. Safety wasn't much of a consideration back then, it was basically a tin box on wheels. A good looking one, but still a tin box.

1960s newspaper ads for estate agents and driving school 1960s newspaper ad for pye tvs

We were driving down a long straight road towards a cross roads, at which my parents had right of way. A van was travelling in the opposite direction to us and on the other road was a car carrying four middle aged men, who were on their way to a day out at Ascot races. All three vehicles arrived at the crossroads at the same time but the car with the four men in failed to stop at the HALT sign and drove straight across the junction. It ploughed into both our car and the van and left all three vehicles mangled by the impact.

1960s newspaper ad for steegan leisure jackets

The front end of our car pretty much disintegrated and my dad hit the windscreen hard. He didn't have any broken bones but he had serious cuts through his eyelid, cheek and lip - not a pretty sight. Three weeks later he left hospital to take his final exam to qualify for the Institute of Structural Engineers, which he passed under pretty difficult conditions.

1960s newspaper ad for hair salon 1960s newspaper ad for new homes

My mum's injuries were much worse, the impact threw her out of the car and she ended up lying on the road. She fractured her T6 and T7 vertebrae, had many fractured ribs and glass embedded in her forehead. Luckily she was taken to the world renowned Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville and eventually it transpired that her spinal chord was intact, it was badly damaged but not severed. She was one of the very lucky people who go to Stoke Mandeville and end up walking out, albeit six months later.

1960s newspaper ad for everyman theatre 1960s newspaper tv and radio listings

The driver of the car that caused the crash and one of his passengers escaped injury but the two other passengers in that car sadly died. The passenger in the van was injured but not too seriously and the driver of the van escaped unhurt.

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You might be wondering what happened to me in all this carnage. Well I'm obviously still here so I was pretty lucky. There were no actual witnesses on the scene at the time so we can't be 100% positive. What we do know is that two women from a local factory heard the crash and rushed out to see what had happened. They found me lying on the grass verge still wrapped in the blanket. I was completely unharmed without a scratch. Like I say, we can't actually be 100% sure how I got there but the most likely exit point isthrough the glass

1960s newspaper photograph of crashed car

5 COMMENTS

Andi
12.08pm 17 Mar 2010

wow.

Cole
12.10pm 17 Mar 2010

Not much to say Tim except a fascinating anecdote, beautifully communicated.
The adverts really add to the narrative.
A timely reminder that good design is the art of storytelling!

Emily H
1.56pm 20 Mar 2010

what a wonderful story, and so brilliantly told. (the little red arrow was perfect. devil is in the details eh?)

Ollie Kavanagh
4.46pm 24 Mar 2010

Amazing story Tim and beautifully designed.

Alessandro Focardi
6.36pm 13 Jul 2010

Woah Tim, amazing story, beautiful adverts that definitely add to the narrative. Keep it up

I'll never pass this on to anyone else, promise.