Here I am again with Sheila’s story. If you read the last chapter, you will remember that Sheila was at the Dog Track with her mother, and her aunt and uncle. The last person they expected to see there was her dad. He did like to bet on the greyhounds, but usually in Shildon. It was a shock to see him at this track! He had obviously planned it!
My Dad toppled over easily (my mam later said he had a ‘skinful’), and hit the ground with a THUD!. If it had not been during the most exciting part of the race it may have caused more of a stir, but it didn’t, it went unnoticed. My mam grabbed one of my hands, and my Aunty Gwen grabbed the other and we ran. I don’t think my feet even touched the ground. I felt like I was flying through the air.
We didn’t stop until we got to my Uncle Bob’s Morris Minor. Aunty Gwen fumbled in her handbag for the keys, dropping them on the ground at first (that doesn’t just happen in the movies) and the fumbling to get the door open. She slid behind the big leather-covered steering wheel of the Morris Minor and opened the passenger side door so my mam and I could get in. “Lock the door” she yelled as she started up the car. Cars didn’t start too well in those days, and it took a couple of coughing spluttering attempts before the Morris Minor’s engine-turned over.
My mam was hugging me so tight I could hardly breathe. I could see my dad emerging from the crowd of people, who all had their backs to us because they were watching the Greyhound‘s chase the rabbit….I started to cry. My mam hugged me even tighter. We had visions of my dad breaking the car window and dragging us out through the broken glass. No one would see or hear us scream because they were all watching the dogs, hoping to win money.
My dad got within about fifty feet of us before Aunty Gwen forced the car into first gear and we lurched forward. We stopped again, then went forward again, then stopped again. I looked over my shoulder, my Dad’s hand was on the back window of the car, and at that moment the car picked up speed, making my dad fall flat on his face behind us.
Aunty Gwen sped across the grass car park, slowing down only to exit through the gate and onto the dirt road. As we drove away, we looked across to where my dad had been, and saw he was sitting on the grass rubbing his head. It had been a close escape.
My mam looked at Aunty Gwen and said “I didn’t know you had passed your driving test Gwen”
Aunty Gwen laughed and answered “I didn’t”
Then we all laughed long and hard, and Aunty Gwen drove slowly and carefully home.
If you enjoyed this check out ‘Girl on the Beach’ available from the links below: