Jackie and I set off late this morning in our apparently healthy Modus, bound for Broadlands in Romsey.
When younger, our King Charles III was very close to his Great Uncle Louis Mountbatten whose home this was.
On 27th August 1979, their relationship was ended by an IRA bomb. Details of the event can be found in:
The verges of the drive into the estate grounds were today lined with floral tributes to Queen Elizabeth II, who died two days ago.
What we had not realised when we decided to feature the flowers was that Broadlands was also the venue for The Romsey Show which was taking place today.
As we crawled up the road past our target venue, in the vicinity of which, with traffic nose to tail, there was no possible parking space, rather a lot of clutch pedal work was required – perhaps too much. We reached a roundabout some few hundred yards up the road, turned round it, and began to retrace our wheels. Suddenly there was the sound of a loud bang. Not from the car behind which had been trying to push in. But from beneath Jackie’s foot. The clutch pedal was flattened and not about to pop up again.
We had come to a halt on a double yellow line in two lane traffic just off a busy Romsey By-pass roundabout on the worst day of the year we could possibly have chosen.
The RAC gave us an estimated arrival time of 270 minutes. Jackie opened her puzzle book. I walked back down to Broadlands where I took the photographs first featured in this post.There a very kindly Volunteer Steward did his best, by telephonically interrupting his wife in a meeting about the event seeking anyone on site who could help. Signal was bad and this gentleman persisted in his efforts whilst at the same time managing two lanes of traffic entering the estate and herds of pedestrians wanting to cross the lines.
There wasn’t anyone available.
I staggered back to our car. Two other helpful passers-by asked if we needed anything, but they were not mechanics.
The first picture of the Modus bears a Burger Bar sign. After about an hour, Gary, sole operator of his outlet in the grounds of the Romsey Town Football Club, left his post to offer us hot drinks on the house.
Here Jackie expresses her pleasure.
The facility for the football club was very well attended, even though there was no match in progress. It is easy to see why.
Gary also left his customers to manage to drive our car onto the club premises in order to get it off the road.
Every half hour or so we received updates from RAC assuring us that on this very busy day they were doing their utmost to get someone to us. Have I mentioned that my phone battery was declining rapidly?
In fact, Ian, our next Good Samaritan, arrived half an hour early, fixed the problem in minutes, had a pleasant conversation with me, and followed us half way home.
Finally, of course, we must not forget Saint SueW, without whom I would not have been able to post these pictures.
Fortunately Jackie had prepared tonight’s dinner before we left this morning, so we were able to enjoy her wholesome beef pie; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower and broccoli; and meaty gravy. with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Calvet Prestige Côtes du Rhône Villages 2021. The young family ate later.