My calendar today features two photographs of me from sixty-odd years ago, both of which celebrate those dreams of youth that somehow get lost in the process of living.
This first photograph was taken in the field just behind our house in Northowram. It was an empty field undergoing a lengthy transition between stone quarry and housing development. My youth occupied that window between the departure of the quarrymen and the arrival of the builders, and therefore the field was our playground, adventure park, campsite and racetrack. My brother and some of the other neighbourhood children had laid out a running track – marked with granite sets from the quarry – and we would run laps of the track in our own version of the Olympic Games. This photograph of me, must have been taken by my brother – probably around 1957.
My dreams of becoming a world famous athlete never came to fruition and were quickly replaced by my transition into an equally world famous racing car driver. Like most others of my generation I fell in love with the form and beauty of the E-Type Jaguar, and I dreamed of becoming rich and famous and driving such a car throughout the land. I never missed the opportunity to stand next to one and have my photograph taken. I never had the opportunity to sit inside one. But dreams are not just for youth – there is still perhaps time!