Two decades after he left for new ventures, David Hartley, a long-serving and experienced removals professional returns, bringing with him a whole host of stories about ‘the good old days’ (not quite so good in this case) throughout the 1980’s which the current staff here at Britannia Harrison and Rowley knew nothing about, and to those staff members that remain from the 80’s, they seem like a distant memory.
One story has come to light that some local Bedfordians may remember…
David started with Harrison and Rowley in 1973, when we were best known for our furniture shop in Bedford. He began driving for the removal’s element throughout the ’70s and into the 1980s, when he was at his removals peak, until one cold winters evening in 1983 when tragedy struck.
‘We had just finished loading and had started our drive to Middleborough to unload the next day. We were driving on the A1, near where little chef used to by Little Paxton, St. Neots [another blast from the past] and my driver Stewart swerved to avoid hitting an artic lorry that was emergency breaking as a tanker steamed onto the road. The result of the swerve, the trailer ploughed into the left-hand side of our vehicle, crushing and pinning me to the passenger’s seat. It took a whole host of nurses and paramedics to get me out and free my legs. Luckily Stewart remained largely unharmed, but I ended up in the hospital getting treatment for breaks and cuts. I still have the scars to prove it!’
David doesn’t hesitate in showing us the war wounds at this point, to which we are rather surprised at the severity, even some 36 years later.
To accompany David’s story, are some snippets from the Cambridge Evening News (the original article we cannot locate), that he purchased after the incident, that show the accident site and the devastation that was caused.
Regardless of the severity of the situation, David healed and continued to serve Harrison and Rowley in their furniture store until he was ready to get back onto the trucks…
We can’t help thinking it didn’t put him off too much as he is now, over 20 years later after moving on to new ventures, back as our full-time warehouseman.
We hope his next instalment of ‘the good old’ days’ is a little less tragic!
Images courtesy of Cambridge Evening News 1983