by John Simpson
It all kicked off on Monday 16th September 1968 - a date firmly embedded in my memory -when a young, naïve 15 year old boy turned up for his first day of work at his local garage, (whisper this!) a Citroen dealer!
I was wearing a white boiler suit, which caused much amusement and leg pulling by the other mechanics.
Anyway down to business; my very first job in the trade that was to become my way of life for the next 49 years at least (still on the spanners!) was to get a Standard 8 started. It had broken down on the forecourt at the weekend; the boss, Geoffrey Rennoldson was a fearsome but fair man. He handed me a socket and told me to remove the spark plugs and clean them.
I duly did as instructed, refitted them and went and told Mr 'R' (that's what staff called the boss) it was done. He came to the car and tried to start it but no luck. He tried again, again no luck.
Mr 'R' came round the front of the car to look under the bonnet and wasn't happy with what he saw. "You haven't fitted the plug leads boy!!" he exclaimed. I replied " Sorry Sir, I didn't know which way round they went!". Anyway with the leads fitted, the car started. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the day was spent with a broom sweeping the workshop floor!
More tales from my life in the motor trade when I can remember them!
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