Some eight years ago, driving backing home along the old A4 late one evening (the M4 had been closed), I caught the flash of a speed camera out of the corner of my eye. The road was nearly entirely empty but I had clearly drifted just over the speed limit. Annoyed with myself, I waited and wondered whether I would receive a letter – which of course I did. Geordie, with his Mr Perfect hat firmly on, exclaimed helpfully “I don’t believe it” – consolation on this sort of occasion is not his thing. Anyway, I had a choice. I could either add points on to my driving license or attend a speed awareness course which, naturally, was the better option.
I duly arrived on the appointed date not sure what quite to expect. I suspect like everyone else there, I was a mixture of emotions: self-righteous thoughts about my speed being fine at that time of the evening given the circumstances, annoyance at being caught and resignation that I had indeed been breaking the law.
I found the day unexpectedly fascinating and a timely reminder that we are each asked to compromise our everyday behaviour for the benefit of others. It does make a huge difference to reduce your speed to less than 30mph in order to save lives in the case of an accident in built up areas where other people are pottering about their business. Cars can give us a false sense of security and, whilst always alert and trying to anticipate the behaviour or accidental mistakes of others, there may not be enough time if driving too fast. Throughout, the focus was all about other people.
The power, the speed of the engine of a car is measured by horsepower. Horses have allowed us to travel long distances for thousands of years and their measure of strength has defined our new method of travel over the last one hundred years. They were and are still not necessarily safe modes of transport. Stage coaches and carriages turned over whilst going too fast, or horses shied or slipped. When motor cars first appeared, they frightened some people and the railways companies used this emotion to push forward a law whereby someone had to walk in front of the car waving a red flag to signal the danger. This was not compassionate so much as an attempt to make sure cars travelled far slower than trains so as to not break their monopoly.
Others, however, welcomed the new technology with enthusiasm. The 5thEarl of Carnarvon loved the excitement of the new technology and was one of the earliest car owners and drivers. His first driving license was French and, from trialling early protypes in the late 1890’s, Lord Carnarvon then bought a number of Panhard Levasseurs, one of the most prestigious cars of the first decade of the 20thcentury.
The cars were not reliable by today’s standards and on longer journeys he was followed by another car with mechanics in it. His reputation as “Motor Carnarvon” was to drive quite fast (if well!) and, en route to various races, both horse and car, he incurred a number of speeding tickets. Very soon after he therefore also retained the services of a barrister to ensure they could all stay on the road, adding to the expense of his hobby.
It was a catastrophic car crash in Schwalbach, Germany some years later which was to change the course of his life. Sailing over the. brow of hill, he swerved to avoid a cart pulled by oxen. Overturning, he nearly died, with badly damaged lungs, a crushed skull and a damaged jaw. To aid his recovery and support his now fragile health, Lord Carnarvon’s doctors suggested that he avoided the wet damp winters of England. Thus he chose to spend his winters in Egypt, with its dry warm air, a country he was already fascinated with following many previous trips.
Over the course of his life, the 5thEarl owned more than 60 cars (although none are sadly here now) and the archives are full of photographs which are testament to his abiding interest in car racing and early planes. One of his favourites was a 1912 Bugatti which he and Howard Carter collected from the manufacturer on their way home from Egypt that same year. Just before his untimely death in 1923, he had been planning to purchase a new Bentley having already equipped his Egyptian expedition with a Ford to help travel to and from the excavations following the discovery of Tutankhamun. In the end you could say that the car crash and speeding contributed to his death just as the Boy King Tutankhamun’s prowess and accidents with chariot racing contributed to his.
Cars are such an easy way to travel, especially for those of us based in the country rather than in cities. Thinking of the safety of others is a small price to pay for the convenience and so careful speed was added to my ever-growing list of “everything in moderation“– along with cheese and chocolate and possibly numbers of dogs too – according to my husband.
Lady Carnarvon, I too was speeding a few years ago and was caught on photo radar. The letter came in the mail and I was fined 175 dollars. I learned my lesson. Speed kills and when combined with drugs and liquor it is deadly. So many lives are taken with speed and I do not want to be one of the ones that are taken or most important, that I take a life. Cheryl
Wonderful reminder. Thank you.
Entertaining & educational as always – as a bit of a Speed Freak myself with a passion for fast cars, I agree with what you say – everything in moderation, & only drive fast when safe to do so…..but you can never have too many dogs!
I do so love the way you gently stated that you were speeding….”I had clearly DRIFTED over the speed limit.” Your words are so delightful and make me smile…which is why I enjoy reading your entries each Monday. Keep calm and drive on!
Hello Lady Carnarvon.
Gin in moderation?
Those Speed Awareness Courses are real eye opener. When I first moved here, the police in Basingstoke held Better Driving Courses, once a week for 4 weeks. This was inspirational and the last session was in a BMW around narrow roads. One little tip that you should attempt occasionally, is talk your way thru a journey and you will be amazed what you take for granted and this raises awareness.
I suggest this to learner drivers.
Car suspension in Egypt would have made an uncomfortable ride.
Carry on Highclere.
Thank you for this and all of your blog posts. Love the history and your insight.
So loved reading this blog, thankyou.
We are fascinated with cars (go the Goodwood Festival of Speed every year – apart from this year) and love all things Egypt!
I too, on our visit to Highclere Castle in July (a birthday treat and we met you which was an added bonus) was ‘caught’ speeding, I put this down to my giddiness of visiting Highclere and meeting you! and am now waiting to go on a speed awareness course. The first time ever in my 44 years of driving. I am hoping that I find it as interesting as you!
Have a lovely bank holiday. You can never have enough chocolate, dogs or cars!
I have not received a letter since – but try to take nothing for granted!
I just returned home on August 5th after staying a month in England. I visited Highclere while there! So beautiful!
I rented a car while there and had no idea what the speed limit was, didn’t see any speed limit signs on the motorway. Here in the States they are plastered every mile or so. So I went with the flow of traffic having no clue you all had speed cameras. Here those are not allowed, we consider it a violation of privacy.
I got home and got emails from my rental car company that I had gotten 5 speeding tickets, all to the tune of about £500 plus £35 each from the rental car company. A very expensive mistake!
When I return, I’ll make sure to go 70 for sure!
Between 60 and 70 I think is good! 60 is also an economical speed vis a vis petrol costs/usage….
I too took the option for the awareness course which I found extremely useful and made me more ‘aware’ of the speed limits, however a few years later I was caught again driving in the New Forest, I spotted the camera van and I was convinced was driving below the limit even though saw the flash, like you I did not tell my husband as thought won’t get the letter, of course I did, husband not amused ! Booked another awareness course and paid the fee and within days after paying for course had a letter of apology, there was an error with camera, relief and had my fee returned. So enjoy your weekly emails. Thank you.
You were right and lucky!
5thEarl owned more than 60 cars. I’m lucky to own one . I’m not living the right way. Just kidding
Good Morning Lady Carnarvon,
I had the occasion to do a speed awareness course & found it very eyeopening. My dear late Father used to say cars were a “necessary evil”!. Love your comments about things in moderation. I love the pictures of the old cars.
I have definitely driven much much less recently and am happier for it!
I really like today’s article and think that Toad from Wind in the Willows was inspired by Lord Carnavon. Do you know of any connection? Also Downton Abbey took some plots from real life such as the similarities between Matthew’s death and Lord Carnavon’s crash.
I do enjoy the research – 5th Earl has no seatbelts/rollbars/airbags and iffy brakes..
How curious that the motor car seems to have had such a huge impact on our lives since it came into being. Advances in medicine or education I would expect, but a rather unreliable engine? It has taken over the world. Not always for the good!
What a lovely tale….. thank you for sharing.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Unexpected events can often be pivotal turning points in our lives. Would King Tutankhamun’s tomb have been discovered without the Earl’s life changing car accident? All that the world learned from his work there, and tragically he had to pay a huge physical price.
My husband loves cars, watching Formula One racing and dreaming of a beautiful fast car of his own! He’s had many cars, knows how to do the “work” on them, and is happiest behind the wheel on the open road. His collection of tickets and points is testament to his love of speed! I only wish he could a course like the one you took. The greater good is a good reason to slow down… even just a little!!
Thank you for a great Monday morning read!! Be well and safe!
Charlotte Merriam Cole
Fascinating! I love reading your posts. They take me away to a different world and always make me happy. Thank you for your wonderful posts.
Came to Highclere Castle yesterday With a group of friends and actually read about the Earl and his speeding fines!
A throughly Interesting and Enjoyable day was had by everyone Thank you for all the staff who are so helpful and full of knowledge
Blessings to you, your Family, Your Home And your Staff
thank you so much for coming here – I am trying to gather my thoughts for my next book .. have put some words too paper or fingers fingers to laptop!!!
Good Morning. I wonder if Lord Carnarvon would have been in Egypt to discover Tutankhamun’s Tomb if he had not had the car accident. Was he an excavator before his accident? Also do any of the cars used in Downton Abbey belong Highclere Castles? I love the photos. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day.
Hello Lady Carnarvon and our chatting friends
Oh dear, I feel for you being caught by the speed camera. It is very easy to slip over the speed limit especially if there is hardly any other traffic around and that is why I loved being able to set my speed thing-a-me-jig which stopped me putting my foot down and being booked.
My husband however has always driven to the speed limit and when I was driving reminded me (like Hyacinth Bucket did to Richard) “it’s 60 through here, or we are getting close to the turnoff so you better slow down etc”.
Now I am free from driving (which I loved doing for 64 years) and it is just this past week upsettingly I handed in my driving licence.
I have not driven for 2 years now and when the notice came in to renew my licence, I took stock and thought…….”I really don’t need this any more so why am I going to renew it again?” At 18 when I first got my licence I was excited and now at 82 I am saddened to no longer have it. Ah well, life has to change and better I hand it in and finalise that chapter of my life 🙁
I didn’t want to be like an old lady who lived up the road from our farm and who only had a licence to drive to the local shops (all 3 of them). Last I heard she came along our road all the way on the wrong side, then parked at right angles to the shop when she should have parked level with the kerb! Our local shop keeper asked for her keys and politely parked it correctly and for that service he got reprimanded for his trouble. Oh well, some days are diamonds…….
Love your blogs and eagerly await them. Thank you so much for bringing in some light during difficult times.
Marvin D. Payne
3509 South Osage Street
Independence, MO. 64063
Well done!!! I related to this, having had a similar experience and coming to the same conclusion that a bit of retraining was more acceptable than the alternative. However, that to which I most related: Geordie wearing his “Mr. Perfect” hat. I have also suffered such a consequence.
Loved “Mr. Perfect!” We all have one I’m afraid. Tee hee!
Horses, wagons, carriages, cars – both sedate and racey – very important travel companions in history! Your story this morning brought to mind the fateful car crash in Downton Abbey. On the other hand, Lord Carnarvon’s fun with cars was a true ‘man’ story, especially having his own car in Egypt!
I won’t bore readers with the full story of the episode, when I was four years-old, when I released the brakes on my parent’s car where it was parked at the top of our driveway on a 50-foot hill. It rolled down, and made a fortuitous U-turn. I just celebrated my 75th birthday. Whew.
Love your “story”. And you have made me very aware that I must drive more carefully, even on the “open road”. That’s when I tend to slowly increase my speed and suddenly discover I am driving at 80 mph. Worst part – it doesn’t feel that fast, BUT— So starting today, I promise myself – safe driving!!!
Thank you for this important reminder. Love the photos of the beautiful cars of the past.
Stay safe – and drive well!
Thank you – stay safe too
A good reminder! I enjoyed the bit of history, especially the Tutankhamun reference.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for your Monday blog.
I appreciated being reminded of the necessity of maintaining good driver education and skills.
Also, I enjoyed the history lesson on the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, and how his unfortunate accident brought him success in Egypt.
Nice pictures of the old automobiles. Partial to the Ford reference. (The Company has its headquarters in the city in which I reside: Dearborn, Michigan).
Look forward to hearing from you.
Until next week, drive safely, take care of the dogs, and continue indulging in chocolate.
Greetings from Fort Worth, Texas. Lord Carnarvon was definitely quite a colorful character! Thank you for sharing the medical information about why he went to Egypt. For sure, a highly interesting gentleman who was not afraid to follow his dreams. My love affair with early Bugatti automobiles began at a young age. Ah, the beauty and romance! And repairs! Cost of insurance! But we won’t think about that for now. I had my dreams, too, but ended up with a large battered vehicle stuffed with children and dogs, sports equipment, hay, crushed potato chips, stinky socks, etc. And I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
When I met Geordie he was driving a Volvo – a good safe car – at a bad time in my life we brought an old sports car which I do get out from time to time …
I just finished reading your Lady Almina book in which you tell about that car accident. It was a lovely book where we get a real feeling for the personalities of each family member, from Almina to Aubrey to the Earl himself. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Thank you !
As I began reading, I expected your comments to go to mask wearing. Of course, it didn’t and was relating to speed and respect of its regulation. Fine, well done and understood. Point being, I think what you said CAN relate to mask wearing; essentially respecting others as we restrain ourselves.
Your blogs are a delight and a lovely start to Mondays and its week! Thank you!
You read my thoughts correctly… same point
Your husband may reconsider his position on cheese, chocolate and dogs when you announce your newfound hobby of collecting antique Cartier tutti fruiti bracelets.
I agree with moderate speed, cheese and chocolate but you can never have too many dogs!
Thank you for your weekly blogs, it is such a pleasure to enjoy reading about aspects of your fascinating life and family.
Good morning Lady Carnarvon,
This was a fun read! (Well, sorry about the speeding ticket…but otherwise a fun read.)
What a shame that none of the Carnarvon motor cars are still around. I was especially captivated by the mention of the Bugatti. There is an auction this week at Hampton Court Palace, featuring 3 antique Bugatti cars, and the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante is expected to fetch over nine million dollars! (The auction, on the Robb Report, has pictures of all the cars.)
Thank you again for another terrific article. You cover so many varied and wonderful details about the history of Highclere.
golly -they sound amazing cars – I will look on line
Fascinating read thank you x
Fascinating report about the importance of living in a cooperative world and watching out for other people’s good. Social systems can continue with the respect of people for each other. Well-done. Glad you took the course.
The history of Lord Carnarvon with automobiles was also quite instructive. Plus, it’s certainly brings up the memory of the “Downton Abbey” story-line of automobiles and injury/death. The world continues to proceed with some people operating in a sense/bubble of invincibility. It’s so sad when that bubble is burst.
I have survived Hurricane Laura in Texas; my house is reinforced. While my family has survived in Louisiana, their homes are damaged. However, the landscape we knew has disappeared. Lake Charles, Louisiana has disappeared. Many other familiar area no longer exist. It’s a sad time.
Perhaps that’s where my fascination with the buildings such as Highclere, Place Dauphine in Paris, French countryside and the magnificent buildings in Germany began. These buildings are still standing through the years, inclement weather, and war. Of course, appropriate maintenance and upkeep are required as in any circumstance.
Continuing to wish the very best to the Highclere on-site family/staff and to the Diaspora of the Highclere Family. May blessings arrive through all circumstances.
Ida Lee DuPlechin
Louisiana/Texas – USA
I am so so sorry for your challenges, how sad. I have published a podcast with Bishop David – a dear friend. He was so inspiring – Lady Carnarvon official podcast – and he left me remembering the word hope.
Good morning! I can relate to speed and car crashes. Speed is a subject of conversation quite often between my husband and I when we are driving on the road. Modern cars are so smooth and quiet that sometimes one does not realize how the speed creeps up. The police are quite active in our area with their radar traps and I often have to remind my husband to slow down. However, he did not heed my warning and we soon saw the flashing lights of the police car waving us to the side of the road. A ticket ensued. On another occasion I was a victim of a car crash involving speed on a mountain road.
My brother lost control and we ended up rolling down the side of a mountain in the Rockies. Thankfully we survived. We all need to be careful for our own safety aa d those of others. Drive safely everyone!
I so totally agree! I have recently been on a driving awareness course albeit via a Zoom meeting in these current climes. I found it fascinating and learned quite a bit too. I think many of us have too heavy a right foot these days, notwithstanding the 5th Earl!
I am now very much more sedate in my driving and its amazing how much more relaxing it is!
Isn’t it amazing? I try to consider myself driving, to be amongst pedestrians, and keep that mindset. Who would not pause to let someone else walk in front of them to get to a door or make a turn? But few will do this while in vehicles, instead zooming ahead to block people out. It is as if everyone is a teenager trying to get into a rock concert.
I just finished reading your book about the Carnarvon adventures and Tutankhamen, it was absolutely enthralling! You write very well indeed. Thank you for imparting these stories for us to read 🙂
what fun, the third paragraph sure strikes a nerve in our present time. we need to give some more thoughts to kindness, generosity and others in these viral days.
What a fascinating read that was. Thank you Lady Carnarvon.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What a wonderful fascinating read, I love the photo’s of all the cars, we’ve certainly come a long way in terms of comfort, I love the vehicle in the second photo, it looks a real bone shaker. Have a good week.
Hasn’t so much changed so quickly?
Haven’t most of us felt the exhilaration of the wind in our hair and for some of us who like speed and the thrill of sitting in the seat of a powerful car. Who can resist that empty road and pushing that accelerator just a little too much…. I have dug my heals in to not replace my 2004 Lexus sedan because it has a V8 engine and still purrs like a kitten. What I love best aside from the couch like seats is the knowledge that with just a little bit of effort I can leave most everyone in the dust! Everything is moderation….maybe….but during this pandemic I say “let it rip”!!!
Such an interesting story! Thank you for sharing your tales and your insights!
I have only had 2 speeding tickets in my lifetime. Not proud of it but they also made me aware of the danger speeding can be to myself and others. Very aware of the limits now.
Lady Carnavon –
These are fabulous photos! I can see how they tie in with the Downton Abbey story.
My mother, from Paisley, brought me up with the saying “everything in moderation.” You know what, she was right!
You write the most interesting stories about everyday life. I’m so glad you can put them down in a blog so we all can enjoy them.
Your friend in Okemos, Michigan,
Mary Grace Benko
Thank you my friend.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I can relate to your story in that I also “drifted over the speed limit” one too many times and had to attend drivers’ school. This was in my youth but I learned many lessons from the Saturday classes. I have been diligent in watching my speed since; however, having cruise control on the car is certainly helpful.
Moderation in driving I’ve learned but not in my consumption of carbs.
Always enjoy your Monday blogs,
A week ago my ex-husband but still friend, age 73, was drag racing at a local track and lost control of the vehicle and crashed at 120 mph. He was bruised but not badly hurt. Had to be removed from the vehicle by the Jaws of Life. Car was totaled. I asked him if he will continue to drag race. His answer: Of course!
I truly enjoy your Monday morning blogs. Thank you!
I am glad he emerged in one piece!
Your story is so timely in emphasizing the need to consider others, especially how we can each hurt and kill others. It is something sorely missing in the Pandemic here in the USA. Best wishes from Montana USA, Laura
I look forward to your thoughts every Monday morning!
A very engaging read…..thank you for sharing the Egypt history.
Dear Lady Carnarvon & our Monday Family,
I did not learn to drive until I was married and expecting our first child. My husband was in Vietnam at the time. But he had given me driving lessons in his 1965 Ford Custom 500, manual transmission, before he left. I remember what he told me, ‘ a car can be your best friend and a great tool, but it doesn’t care about you and it can kill you in a split second.’ I’ve never forgotten that.
The statement you made about consideration for others being the reason for laws and rules is very timely, don’t you think? We are sanitizing our hands, social distancing, and wearing masks not only to protect ourselves but to protect others. In this “it’s all about me” world, I think it’s appropriate to consider how our actions affect others.
I have to share something. I watch a lot of British TV Shows on YouTube. I really enjoy Escape to the Country. I was watching the episode that was filmed in the Newbury area and Jules visited the Castle. I watch with the closed caption on for my husband who’s hearing was damaged in Vietnam. In the scene where you were talking with Jules, the closed captioning listed the participants in the conversation as Jules, and Lady Godiva…I am not kidding! Who knew?
Thank you for a wonderful thought provoking blog. We have all been there I suspect at one time or other. I had not had a traffic ticket for any offense in probably 30-35 years, but earlier this year I was on an almost deserted country road chatting with my wife when a car went by. It was not until he was upon me that I realized it was a police car. I pulled over and waited for him to turn around and come up behind me. He was a very nice fellow, but needless to say I received a rather expensive reminder to obey the speed limit. Hopefully I am good for another 30 years, however that may not be attainable since I will turn 80 in 19 days. LOL
Thank you – and I hope you are good to go for the next 30 years!
Aha yes, speeding. Our vacation home is 260 miles away which takes about a four hour drive. Driving through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it is easy to go 60, 70 even 80+ MPH. I am constantly telling my husband to slow down and know it is just a matter of time before he gets caught. We own a 1967 Austin Healey 3000, or as I call it, the money pit. It has no power steering and driving it is a physical workout. Still driving over the mountains to Lake Tahoe is a thrill. Cars and speed are an intoxicating combination.
San Jose CA and Panama City, Panama
Monday’s are always better because of your interesting blogs!
But today (for me, at least) it was quite odd that you happened to write about speeding, a car crash and of course moderation.
It was 23 years ago today, that Diana, Princess of Wales died in that horrid crash in Paris. Could your telling this story have been just a coincidence?
Nonetheless, I throughly enjoyed this history about the 5th Earl, his cars and Egypt. It also reminded me of the Downton Abbey series and Matthew’s crash as well as the race car driver, Henry Talbot’s friend. Excellent blog.
Thank you indeed.
Dear Pamela, thank you for the reminder. I am not sure why I thought this was the blog for this Monday…
Thanks for the interesting insight into the motoring history of your ancestors…
I, too have a love for classic cars. My first car was a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, candy apple red. Definitely a police magnet! I had to sell that car when I got married and had children. Of course my sons wished that I had kept it! The only speeding ticket that I ever received happened to be when one of my sons was in the car with me. Not a good circumstance at all. We do take these fast machines for granted and forget the damage that can be done. Thank you for the reminder! And what was that hint about “too many dogs?” 🙂
The Joys of Driving can be wretched when confronted by a silly mistake such as driving slightly over the speed limit or going up a street that is designated as One Way and you are Caught by the Police driving up the Other Way( something that I was caught doing).
Taking the opportunity to say that I have finished the 2 Books you Authored on Lady Almina and Lady Catherine (Both purchased through the Highclere gift shop)Enjoyed both immensely.
Thank you so much!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I have spent most of my life disabled after an accident, we’d all been out and had a wonderful evening but unfortunately the driver lost control of the car following a mechanical failure. No one was to blame but living a life with a spinal injury is not easy, I was a trained nurse aged 21 and my life was changed forever. I’ve led a very full married life, we have two daughters and Grandchildren so I am very blessed. I drive an adapted car sometimes too fast, which I’m not proud of, but it’s so easy to let that speed creep up without realising. A mechanical failure could happen to us all, the driver of the accident I was in never forgave himself, but all of us in that vehicle were somewhat changed! Thanks for highlighting a situation which happens to us all, sometimes accidentally. I have yet to be caught speeding but I’m sure it will happen because no matter how careful we are ……..!
Thank you for sharing your story – I feel very humbled. Today, for the next few months we need to care to help others, to give a little
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for another amazing blog and again most educational. I dare not say how many times I have been speeding and depending upon the county in California- you can take the classes in order to prevent points and insurance premium boosts.
However, when we speed we risk the lives and property of others. The same reason we must wear masks during Covid-19.
The details about the cars and the history of them at Highclere Castle makes me yearn to watch Downton Abbey in its entirety again and again! Should you see a British Green 49 MG TC on your roads with the license plate of “Jaws” that was ours. My husband brought it back from Australia in the early 70’s and we sold it to a Brit-in the early 2000’s. The car is now back in the UK from where it started. Hope you are well and keeping safe during this time.
Please keep writing- I so love escaping into your world- cannot wait to visit the Castle-
P.S. can the gin be shipped to the US? I am already planning my UK friends’ Christmas presents as well!
Thank you again,
Iris your friend in Montana
The Gin is the USA – http://www.highclerecastlespirits.com – you should be able to get it there …
When you signed up for the mandatory class did you use Lady Carnarvon or your given name? What name is on your driver’s license? Just interested.
The name on my driving license is formal but you can enter a room without announcing it and find a seat!
Your blogs are the highlight of my Mondays, thank you.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I so enjoyed your writing today. Receiving a ticket is not enjoyable; however, you made the best of a less-than-happy situation. You wrote of Lord Carnarvon’s love of automobiles. I found very interesting the inclusion of his license and history of driving. It is so enjoyable to learn about the lives of our ancestors. My Grandmother was born before the advent of the automobile and shared with me the excitement she experienced as a young child when an automobile would come down the street. Women did not drive in the early days of the automobile; however, she decided early on that she would learn. As a Home-Health Nurse she was able to make her dream of driving come true. She learned how to drive and became the first female and RN to drive an ambulance in the state of New Jersey. Quite daring and adventurous for the early 1920s.
Thank you for sharing, I quite enjoyed the history.
It is amazing how the world has changed in so many ways…
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
We live in a fast paced world. If the truth were known, most of us have gotten speeding tickets. The need for speed seems to be at every turn. We see evidence in travel, communication, and cooking to name a few. The past few months have forced us to slow down and that can be a good thing. To be still, to listen, to observe, to breathe have been a blessing for me. I hope for you as well.
Have a wonderful week!
I agree with you, I am sure speed helps in many areas and the cacophony of noise inhibits thought
I enjoyed this week’s blog post, for the historical perspective and also your reflection on our need to consider others. Sadly, here in America, caring for others is a rarity. And growing rarer with each passing day leading up to the fall election. One is more likely to see selfishness disguised as liberty, taunting in place of compassion.
Compassion, kindness, thought are not part of many politics anyway in the world at the moment
A few years ago. My older brother had gotten into an automotive accident. Which I hope reminds us all that drugs either prescription or OTC Over The Counter.don’t mix.
Because he had taken too many opiods within a two week period, which caused him to become sleep deprived.
He was on the way to our mothers house, which was about a mile from his house in his Chevrolet S10 pick up. Unfortunately at the wrong time his body had shutdown,which made him fall asleep at the wheel. He had crashed his truck into a ditch. Although it was in summertime he swore that he had hit a patch of ice, which caused him to lose control and crash into the ditch.
Because I was always very straight with him. I told him that is impossible, because it’s August you idiot.
About 13 years later he had died from complications from drinking three energy drinks in one day, which caused his heart to enlarge. Whilst his heart attack. He was 52 years old.
I am so sorry – I agree with you I think driving requires focus. If I tried to ride old fashioned horsepower with four legs without concentration it would go badly.This is the same but we have false sense of security and control
I love your blog and how you intertwine your experience with the family’s history. How amazing if you still had the Bugatti. I was particularly amused by your husband’s response as I am sure I have received similar encouragement in the past. Thank you for sharing and ending my day with a smile. Take care as you “slow down” and enjoy life.
Dear Lady and Friends,
Thank you for these stories and the historical perspective. I always enjoy your messages even if I don’t make a comment.
It was about 40 years ago that I received my first speeding ticket. (I was just under 30 years old). Ironically, I received it about two weeks before my scheduled trip to England and Ireland. I actually got two in the same week! I was flying “high and handsome”! In my excitement, I was apparently not paying attention to my speed. So, to avoid points, I also took the best option of the driving school meeting which was very interesting. I have not had a ticket since. Hubby got one a couple of years ago and it was his very first! It was a Texas speed trap. The strip of road was right in front of a new adult school on a busy road with brand new speed limit signs installed. What an opportunity for the police! Hubby was not happy. We are seniors so I think, generally, we have been very lucky. These moments are good reminders for us to not only slow down, but pay attention to the comings and goings of our lives in many aspects.
Thanks again for taking the time to post your experiences, Susan
Thank you for sharing your stories!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
when I passed my driving test, my Dad wisely told me, “now go and learn to drive”. My Mum told me that with experience our driving becomes less mechanical and as it develops into second nature, the car becomes an extension of our body. This I have found to be scarily true as I have on occasion driven cross country to our offices in Hampshire and “arrived” with no memory of the journey in-between (although the A303 can have that effect). 33 years of driving and no tickets yet, but I will not be complacent! If only you still had that 1912 Bugatti… if I ever win the lottery I intend to buy for my husband who is “Mr Bentley” a Bentley, although maybe I will buy one for me, and be “Mrs Bentley in her Bentley” lol. The Carnarvons clearly have excellent taste when it comes to cars, including Volvo!
Dear Jane how apt ! My own father loved Bentley’s which for better or worse were called Boris. Boris number one was a Bentley continental, Boris number 2 was maroon coloured and it went into a hedge in Cornwall, most unfortunate. Boris number 3 was a pale blue car and Boris number 4 a green one…
Lady Carnarvon, On your Instagram the night time photo of Highclere Castle is superb. The person that took it did a fine job but your photos are as good as a professional. I look forward to see what the next day is going to bring. They are exceptional. Kind Regards, Cheryl
Cheryl – thank you for your kindness – The starry photos are by two great supporters and the others to my husband’s suprise are usually by me!!
Thoroughly enjoyed this article! Husbands are just perfect, huh? NOT, but always giving helpful advice. A couple of years ago I was running late for a physical therapy appointment when I was stopped in a school zone with the light flashing! I knew I was going a little over the limit so I readily accepted the ticket & went on to my appointment. Now I was even later to my appointment & when explaining this to the therapist, he said, “oh, you got caught in the popular speed trap!” Yes, I did I explained and this my first ticket in over 35 years! Later in the day when looking at my ticket more closely, I saw the officer misread my weight from my license & had added 10 lbs, which upset me making me question the officer’s eyesight? Did she misread my speed as well?
Oh well, I paid my fine & do my best to avoid that area. I enjoyed your research & history. Thank you for sharing.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Like many, I discovered the magnificent Castle of Highclere with the “Downton Abbey” series. And later, when I came to England for a language immersion stay, I searched on the Internet to find out where this marvelous place could be, and on this occasion I found your blog. Since then, it has been a real delight to read your blog articles, I really appreciate your philosophy of life which mixes today’s pragmatism with the memory of the past years and centuries. Thank you, thank you again for the refreshing parenthesis you offer us! (I present you my apologies for the mistakes, I am french)
Hang on a second. I thought *I* was married to Mr. Perfect!
When learning to drive my parents put me through formal driving lessons. I was 17 and was both thrilled and intimidated to be sitting behind the wheel, in control of this massive metal beast. The course taught me to respect the road, the vehicle and most importantly my fellow human. My dear Daddy’s words still echo in my mind: “Drive defensively as if everyone else on the road is a bit mad, and keep the poor drivers where you can see them.”
Thank you sharing the pictures in your post; it’s wonderful to see these glimpses into the past.
Thank you Jane – my parents always used to remind us to think about other on the road, to look just ahead, middle distance and have an eye to either away! Anticipate…
“Geordie, with his Mr Perfect hat firmly on” gave me a good laugh!!
So love all your blogs. I too tend to drift over the limit especially on downhill stretches.
Love reading how you bring past history to life and relate it to the present. Well done as always.
Lady Carnarvon, Your Instagram today. The Secret Garden does look so inviting. Nature has a way of making a person feel relaxed. I did watch The Secret Garden with Maggie Smith, wonderful movie and yes it would be lovely to walk and talk with you in your Secret Garden along with the dogs. What a delight! Cheryl
Lady Carnarvon, Beautiful photo of Highclere Castle and some of your dogs on your Instagram today. Heartwarming. Cheryl
As a British car fan, I spotted the race at the end of one of Downton Abbeys shows that were filmed at the Goodwood racetrack. Having been to Goodwood for the Revival meeting in 2017 it great to see all these beautiful cars again
As a certified “car nut” I, too, profess a love for the machinery that moves us in the modern world. I was born late for the time, however, and my tastes run to the classics and their messy, smelly, leathery style!
I love how this story links the history of Lord Carnarvon’s love of automobiles and the adventures that have built a history to the estate and the secrets, discoveries, and accoutrements that bless the home.
In my younger years I may have run loosely with the posted speed limits, however, I now have found solace in “cruising” at or below the limits.
I have owned cars as old as 1949 and as young as current models, however, there is nothing as gratifying as the sensory overload of a classic automobile!
Cheers to all and have a great holiday season. I wish the best for you and your families during these troubled times!
There is something rather amazing about the old engines – the noise and the smell..
Edward Trotman was my Great Grandfather and drove with the 5th Earl to Cairo. It sounds like they certainly had some great adventures together.
How amazing – may I ask do you have any other anecdotes or letters???