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The Smell of Diesel


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About the Author

I left school in 1961 at the age of 15, my first love was lorries but at such a young age I followed my second love which was farming. My first job was a great mistake as the farmer I chose to work for wanted a mans work for a boys pay. Twelve hour days, seven days a week and half a day off every fortnight and being blamed for everything that went wrong wore me down. I gave the farming up after 18 months to pursue my first choice career, lorry driving. Before I was 21 it meant starting at the bottom, as a drivers mate and when a driving licence was obtained, driving small lorries. The magic age of 21 arrived and myself and a friend left the small haulage contractor we were working for and found driving jobs on the docks in our home town of Preston. I was asked if I would stay on the docks as a driver employed in moving trailers and to be involved in the movement of containers and Lancashire flats to and from the ships. In my early twenties the lure of the road became too strong and it led me to becoming a long distance class one lorry driver for a shipping company and later one of the largest haulage contractors in Scotland. Towards the end of my working life I drove vans doing nationwide deliveries and at the very end became a taxi driver. Now retired and in my late 60s I still miss lorry driving and would do it all again, but not in the 21st century, I would want to go back to a time when the job was harder but when generally life was a lot simpler.

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