John Morrison’s HARDDRIVERS….


WELCOME to this, my extreme auto-enthusiast’s blog site …

At this time of life, it seems right to look back on the order in which moments & events were assembled.

Today’s views are coloured by what experiences we have absorbed over the years.

Over & above adding to a scrap book, sooner or later, I will try to put them in order, but for now …

… just in case anybody can learn anything from the passage of time & vulnerabilities along, for me as I have said, an amazing road ….

… along the way, there have been I think, touches with those of genius;

you might like to know …

I feel it’s worth recording for the sake of life time perspectives and the focus of incidents recorded in this Scrapbook, that I was born in that post World War 2 period that made me a baby-boomer. I was born of a half-Belgian mother and a father from the Morrison family from the Forest of Dean, who both had had to endure a harsh passage of war. They were nevertheless, second cousins the families from Cheshire, my father Anthony Joseph Morrison really an immaculate academic with a brilliant maths orientated brain, my mother born of an English mother and a Belgian soldier father who grew up in war torn part of east Belgium, town of Tournai.

They married in 1947 in Tournai and settled initially in Gloucestershire and then moved following Dad’s work for the Inland Revenue, to the south coast of England where I was bought up. Dad had spent 4 years of service for the RAF as a radio engineer on all aircraft based in the Middle East and the deserts there, before pushing up through Italy & finally home. It was not a detail he elaborated upon very much and occasionally I do wonder why. He had strong opinions as to the wrongs & rights of society but did not get involved in changing much apart from his rather intense & secretive national accounts duties. He was dead keen on automobiles, driving them and attended lots of motor race & hill climb events with obvious relish. Indeed, after the War, he cajoled his mother to escort him to the Belgian Grand Prix of Rheims in 1946 where, after remembering the very beautiful second cousin he met briefly at a family gathering in Congleton, they visited Tournai to collect Mary Hilda Josephine Dupuche, fitted her into the bone shaker of an MG TA and attacked Belgian pave and the rough post war roads that took them to the famous race circuit. Says something …

Many years of my early life we taken with weeks away in Tournai and travelling too & from. Not exotic but meant that travel and foreign tongues were in later life for me, no form of impediment, though a combination of dreadful French teachers and laziness, meant I developed no more than a bit of conversationist French. Disgusting. I remember those channel crossings well, not that the modern traveller has to programme much of delay to do the same today.

My father’s greatest attribute I think was that he was never upset or overwhelmed … by anything, anybody. Moreover, it appeared he had a capacity for consideration which was inexhaustible. His advancement in the IR was special and earned him his OBE awarded in 1980 and presented to him by the then Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace. My mother had been struck down by the terrible Multiple Sclerosis some years earlier but rather typically, Dad quizzed everyone at the Palace before hand and his mother Lucy, my wheel chaired mother and myself were given perfect access via awe-inspiring internal passages to the ceremony.

My mother had had the most terrible WW experiences when the Germans dropped bombs on Tournai at the outbreak of war and then invaded. Mum’s best friend’s house copped it and while she wasn’t killed, they picked shrapnel out of her for the rest of her days. My grandfather Dupuche was in trouble as he had an English wife and half English daughter though of course, they spoke French-Belgian … his first reaction was to get them out of the country as early as possible.