A Lucky Escape

Contributed by Donald Walker (copyright)

1961. A story comes to mind, well two stories really because a strange thing happened along the way to where the event took place. The tale starts early one Saturday morning in June, the sun shining in a clear blue sky. Just the kind of day to go to the seaside. My wife and I owned an MG sports car in those days, and we liked nothing better than touring along those country lanes with the wind in our hair. So we took the top down, loaded the flasks and sandwiches, and with the wife's Mother and Brother in the dickey seat, we set off for Bridlington. On the way you have to go up a great big hill called Garrowby Hill. The approach roads to it have many corners, and as we rounded one of them I saw a wheel rolling along side us. I thought, that looks like my spare wheel, it must have come off the carrier at the back of the car. I instinctively braked and the car dipped violently to the right. Fortunately there were no cars approaching and I managed to bring the car to a halt without turning it on to its side. The front offside wheel had come off, and luckily I had the mother in law in the back seat, which to some extent, counter-balanced the tendency of the vehicle to dig into the road. Amazingly there was not much damage to the car, and after I had refitted the wheel we set off again to Bridlington.

Once there, still a bit shaken, my wife's brother and I decided to hire a rowing boat and go out into the bay to do a spot of fishing. The boatman said we would need an anchor if we were fishing, and its 10 bob deposit, refunded only if you brought it back. Anyway, off we went out into the bay and when we saw someone in another boat catch a fish, I thought that's where we want to fish. I chucked the anchor over the side, baited up, and started to fish.

We caught a few small fish, then decided to move, I pulled up the anchor and rowed to a new spot. By now the tide had gone out, and when we let the anchor down, its rope was now too long and it spread out over the surface of the water. We fished for a while and from behind us I heard a motorboat approaching. I realized that it was coming pretty close. Had they seen us? I stood up in the boat to shout at them as the boat ran over our anchor rope. Suddenly our rowing boat was traveling at the same speed as the motor boat, our anchor rope had caught up on their rudder or something and they were towing us along. It threw me off my feet; luckily I fell into the bottom of the boat and not over the side. The motorboat didn't stop straight away, but they shouted cut the rope. No fear I replied I've got 10 bob on that anchor, you stop and let it drop. Which fortunately they did and we were free. A lucky escape I think you would agree. Well that was enough fishing for me after that experience we packed up and rowed hard for the safety of the harbour.

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