Driving lessons - where and when?


Recommended Posts

Until I bought a Vespa (about 1968), I lived on a bicycle too. I had a Raleigh "Boulevard Tourist" with the regulation "Sturmey-Archer" three gears - cool thing was that the gear-change was a twist-grip rather than the old flick-lever!

The Vespa lasted about a year - until I got fed-up with me mate on his motorcycle always passing me, and I bought a Triumph 500 Speed Twin! That was a great buy (40 quid) and I loved it! Rode it for about 18 months, sold it for 45 quid and bought an Austin A35 for the same 45 quid!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 87
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Bridges School of Motoring...my next door neighbour, in Watnall. I was 18, 1975. Had 6 lessons, then off to Chalfont Drive for the test, and passed first time despite going through a red light. The ex

A few more lessons needed

I had driving lessons with a Driving Instructor who smoked like a chimney. Before I sat at the steering wheel I always gave the car mat beneath the driver's seat a real good shake - if I'd have thoug

Took my test on bike and sidecar ( 400 kwak )...to avoid the new part one....passed first time in beeston.....car test the same...first time......tho i was shown by my instructor ( alan ) the course around billborough first....the the Test woman took me right round the embankment....whoa...loadsa traffic and lanes....i hate lotsa lanes...never seem to be in the right one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

From another thread

I had my driving lessons at the same place, Trent School of Motoring on Arkwright Street. Second half of 1974 in a Hillman Avenger. First time I drove anywhere with them was Victoria Embankment on a Sunday morning.

And I've always remembered...... the guy who seemed to be the manager of the place had a really bad toupee which didn't match the rest of his head

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

This month is the anniversary of me passing my driving test in 1975, and it set me thinking about my driving lessons. I went with Trent School of Motoring who were based almost under the old GC railway bridge near the top end of Arkwright Street. The car they put me in was a Hillman Avenger, and my first experience of driving was early on a Sunday morning in July 1974 on Victoria Embankment near the Toll Bridge.

My early lessons were around the Meadows, at the time when the area was being demolished and redeveloped, so I drove round a mixture of the still-existing old houses and the newly built roads. After a while we moved into the big world towards West Bridgford, and then down the ring road to Clifton and Queen's Drive, eventually getting as far as Beechdale and Chalfont Drive.

I took my test at the West Bridgford Test Centre - which closed several years ago and is now a Health and Beauty Salon!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Used to go with dad to some airfield to practice driving while I was 16 ! When I turned 17 I had my test booked for 5 days after my 17 birthday, I then panicked thinking of taking it in dads old Bradford Jowet.

I rang up the driving schools and BSM on mansfield road were the only lot willing to take me on for a crash course of 6 lessons !

My first lesson was a make it or break it, as they said if the instructor thought I wasn't ready then the deal was off.

Took the time off work and arrived at the office 9-00am and the bloke was a real nice fella, put me at ease straight away, then headed me straight down Mansfield road, right on Lower Parliament street, then up Derby road to Canning Circus and back via Alfreton road, Hartley road and along Gregory boulevard and back up Mansfield road !

The route is pemanently etched in my mind as I was totally terrified, but they took me on and 5 days later I passed first time at West Bridgeford.

The car was a brand new 1965 Vauxhall Viva powder blue in colour.

I had my driving test but didnt have a car, only my scooter, and didn't get my first car for maybe another couple of years,

Link to post
Share on other sites

Learned to drive during dark Autumn evenings in 1966, at Ivan Trindell's driving school in Long Eaton. It was on Tamworth Road opposite the old Grammar school (near the Tiger). Can't remember the instructor's name, but he was a competent and pleasant middle-aged chap, slightly balding. The vehicle was a C-registered (i.e. 1965 Austin A40, with just about the heaviest steering I have ever encountered. A matchstick was stuck upright halfway along the rubber seal at the bottom of the rear window as an aid in reversing "Keep that matchstick as near as you can on the kerb as you back round." I guess I had about 15 lessons at 25/- each, then passed first time at Beeston test centre on Station Road in January 67, after a preliminary hour's practise lesson. I gathered that I got the senior examiner, who was rather a sobersides in the time-honoured tradition of civil servants. I seem to remember I rolled back on the hill start early in the test - although I managed to arrest it quickly and without stalling. I was so convinced that I had blown it that I completely relaxed for the rest of the circuit. After I had answered a couple of fairly easy highway code questions, he announced without the trace of a smile, "Well, Mr Ford, you have come up to the required level..." or some such standard words, filled in one of his pink pass certificates, and signed it with a flourish - funnily enough I remember that signature "B M Southern" to this day. The instructor, who was waiting, saw the pink form - grinned, and said, "Right, you've had enough driving for one day, and proceeded to drive me home to Long Eaton."

Link to post
Share on other sites

My instructor removed me from the driving seat as soon as I passed.

I assumed I was no longer insured to drive their car, now being a full driver and not a learner?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Acquired a bit of road sense on push bike and then a Vespa scooter, and started to learn to drive in my mate's 1936 Ford 8 which we had painted up a dashing blue and red livery! Then finished off by driving wth Mrs Commo's father in modern motor, 1963 107E Ford Anglia. Put in for the test in September 1967 but as I didn't have a car to take the test in I booked a couple of hours with BSM (I think, they were on Trent Bridge near to what was The Outlaws Bar) and had the first hour on a "brush up" wth a proper driving Instructor, then used the second hour to take the test which luckily I passed first time. Test route was around West Bridgford which I knew fairly well. My motor cycle test was around the Beeston area in 1964 and took me a couple of attempts to pass that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My instructor removed me from the driving seat as soon as I passed.

I assumed I was no longer insured to drive their car, now being a full driver and not a learner?

Yes, I think it was fairly standard. Not sure whether there were any insurance implications - people reckoned youngsters just off the leash were likely to be a bit light-headed and loopy after receiving the coveted pink form.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, it is the same if not worse today.

It is such a problem that young people involved in an accident or dealt with for traffic offences within 6 months of their test, get an automatic ban and are ordered not to drive until test passed at the end of their ban.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason they didn't want you to drive straight after the test is because your mind wouldn't be on your driving. If you passed you would feel so elated and if you failed you'd be reliving your test and feeling many bad emotions. It's often said that the driving test is one of the most sressful things that we experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Passed moterbike test @ 16, went straight out & bought a big Triumph, after a 150cc two sroke that was FAST. On my 17th birthday I had my first lesson with a driving school just off Colwick Rd called Kelsall SOM. Instructor was brilliant (years later he offered me a job ! ) The car was a NSU Prinz. He was an ex RAF driving instructor.

On my first lesson he asked me to stop, this was on St Anns Well Rd. He then produced an application form for a driving test, let me know as soon as you hear from em he asked. A week later I got an appointment come through, not happy with that he rang up & got me a cancellation.

My test was at West Bridgeford after a grand total of 4 lessons, inc 1 an hour before the test I passed. Lessons were £1 25p.

Went wagon driving @ 21 after doing a weeks course with a firm @ Carlton. Articulated Transport Sevices their name (long since gone) The cost for the course & the test (at Watnall) was £106 all in. Paid for by my firm.

A year later fancied a change so found myself at Nottm City Transport, driving buses. A boring week in their own driving school I was then let loose on the bulwell routes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:biggrin: I had driving lessons with a Driving Instructor who smoked like a chimney. Before I sat at the steering wheel I always gave the car mat beneath the driver's seat a real good shake - if I'd have thought about it, I should have a taken a can of air freshener out with me too! :biggrin:

PS: the Driving Instructor thought I was potty for doing this - funny, how things have changed in this Smoke Controlled Society that we have today.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the early fifties I thought about leaving the priinting trade and becoming a fireman, before committing myself I decided to join the A.F.S. to see what the fire service was like. At that time all firemen had to be able to drive ( don't know if that is still required) so everyone had to have driving lessons given by fire service instructors, Cliffton estate was being built at that time and made an ideal sort of place for first lessons, and after doing a driving course we were tested by the fire service examiner a Station Officer Jack Herod, so I had all my lessons and test for free.

Dennis

Link to post
Share on other sites

I took my HGV class 1, in the late 70's, did a 5 day course with BRS on top of St Annes Well road, was in a large old Bedford with a huge hunk of concrete on the trailer.

Most of the instruction was around the Hucknall, Watnal areas, (the Watnal brickworks photo in another thread brought back memories, as that's where the manoeuvring and reversing was done.

Took my test on the Friday Morning and passed first time. The instructor was very professional but very abrupt and to the point.

All paid for by my work.

Very rarely used my HGV licence over the years, but was good to have just in case.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Which printers did you work for, Dennis?

Boots Station Street Stuart, 1944 until 1966 then went into telecommunications.

Dennis

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I also had a driving instructor who smoked like a chimney. He lived on Rolleston Drive, Arnold. It was 1969 and a Vauxhall Viva. A chap at work would take me out practicing at lunchtimes in a Ford Anglia (with the funny back window). During those weeks of learning to drive my boyfriend at the time had an Austin Healey 3000 which he persuaded me to have a go in up in Derbyshire somewhere. I did drive it but was very nervous with such a big engine in front of me!! My test route took in Arnold and Mapperley with a hill start at the top of Kent Road, coming out onto Porchester Road. I passed after 20 lessons and within days drove to Glasgow to visit a friend. Driving has never phased me but I've always hated parallel parking and still avoid it like the plague :-)

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

My driving instructor was Mr. Scrimshaw who lived on Summerwood Lane at Clifton.

This would be in the late 60's He also had a Vauxhall Viva. He used to carry a piece of wood in his hand and if you mucked

up a gear change he'd crack your knuckles with the wood, saying "Oy, that's my gearbox in there".

I passed second attempt at West Bridgford.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blimey I'm amazed at everyones memory on their driving lessons . I know I had well over 25 lessons with BSM . Think the office was somewhere around Shakespeare St. though I may be wrong on that . The only thing I remember from the first lessons was driving up and down Gregory Boulevard .

The instructor was a dreadful bad tempered bloke and scared me stiff and after spending a fortune , failed the first test miserably , driving around a very busy Bulwell . Was the test centre based in Bulwell ?

With BSM I learnt in a Mini with the lousy long gear lever , it was awful for learning in .

After my failure I had another 8 lessons with a private instructor , who was different again , no idea of his name .Really patient and calm and that was in a Viva too which was really smooth to drive compared to the Mini . The second test was in West Bridgford which was supposed to be an easier test route and I scraped through . I do remember the examiner saying "I will pass you but you made a few errors....."

In between lessons the only practice I got , was driving at midnight on a Saturday night from Stamford back to Nott'm where my brother ran a club . He generally would fall asleep on the way back whilst I wrestled with the pudding stick column gear change on an Austin Cambridge style van .

Link to post
Share on other sites

My driving instructor was called Lynch and lived in Forest Fields. I spent my lessons driving around Hyson Green and up to Beechdale.

It was a blue mini. I recall it very well, and bought a mini afterwards. I had that mini for about 50,000 miles and sold it to get a Cortina. I wish I hadnt. The Cortina was awful.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned to drive when i had left Nottingham We were going to take over a Beer Off and i needed to drive for that reason, It was 1970 my lessons cost £1.12s i got a discount because we were in the residents association,i was put in for my test in the August and they couldn't fit me in till the January,my instructor said i could stop lessons and refresh a couple of weeks before my test but i carried on one a week, i had 34 lessons in all, I passed thankfully,but LizzieM i was never taught to parallel park and still struggle to this day.Being able to drive ensured i could come home to Notts to see family whenever i could.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...