The Bathford Society

Gerald Whiteley's New Car

The Bathford Society holds an article from the Chronicle showing a photograph of a family with the following storyline:

Members of a Bathford family celebrate the arrival of their new car, a 1925 Standard 11.4 by having a photograph taken for the album. The picture belongs to Mr. Gerald Whiteley, who is sitting in the backseat of the car with his grandmother, Mrs. Diana Smart. His aunt, nurse Smart, is at the wheel - although she couldn't in fact drive - and her brother Cecil is in the front passenger seat. "We bought the car off Mr. Griffiths, the Standard agent in Walcot Street, for 190" said Mr. Whiteley, who now lives in Worcester Road, Bath.

Mr. Whiteley's aunt worked at Neston Park, nursing Lady Fuller. One day nurse Smart said she'd love to go to Ramsgate for the day. But neither Mr. Whiteley nor his aunt had a driving licence. Nothing daunted, Mr. Whiteley caught the electric tram to the Guildhall, said he was 17 and went home with a licence - even though he was three months under age. It was, of course, in the days before driving tests. So his aunt got her trip to Ramsgate - and he learned to drive en route. Since then he's driven everything from an articulated lorry to a Rolls Royce, from a 1200cc motorbike to a fire engine.

The photograph was taken outside Mr. Whiteley's family home, then known as the old rectory in Bathford, where his grandfather and uncle were the local carpenters and undertakers. Mr Whiteley, who has been secretary of Larkhall Liberal Club for 27 years became an Estate Agent, and married Cyril Beazer's sister, Phyllis. Indeed said Mr Whiteley, it was he that persuaded Cyril Beazer to leave Mannings Builders and start on his own. The first two houses he built were in Morris Lane, Bathford. From that grew the Beazer empire of today.

Source: Bath Chronicle
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