ATV VINTAGE CAR POSTCARD - THE MYSTERY OF HARRIET...
I’ve spoken before about the way that the collection has taken on a life of its own – and I’ve also spoken about how there is now a model MG Maestro on the shelf. Today I’m looking at another car…or at least a postcard of a vintage car.
“What on earth does that have to do with Crossroads?” I hear you ask. Well actually quite a lot…
The vintage car in question is a Morris Oxford Flatnose, originally built in 1927, but considered nothing but scrap metal by 1964…
|Details on the reverse|
In 1973 it was found by ATV in a poor condition at a garage in Brownhills, Staffordshire.
With the co-operation of the Automobile Association, the car was restored by British Leyland Austin Morris apprentices, and its progress was covered by the nightly regional news programme “ATV Today”.
Amazingly, you can actually watch a compilation of these ATV reports on the MACE website and learn about the level of expertise that went into the restoration.
|ATV Reports on the restoration of the car|
The car was given the name “Harriet” and was introduced into the story-line of Crossroads. It became a much sought after attraction at carnivals and fetes throughout the Midlands.
|Harriet on display in 1974 - CLICK HERE|
"Timothy Hunter has written to Meg asking her to look after Harriet when she arrives. But who is Harriet? And why does a woman who books in as Harriet Blair, a day earlier than expected, deny all knowledge of Timothy?"
TV Times (ATV / Midland for 24-06-74)
"Meg introduces the long-awaited Harriet, and everyone is astonished."
TV Times (ATV / Midland for 25-06-74)
Sadly, the episodes featuring Harriet have been lost or wiped so no footage of the car in the programme exist – although there is a news report from late 1974 where Bev Smith introduces Noele Gordon to the car.
|Nolly meets Harriet|
I am pleased to tell you that the car is still going strong, and was recently sold. You can find links to the sales site below, which also includes some amazing photographs of what the car looks like today.
|www.aston.co.uk - see links below|
Of course, fans of Crossroads will know that vintage cars were associated with the programme for many years. Another ebay purchase , although not an official piece of merchandise, is a copy of a picture that was seen in the chalet set for many years. It is most noticeable in the episodes where Mr. Booth and his wife, Helen are staying at the motel from 1979.
|Rolls Royce picture in the motel chalet - 1979|
|George A Oliver print of a Rolls Royce 40/50|
The picture in question is that of a Rolls Royce 40/50 “Silver Ghost” Roi-des-Belges (1908)
According to what I have found out on the internet, the print dates from approximately 1959 and is taken from a collection by George A. Oliver called "Early motor cars 1904-1915", published by Hugh Evelyn Ltd, 9 Fitzroy Square London.
There are currently a couple available on the usual online auction sites – should you wish to recreate the chalet set in your own home…
The image size is approximately 46.5 x 35.0cm or 18.5 x 13.75 inches.
|Original 1960s reception area of the Crossroads Motel|
Finally, here’s a quick look at the original 1960’s reception area for the Crossroads Motel, featuring a lovely image of a vintage car above the doors.
|1985 Rally Bar|
And one more image from the later years of the show – In 1985 the “Rally Bar” featured – you guessed it – pictures of vintage cars!
I definitely won't be able to afford a vintage car for the collection - but I can just about manage a postcard!