Joyce Ward and her cars.

It was unusual, in the 1960s, for a seventeen year old girl to take an interest in car mechanics, but Joyce Ward did.  She had two cars, a Morris 8 Tourer and a sports car. She spent all her spare time keeping them on the road, especially her sports car.  She was lucky because her dad shared her enthusiasm and supplied the mechanical knowledge, while, under his instruction, she did the physical work.  The wheel arches of the Ford became rusty and needed replacing and so, not able to afford garage prices, and wanting to carry out the work herself, she built them up with Castrol oil cans.  One day, the gearbox gave up the ghost and so, not to be beaten, she took it out, repaired it, and put it back.  She stood there wiping her hands, pleased with her handy work.  She turned the key, hoping to hear the engine purr.  It started but she could not get it into gear.  Her dad bent down and picked something up, smiled and shook his head, and held out the synchroniser.  “You won’t get far without this!”.  She had to strip the engine down again; it was a valuable lesson to lay things out in order.  It was time to increase her mechanical knowledge and so she joined Wickford Car Club.  It had been started by Jim Orr and Dan Cornwall and they met at The Wickford Community Hall.  All the talk was about cars and she loved it.  Most weekends the club held rallies and she roared round the countryside, searching for the clues.  The club is still going today and now meets at the ‘Fox and Hounds’ Public House.

Joyce (in front of the driver's door) and friends at the car club

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