Joan Hancock (pictured) is soon to celebrate her 80th birthday and she won’t be alone, as the Austin Seven motor car she is sitting in rolled off the lines within weeks of Joan being born in 1928.
In fact, there is more than one co-incidence. Joan’s very first job was at the Austin Motor Company in Longbridge, Birmingham - the home of the Austin Seven. At this time in 1942 however the war was raging and production had switched from little family cars to trucks, ambulances, ammunition and parts for tanks and aircraft.
The Austin Motor Company was something of a family concern. Joan’s father Bill Sullivan worked in the aero works from 1937 throughout the war until well into the 1960’s. Bill was badly injured in 1940 during a daylight raid on Birmingham when a shrapnel impact caused him to crash his motorcycle. Joan’s elder brother Keith joined Austin from school in 1940 and, with the exception of a period in the army, stayed with the company until his retirement in 1991. Joan would type tool sheets relating to the S29 Stirling Bomber in the West Works planning office and occasionally have to deliver these to the South Works – to her mother’s step-brother John.
Picture: Joan in the Austin Seven outside the planning office (now demolished) where she worked.
The Austin Seven sports version pictured (known as a Gordon England Cup model) is owned by Joan’s son Nigel. It was only after the chance acquisition of the car that Nigel started to realise the family links to Austin. Oh and just one more thing, can you guess what type of car brought Nigel home from hospital when he was born? You’ve got it – an Austin Seven.
If you would like to see this car, along with more than 600 other vintage and classic vehicles you should get along to AUTOKARNA 2008 to be held in the grounds of Wollaton Hall in Nottingham on Sunday June 1st. You might see Joan there too.
The Pre-War Austin Seven Club
with NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
and THE NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST MOTOR SHOW
On Sunday 1ST June at WOLLATON PARK, NOTTINGHAM
Welcome to one of the country’s leading Vintage & Veteran, Pre-War & Classic Motor Shows.
This premium show is staged with the kind permission of Nottingham City Council and set in the beautiful grounds of the recently refurbished Wollaton Hall.
Exhibits and stalls to interest motoring enthusiasts of all ages.
Loads to do, live music, events and fun for all the family.
OVER 600 PRE-WAR & CLASSIC VEHICLES LARGE AUTOJUMBLE CLASSIC MOTOR CYCLES & GREEVES WORKS M/C DISPLAY VINTAGE CARAVAN DISPLAY NOTTINGHAM HERITAGE BUSES AND VEHICLES NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST NEW CAR SHOW FAIRGROUND & BRASS BANDS CHARITY STALLS BEER TENT, BARS AND REFRESHMENTS
Come along and join us for a great family day out.
For more details, features, photos and diary of events go to
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