My grandfather Frederick Cooper told me the following story about his time working for our local family firm of builders and decorators, W.J. Cooper & Son.
In the late 1930s, Geoff and I had to take out an old kitchen range and replace the range with a fireplace in Rebels Lane, Southchurch. It was the time when I had the Austin Seven and this was used for transporting plant and materials from the yard in Milton Street, back and forth to the different jobs.
Geoff and I had finished installing the fireplace and the last thing to do was to clear the premises of all the rubbish, which included the old kitchen range. We loaded the old car up with all our tools, rubbish and the old iron which was destined for Lincolns, the scrap iron merchants in Princes Street Southend.
The poor old car was well loaded down both on the back seats and passenger seat. The larger parts of a range had to be tied onto the back of the car, which meant that the steering was very light. To counteract this phenomenon, I told Geoff to sit on the bonnet to balance the weight.
We managed to get back to Lincolns in his fashion and sold the scrap iron for a princely sum of money and then finished unloading at the yard.
“Another days work done! ‘Course you wouldn’t get away with it now, son.”