There was only one thing I could do. I gambled on being able to work something out with a lad called John. He is Land Rover mad. If you were fool enough to even consider that Land Rovers weren’t so good, he would lecture you as to why Land Rovers are the best off-road vehicles money can buy. I telephoned the recovery service one last time and got them to drop me in a layby near the village of Treluswell in Cornwall. John and his family have a smallholding close by.
Once settled in the layby, I got hold of John. I explained my predicament and asked him if he had anything cheap that he could part exchange/sell me. He said he had a Discovery 1 coming in that just needed some welding for the M.o.T. He would get the M.o.T pass and let me have it in exchange for the old one plus £500. I had to tell him that I had no money left. “Pay me £50 per month as from two months hence.” he said.
I’d hit rock bottom, but still managed to land on my feet! It took a couple of weeks, partly due to John’s other commitments, but I had a road legal Land Rover and two months to raise £50! Not only that, but Ali managed to get hold of some-one locally, who then searched the local laybys until they found me, whereupon I was handed a box of food!
Later on, I was given a section of hedge to coppice. I had loads of firewood, more than enough to get through a harsh Winter. I have an old Rice horse trailer that I was allowed to keep alongside the hedge. Every now and then, I would do some coppicing, cut logs and other general clearing and pruning, etc. and simply loaded up my trailer. I’ve never had horses, but the horse trailer makes an excellent shed on wheels.
An amazing family, without whom I could not have continued. They hardly knew me, but they knew I had nothing, so they gave me the ability to move forward.
Next was to find somewhere to hunker down and start again. The obvious was the ‘drove’ next to Crasken Farm. I knew Duncan wouldn’t mind me using the facilities at the farm and I would be on hand to help out whenever help was needed. It is secluded, so ideal hidey-hole for as long as I need to rebuild.
The first year bimbled along. I became settled and just got on with life, doing this and that. Having a Land Rover in a rural area of Cornwall surrounded on three sides by the sea has it’s uses. I could go over any terrain and could legally tow up to 3.5t. I did a bit of recovery and moving trailers about. I also moved some boats. The two biggest were about 18’ and 24’. With the bigger yacht, I had to choose my route carefully. I also had escorts; one ahead and one behind warning other road users as I frequently had to drive down the middle of the road. That was interesting! Especially in Cornish lanes. I would move just about anything.
Photograph (generic/not actual vehicle) courtesy of www.tigerdroppings.com