How some things never seem to change.
I remember an afternoon out with my wife and one of our kids in the late ’70s, doing a bit of shopping.
It was a nice day, we got what we wanted and so stopped for an evening meal in this rather up-market town near Manchester. We’d used my red Datsun pick-up because I had been to Manchester Airport earlier with a box of spare parts for export to Bahrain.
After eating, at about 6.45pm we got back to the multi-storey car park where I had parked, and it was all locked up, so I phoned the emergency release number, only to be told it would cost £25 to let me out. A good week’s pay then was £50-£60, so it was clearly a rip-off! The sign warning the car park closing times was obscured at the entry and pedestrian exit one was missing (there was a glue-stain where the sign should have been – it mysteriously appeared by my next visit some weeks later) . I protested but was told I must to pay or wait until tomorrow – and pay the overnight charge. Anyway, the release would take over an hour so I just told the man to forget it.
I took my wife and daughter round to the Wimpy cafe (it was the 1970s!) for a drink and a rest and went back to the locked-up car park, scaled the side (it was conveniently covered in bars (for security!), climbed over the top, walked to my pick-up, drove down & reversed up to the locked gates which did NOT have reversed hinges on, so with the crow-bar, pick-axe and some blocks I kept in the back of the pick-up, and the ropes and lifting strap, I was able to safely lift the gates off their hinges on my own and gently lower them to the floor – safely padlocked together.
After carefully driving over the gates I went to pick my wife and child up and went home, but ever since I have often wondered how they coped with the situation because those gates must have weighed half a ton each and were locked and chained together with the lock trapped underneath. It was hard enough prising them up, a bit at a time lifting at each end in turn, then wedging them up and securing each one with a rope and quick-release knot.
Then clamping became the fashion, and a farmer friend of mine bought himself an angle-grinder (which he called an angle-grinder) that he used many times to help friends out of “situations”, but of course I would never condone criminal damage. At least, in my escapade there was no real damage done. Honest!
Ah, sweet memories!