Growing Up

John Brown: Getting a car

John was born in 1944 in Cardiff. His family then moved to London when he was six months old. At age four, John contracted Polio and was sent to hospital, where he remained until he was eight. Then he attended local special schools, going on to a local mainstream college at age nineteen.

Here John describes his father’s reaction to his wish for a car.


Even when I wanted to get a car – when I was nineteen, I had an invalid trike, and I wanted to get a car because I was singing, I play the guitar and sing, and I was singing with this girl, Loretta. And actually, I wanted to get a car because in those day, the old trikes, the invalid trikes, you couldn’t carry anybody. And when I said to my dad, I want to learn to drive, ‘cause I want to get a car, instead of encouraging me - I was twenty-two. Instead of encouraging me, you know what he said? ‘Why do you want to get a car? Do you think you’re going to get the girls?’ That was him, so you can see where I stood with my father.

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