Jerretspass: Prefect

John McComb was a very quiet man. He bought one of them new-fangled cars – a wee ‘Prefect’ – even though he could not drive it. 

That was not so unusual. There were no such things as driving licences and nobody could drive before they owned a car. But John was a long time in learning!

Anyway he kept it up in Meeting Street in Joe Harcourt’s yard. His sons Bill and Jim used to steal it to go to Clare, courting.

This evening in particular, Paddy McDonald and Bill McComb were in Best’s when they decided to take the car. They told me to come up with them and ‘keep nick’.

I opened the door and Bill got into the car. Paddy was standing at the corner watching down the street, when suddenly he shouts,

‘Look out! Here’s John McComb coming!’

Bill run the car back in and I closed the door and ran. Bill however hadn’t had time to put on the hand brake and the shed was on a sharp incline.

Just as John came round the corner the car knocked the door off the shed and came tearing down the street.

That took a lot of explaining! John had to come down the street and inveigle a few of us into pushing the car back into the shed.

No one knew how to put on the hand brake. In the end, they had to stop the car wheels with concrete blocks, to keep it in place.

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