I vaguely remember him struggling with the steering wheel and our truck lurching to one side. The bumping of the front wheel on the uneven grass verge awoke me from my half slumber and jerked me back to reality.
In trying to avoid the bus Brian had inadvertently come too close to the grass verge on our nearside, and the moment that the front wheel of our truck encroached on to that soft, wet rutted-earth we were doomed: nothing could prevent our rendezvous with disaster.
Try as he might the driver could not regain the road proper. The only concession we had to power-steering in those days was an extra large steering wheel for leverage, that and a lot of our load built over the rear wheel overhang. We used to build the load like that to take the weight of the steering. It at one time became a bit of a competition amongst the lorry helpers at work as to who could build the biggest, most impressive looking load of crates on the rear of the lorry. When you look back on it now the company trucks all drove around with a load of boxes and crates built at the rear that somewhat resembled a block of flats.
As I think back now I remember being a little confused at seeing the branches of those few sparse bushes and saplings that were growing in the ditch suddenly start to slap against the side-window and windscreen edge. I involuntary raised a hand to fend them off. It’s funny as to what you do when you are taken by surprise. I watched with confusion as a small stunted tree came towards me. With a sickening lurch we went nose down into the ditch and fetched up against that little tree. I was thrown forward to hit the windscreen with a painful thud.
…… more “The Truck” to follow …………