Friends for life

When the war ended, for many members of the AAGB their friendships didn’t, a good example is that of Driver’s Betty Bacon and Hilly Smith, they continued to be friends until the end of their lives, often enjoying reminiscing of their days in the AAGB. A few stories that stand out to Mark (Betty’s grandson) were about Hilly taking the roof off of her Ambulance, JEV 893, when she underestimated a low bridge! Another was when Betty and Hilly were out together one day, they pulled up at a traffic light only to see a wheel roll past them, one of them exclaimed how they should pick it up as it looks like one of theirs, it was only when they pulled away from the traffic light to a loud clunk as it was one of the wheels of the rear double axel of JEV 896. Another time that the two were out together the came across a wooden crate in the road, on closer inspection it was in fact a crate full of butter, on returning to the garage in Leeds, it was decided not to hand it over to the authorities and the whole of the garage enjoyed un-rationed  butter for a number of weeks, a welcome change from the normal 2oz (50g) weekly ration.

The two photos in black and white are of Betty and Hilly on a day out to (we think) Harewood house, Leeds. The Colour photo was taken at the burghley horse trials 1977 and shows from right to left, Betty, Hilly, Mark (Betty’s grandson) and Trish (Betty’s daughter).This is just one example of how Hilly became like another member of Betty’s family.

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