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Reflections on Our Early Years

by admin

We have been thinking about our early years and the following story is one which happened in our first year and still makes Huw break out in a bit of a cold sweat (and a smile) ...........

“The Run Away Spa”

It was a Wednesday morning in early June, it was going to be sunny the weather man had said, so I was lightly dressed in shorts and a polo shirt. My delivery vehicle back then was a 4 litre Jeep Grand Cherokee and I pulled a 12ft twin axle Ifor Williams trailer behind me for my hot tub deliveries. I kept the trailer in the showroom so that morning I reversed up to the roller shutter, opened the door and loaded the large hot tub on to the trailer, securely strapping it on with 2 straps. I hitched the trailer to the car and put all the accessories into the boot along with my tools, consulted my maps (yes remember maps) and then started my 120 mile journey to deliver this monster 6 seater hot tub. I had only driven 20ft when my problems started, I stopped at the edge of the car park and once the road was clear I gently accelerated away when there was a sudden and loud thud from behind me. Upon looking in my rear view mirror I could clearly see that the hot tub and trailer were no longer attached to my car! Rather stupidly, and without thought, I stood on the brakes and started to stop the car which, not surprisingly when you think about it, caused the trailer with the hot tub, weighing about 500kg and with its large metal hitch aiming directly at me, to punch a sizable hole in the boot of the Jeep :( Well naturally I stood on the accelerator and speeded up whilst pulling over to the left as I did not want to be hit again. As soon as I stopped I realised my mistake as my driver’s door wing mirror exploded into pieces as the twin axle Ifor Williams trailer with its expensive cargo lumbered past me at quite a good lick. This was starting to look a bit of a shambles, so I jumped smartly out of the Jeep and ran after the trailer, to be honest I was never that fit and the trailer was still going quite fast, but I was doing quite well if I say so myself, almost up to the back of it I was when I realised to my horror that the road was turning sharply to the left and directly in front of where the trailer was heading was a set of smoked glass double doors leading into a very expensive looking office block. I took a deep breath and redoubled my efforts to reach the front of the trailer where I hoped to pull up the trailers hand brake, 10m 8m 6m 4m my sweaty hands almost on the brake lever when BANG the trailer wheels hit a raised kerb and the tow bar hitch which had punched that nasty hole in the back of my car sat quivering just 6” from the glass doors. I slumped to the ground next to the trailer sweat running down my face as the smoked glass doors opened and two smart executives looked down on me and the office windows filled with inquisitive faces. However, before I could apologies there was another loud noise and lots of hooting could be heard from the direction that I had just come from.  I had to squint as my salty sweat was running into my eyes, but yes, my Jeep was rolling backwards and directly in its path was a Gold Mercedes S500 who’s driver was trapped between my Jeep and a couple of cars behind him and was tooting their horn like crazy. So up I leapt without so much as a sorry to the executives glaring at me from their door and I ran as fast as I could after my slowly reversing Jeep. Of course, in hindsight, I knew the Jeep was automatic and when I had jumped out to chase the runaway trailer I thought that I had put the car into park, however in my haste I had in fact selected reverse and now the car engine had been idle a short while it had now increased its engine revs and was making good progress back towards the immobile S500 Mercedes. I could almost hear the chariots of fire anthem playing in my head as I raced back after my driverless Jeep, by now the drivers behind the S500 were standing outside their cars watching me and some 20 people had come out of the office building to see what was going on. With only a few feet to spare I dived into through my open Jeep window and with my legs sticking out of the opening heaved on the handbrake and brought my runaway car to a stop. For a short while the world went a bit fuzzy as my breakfast considered making a new home on my car seat, but slowly things came back into focus and I slid down the driver’s door and rested on my bare knees on the road giving my audience the impression I was praying. The lesson that I learnt that day was yes to attached the trailer properly obviously, but actually that I needed to grow the business so I could employ a team of experts to do the deliveries as I could not go through another situation like that.

Huw (Owner of Hot Tub Barn)

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