Sunday, 6 January 2013
Britain is no country for an old car called 'Maurice' once owned by an old driver called Jack
This is retired draughtsman, Jack Hepworth, 85 years old and left heartbroken after thieves stole his beloved car called 'Maurice'.
What you possibly didn't know about Jack, that he :
* had clocked up almost 300,000 miles in the grey Morris 1000 since paying £180 for it second hand when he was 41, 44 years ago in 1968.
* found that 'Maurice' was stolen from the garage of his home, in Levenshulme, Manchester, while he was visiting his wife of 53 years, Marion, aged 80, seriously ill in hospital with pneumonia and who is still unaware of the theft.
* said : "I haven’t told Marion about the theft because it will upset her that much, and given she is very ill, it would break her heart if she knew."
* reflected that : "All the kiddies on the street loved it and one time we had eight of them sat in it outside our home" and has a photo of two of them, Peter and Zak, taken in 1982.
* also said : "Obviously as long as Marion gets better and comes home that is all that matters – but I have to say losing Maurice is almost like losing part of the family. It’s just surprising how you get attached to things and I do miss Maurice dearly. Our only child was stillborn so you could say the car was like the baby we never had, we’ve had it that long."
* lamented that :' People who have heard what has happened has said what a shame it is. It is such a distinctive car and because it was one of a kind it is more noticeable than ever. People have wanted to buy it from me but I couldn’t bear to part with Maurice. It has brought us a lot of joy over the years and I just dearly want it back."
* recalled : "I was a motorcyclist but I got fed up of getting knocked off of my bike.
We bought the car second hand as we had just got the house and money was tight. I thought that I would only have Maurice for two years - yet it is the only car I have ever had. It's been to Scotland, Wales, East Anglia, everywhere. We used to go holidaying all over the UK in it. For my 80th birthday I even had a cake with a picture of me stood in front of the car printed on it. Everyone knew me for the car. When I first got it I was so proud of it - I still am still".
I fear that the chance of Jack being reunited with Maurice are very remote and 'Scarlet' from Castle in the Air , USA who posted this letter to the 'Daily Mail' is right about the fate of his car :
'What an undignified end for poor wee Maurice! You just know he was driven directly to some chop shop and his remains given an indecent burial in a disused quarry or mineshaft :-( It's the sort of car it's now impossible to drive openly due to his age and distinctive styling, and certainly can't be re-registered to a new owner, so he must have been wanted for parts for some collector who goes to car shows. I hope the Morris Minor group can ferret out the rogue in its ranks. I fear poor Maurice is no longer intact at this point.'