page last updated: 28 December 2017

Triumph Vitesse - 134


Checking the Great Book of Dinky this apparently replaced the Herald in the range and was made from 1964 to 1968. I find this a surprise as the Vitesse sells for about ten times as much as the Herald, which makes on think that far fewer of them must have been sold to make them this rare. Mine is far from mint and is in the top half dozen or so in the collection for price paid, It was very expensive indeed, however it was worth it - this is a model with baggage. Those not interested in self indulgent introspection quit here.

I paid a lot of money for this car not just because it is about the finest Dinky ever made, but because of what happened to mine when I was a child. I went to the village school from 1961 to 1968, it had two rooms and two teachers, one for the infants, one for the juniors. Teaching four year groups simultaneously in one room must have had its challenges, but I guess most village schools worked that way so there must have been strategies & techniques, but it could explain why a bright kid who was always asking questions was an unwelcome complication for a teacher. I spent those seven years in head to head conflict with the headmistress who really liked those big slow lads who said nothing and did as they were told, I was the opposite.

She had a number of strategies for dealing with me which ranged from the simple (humiliation and beating me with a stick) to the more calculated which involved making up new demerit schemes designed specifically to ensure I did not end up top of the class at the year end - took her the full seven years to get that one right!

I had been bought a new Dinky Vitesse and took it to school one day and for some reason I annoyed her - no recollection of the crime, she came over to my desk, picked up the car and threw it into the coke stove which heated the school room. I was eight years old in 1964 and can still remember the desolation this act caused. It was just one of very many cruel and vindictive acts over my time at the school, but the one that sticks most in the memory. I bumped into her a year or so ago in the supermarket when I was back visiting family and forty years after leaving her school I could still not bring myself to speak to her.

When I compare what was not a very unusual experience of school in the middle years of the 20th Century to my own childrens' schooling I don't know how anyone can criticise present day state education in the UK. My children are taught by dedicated professionals, child centric, highly trained and highly motivated. They are surrounded by excellent equipment, taught in a great environment and are continually stretched and stimulated.

Thankfully humiliations, beatings and calculated vindictiveness have been banished from the system - and now I have a Vitesse again


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