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Well, I managed to make it back from another long and fabulously interesting trip to Europe. Many fine museums and tourist sites were visited, and my poor old Nikon nearly had a nervous breakdown, with the amount of exposures taken. I chose to visit the hilltop village of Crich, Derbyshire, the setting for the long-running TV medical drama, 'Peak Practice', and also the village where my very first girlfriend lived! After a LOT of sorting out, I should be able to use some of the many thousands of photographs; let’s start with a classic car from the 1950′s.

The Standard Motor Company Ltd was founded in Coventry (now in the West Midlands) in 1903. They were noted for making reliable, if somewhat staid, motor cars. Prior to World War Two, they produced a small saloon car called the Standard 8; after the war, production of the pre-war model resumed, in a climate where the home market was desperate for any motor vehicle. It wasn’t until 1953 that a new model of the ’8′ was produced. It had an 803cc overhead-valve engine of 26hp, and hydraulic brakes on all wheels (something which some cars did not have, at the time); however, owners of the first examples found themselves having to gain access to the space in the boot (trunk to my American friends) by folding down the rear seat – there was no opening boot-lid! The ’8′ was designed to compete with the Austin A30 and the Morris Minor, and did so quite effectively. Strangely, it is finished in the same 'powder blue' shade as the 1953 Austin A30 I had!

Increased power and detail design changes soon followed, along with a developed version known as the Standard Ten; later still, in 1957, you could have the Standard Pennant, with a 948cc, 4 cylinder engine, and a four-speed manual transmission ('standard' for our American reader!) with overdrive on the top gear as an option. 1957 was the model year you got wind-up as opposed to sliding windows, too.

The launch price for the original ’8′ was only £481, but a good example, today, will cost you anything up to £2,500.

Here we see an example of the initial launch model, a Standard 8 Basic, parked on the cobbled street at Crich Tramway Village, home of the National Tramway Museum. This spectacular facility is located in the little hill-top village of Crich, in Derbyshire, on the edge of the Peak District, and is well worth a visit. The Red Lion, which I wrote about earlier, serves some very nice 'home cooked' food - which TASTES home-cooked - and goes down well with a cold glass of their cider. Time to edit that bucket list, folks.

Well, this is the fifth diary I have written about Crich and its environs; I had better change the subject for a little while, otherwise you'll become bored!

Originally posted to shortfinals on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:50 PM PST.

Also republished by Derbyshire and The Peak District.

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