Leeds nostalgia: Memories down the lane

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The picture above was taken on June 23, 1969 and shows Mrs Smith, of Leeds, who won a competition in the Daily Mirror to win the 2,000,000th mini ever made.

The 2,0000,000th mini rolled off the production line on June 9 at Longbridge and was the first British-made car to do that. It was also the same month that a the mini rose to global fame, thanks in part to the Michael Caine movie The Italian Job, which used the cars in its infamous chase scenes.

The original Mini was designed with economy in mind, unlike today’s Minis, which are bold and brash and even rival some 4x4s in terms of size.

The picture below was taken some time around 1956, the year in which Queen Elizabeth II became patron of the Royal Voluntary Service, which was also known as the Women’s Voluntary Service, and which was still in much demand in the post-war years as rationing was very firmly in place. However, it must be pointed out that the service only gained it’s ‘Royal’ appellation in 1966.

Looking at the pictures, the word ‘Royal’ has yet to be added to these vans, which also carry the words ‘On Loan from Leeds Welfare Service’ on the doors.

The service was funded by central government. Its members carried out important work in the community, including ensuring many elderly people had something to eat in their homes, as part of the Meals on Wheels service. However, the Government dismantled the Civil Defence Corps, to which the WRVS had been affiliated, in 1968, after which the group was registered as a charity.

Pictures and words taken from Nostalgic Leeds: The Golden Years 1990s-1980s, published by True North Books, available to buy online prices £12.99.