In our increasingly sterile countryside, it’s getting quite rare to find one of those houses or farms that always have a number of rotting vehicles in their gardens, along with an angry dog on a ten-foot chain.
The picture above (taken with a pinhole camera) is of the enigmatic ‘Seafield’ perched right on the edge of the cliffs at Westward Ho in Devon. It was built in about 1860 and has been variously a home, B&B and a wartime billet for army officers. The locals call it ‘The Russian House’. It looks abandoned, but occupancy is given away by the curtains which twitch if anyone gets near all the junk – including an Allegro 1500 estate and a small fishing boat – they have spilling from their front garden onto the coastal footpath. Whenever I see these sorts of places, the suspicion gnaws at me that forgotten in an outbuilding is a dusty Vincent Black Shadow, Lambretta Rallymaster or a dismantled Spitfire.
How about finding what appears to be a mid-60s Vespa VBB (GS or Sportique) in a bus, in what looks like deep American countryside? The chainsaw he uses to chop the trees back is undoubtedly more powerful than the Vep’s little motor.