Road Safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist this week launches its Voices from the Road podcast. Planned in part as a celebration of GEM’s 90th anniversary, the podcast seeks to create and build a fascinating audio archive capturing the widest possible range of motoring memories – starting way back in 1932.
Members of the production team have been out and about in recent months, collecting motoring stories from years gone by. These stories could be individual accounts of road journeys, exciting adventures and achievements from specific years, as well as more noteworthy developments in road safety, vehicle technology and motoring law.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: “The key thing about the podcast is the people telling the stories… it’s all about real life on the road.”
Podcast producer James Luckhurst said: “It has been a fascinating experience to go out looking for stories we think will stand the test of time; stories which may surprise, amuse, delight and challenge the listener.
“Of course, we have so far only just scratched the surface, but it’s great to make available this enduring space which I look forward to filling with many more great stories.”
The first episode, published this Friday 9th December, includes material from the following years:
1970: retired academic and concert organist Graham Barber remembers the life of his inspirational teacher and mentor, the organist Brian Runnett, who was killed in a road collision shortly after performing at Westminster Abbey.
1982: Dawn Franklin passes her driving test after just one proper lesson – then 45 minutes later has her first brush with the law.
1935: Eddie Loofe shares childhood memories of his father learning to drive on the roads of north Manchester – and recalls munching chicken sandwiches in the back of the car as Dad drove onto Blackpool beach.
Episode 2, available on 13th January, includes stories from 1960, 1971 and 1975. We hear how an amphibious car was launched illicitly into the Shropshire Union Canal, as well as what happened to the owner of a lovely MGB-GT when he was confronted at gunpoint by Italian border guards.
Episode 3, published on 10th February, focuses solely on 2014 and the launch of ‘David’s Story’, a safety initiative showing video footage of a road collision in which motorcyclist David Holmes died. The footage was recorded using a camera attached to David’s own helmet and it shows – in disturbing detail – what happened when a car turned right across David’s path on the A47.
We were able to reunite David’s mother Brenda with two retired Norfolk police officers who had been involved with the project. They reflect on why the decision was made to publish the video, and how they coped when it ‘went viral’.
Do you have a motoring story to share?
We would love to hear from you if you have an idea to contribute to the Voices from the Road podcast. We can record your input via an online meeting or a recording on location… or with a group of others is also possible. You’ll find the contact details on the Voices from the Road website – so do send in your suggestion.
How to tune in
The Voices from the Road website opens on Friday 9th December. New episodes will be made available here each month, and you have the opportunity to browse particular years as the archive grows.
Or you can subscribe to receive new episodes via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or other podcast providers.
Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.