Monday, 27 June 2011


A couple of weeks ago week my son asked if I had any wheels or wood which I could donate to his Scouts troop for a Go Carting event they were holding. We scraped together a few items and took them up to the Scout hut last Friday in order that the Scouts could make a couple of carts. When I collected him later that evening the pile of parts had grown slightly and a project for the remainder of the week was born.

Each evening after school the two of us worked together to make a cart. I must admit that watching him use my circular saw, and other power tools was slightly nerve-racking but also very rewarding. I watched with pride as he marked, cut and drilled the wood, and I listened as he voiced ideas and worked out what was required.

Whilst we worked I remembered a cart I made in 1974 when I was lived in Ascension Island. I built it using scraps I had salvaged from the Georgetown dump, (that dump seemed to hold everything; I even scavenged a hacksaw blade to cut the axle free from the heap of twisted metal it was entangled in). I also remember using my father’s power tools.

For me the our project took on new meaning. Here was I reliving events from my childhood through the eyes of a father, and whilst my size and weight precluded me from ever driving the finished product, somehow I knew that I was with him as he sped down the hill for the first time.

The best bit though was spending time working on the project with my son, and enjoying his company. The 2 pictures were taken 37 years apart.


The shed had been overturned,
a pile of debris sat challenging;
planks of wood, an old bike,
a length of rope a lawnmower wheel.

He remembered being ten
Sitting on the scrap heap
using scavenged tools
to create a similar pile.

Back then his mind saw the sleek lines,
could feel the wind in his hair;
the joy of being free
As he raced down the hill.

Now younger eyes looked up, pleading.
A smile cracked his face
the unspoken deal made
as father looked at son.

They toiled together
Small hands on large tools,
proud father watching on
lending power and advice.

Finally they stood together, smiling.
A cart had risen like a phoenix
from the pile of debris.
It stood awaiting its maiden run.

With foot on brake the young driver
looking eagerly down the hill.
His father proffered advice and then
They were off…..

Two hearts pound in unison
Speed picks up, corner smoothly taken.
Father remembering the childhood joy;
As they raced down the hill together.

John Carré Buchanan
25 June 2011


  1. just loved the poem and the photos, what memories they brought back and we were so pleased all the work paid off for the two of you. We look forward to hearing all the details when we get back and seeing more photos, did anyone take any video?

  2. Thanks, Sadly there was no video, it was all pretty hectic and taking video would have been one step too far.


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