Adventures in the marvellous Mini of doom!

Dave Smart


Part eight:
Mini and a shipyard

Had a bit of a lie in then after a pleasant breakfast, Jagoda and I jumped in the Mini for a sight seeing and photo opportunity tour. We headed for the gates of the shipyard, the scene of many Solidarity protests that I remember from TV when I was about 14.

After a short bit of chatting, Jagoda managed to get me on a tour of the shipyard so I piled onto a very old fashioned but well restored bus which took us, rather rapidly for an old bus, around the various sites in the yard including where the workers had their meetings with the management, the management offices where higher level negotiations were carried out, the Electrician’s workshop, where Lech Walessa worked, and the site where he jumped back over the wall to lead the protests after being dismissed for being an activist.

The tour, sadly my fault, was in Polish. Apparently if I’d asked the tourguide she would have translated for me. I was very grateful when after the tour she courteously gave me a quick synopsis in English.

We took some great photos of the Mini at the gates to the yard and then set off to find some other good photo opportunities, particularly with the shipyard cranes in the background. This seemed to be a place Jagoda was very proud of. We then went for a very pleasant walk around town after visiting a high point to get an overall view of the city.

Whilst wandering around the town, Jagoda spotted a friend she had met in London who had missed his train and now had a couple of hours to kill before the next.

A quick drive saw us all in Sopot, one of the tri-towns of Gdansk. On the way the alternator belt started squeaking when under load with the lights switched on so many typical Mini bodges were used to stop it squeaking, like keeping the engine revs up when stopped and switching the lights off, revving the engine, and switching them back on. This provided much amusement to Jagoda’s friend, who never having owned a Mini, had never seen such strange behaviour.

After popping home to freshen up we headed into town to meet some of Jagoda’s friends as it was the birthday of her best friend.

We spent the evening slowly drinking beer and I introduced the Poles to the card game of ‘Cheat’ which they all seemed to enjoy, we then moved to a rather more lively bar, these Poles certainly know how to party, I ended up dancing on a table under order of the birthday girl, and I wasn’t even drunk.

Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

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