Pershore Worcestershire -1984 Military Defender
A few weeks ago I drove from Leeds down to Pershore, Worcestershire to visit one of my uni friends over the weekend. I stayed at her parent’s organic farm and it was great! The weather couldn’t have been any better! I would like to share these images because they show what the UK countryside is like for me. First we went to Croome where we visited one of the national trust properties.
Then we spent some time on the farm itself, looking at the chicken, the sheep, the fresh vegetables and playing with the dogs. What I will have probably enjoyed the most was the great food and the general vibe in the house. Eating couscous with a big variety of vegetables and other sides from that beautiful pottery. However, what really stood out to me was this old loading machine which stands on one of the fields. Although my friend didn’t know what exactly it had been used for and for how long it’s been there I couldn’t walk past it without taking photos. I can really see how it was used and where people have hold on to it. I could visualize it being used and running continuously. And then it has this very special texture and shape. As soon as I saw it it captured my attention. The combination of its rust with its original colour, the cloudless sky and green fields surrounding it.
The next day we went for a hike up Bredon Hill with two of the 5 dogs, Todd and Zippy. We drove the 1984 LandRover to Pershore and started walking from there. This is where it gets really interesting for all the petrol heads that read this. This Defender 90 was used on a German army base before it was sold to its current owner by PA Blanchard in York. The interesting thing is that its been used on that military base for all sorts of training. Because it’s steering wheel is still on the right side of the car (so the UK side of driving on the street) I would have expected the speedometer to be in Miles /H. But since it was designed to be used in Germany the Speedometer’s unit is KM/H. That’s only one of the details which show the vehicles history. Another one is the front row. Where the middle seat is located today (the front row consists of three seats in total) there used to be an empty space for a machine gun. But when you buy a land rover for your organic farm you don’t necessarily think about keeping space for a machine gun. Or another detail will be the canvas which covers the back half of the car and the extra storage space underneath the back seats for more weapons or tools.
But then I got in and drove it myself and I immediately understood why this was used as a military vehicle. Not only its extremely basic setup with windows that you push to open a little bit and no sorts of electronics on the dashboard. Driving it feels like driving a small tank or some kind of tractor. When shifting you don’t have a clue about what gear you’re in or if you even are in any gear at all. And it literally feels like nothing can stop you, you can just drive over anything you want and it’ll be absolutely fine! If the paint chips off you simply repaint it with a paint brush and it’s all good.
On top of that there is no assisted steering. So you have to lean into it with your upper body when driving around a corner. It’s just nothing compared to driving the Mini Cooper S that I’m used to. Or even compared to my 1986 BMW E30, it’s far away from being a similar kind of ride. Nevertheless I had a blast driving it and spending my weekend on the countryside. So I would like to thank Isobel again for inviting me and spending some time around the fields.