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By Science Museum on

Bank Holiday Mondays

What would you do on your perfect bank holiday Monday? Well I don’t know about you guys, but as a kid I always dreamt about owning a Lotus and going for drive in the country.

Lotus Elan
Lotus Elan (Wikipedia)

The Lotus Elan was originally conceived by Ron Hickman, the director of Lotus Engineering, in 1963. It was a deeply covetable sport car available in two models – one with fixed position head lights and the other with drop-heads.

If the Lotus Elan is the dream, the reality of the bank holiday tends to be a little different – DIY. My dad was a builder and I remember him getting a Black and Decker workmate one Christmas.  He used that thing almost to destruction and I learnt a few carpentry skills on it as well.

I think mum liked it as well as it saved our chairs from being used as saw horses.

This is exactly what motivated the inventor of the workmate, the very same Ron Hickman who came up with the Lotus Elan, after he sawed into a Windsor chair! We have an early version right here in our collection. I can’t explain the excitement when I saw it for the first time and the flashbacks it triggered.

Folding joiner's work bench, c 1969 (Science Museum)

I love the fact that the designer of a high-end sport car also invented such a critical aid for the everyday man.