An electric car like my Dad’s? Only 75 years later

I have been hankering after an electric car for some time. I got one of the early Prius hybrids in 2003 and enjoyed it until passing on to my grandson. It is still running to this day. After looking into electric cars a few years ago, I gave up for several reasons.

  1. No room in our garage on the mainland to charge, and no electrical outlets where we park to go over to our Island home (Dewees)
  2. No trunk big enough for my golf clubs
  3. Electricity in South Carolina comes mainly from coal, so I would not be saving the planet.

So, instead of saving the planet, I got patriotic and bought an American car, a small Ford. It hasn’t been a great success, so I am again looking electric, since the field is expanding so rapidly. (I am working on the above constraints).  The Chevy Bolt looks good, all electric plug-in (not hybrid), 2017 car of the year, with a range of 240 miles. But dealers in this area don’t know when they can get them.

So, where does my Dad fit into this? He was a country doctor in rural England, and an amateur engineer. During the war we could not get petrol (gasoline), but did have a supply of diesel, because we had to generate our own electricity. Dad promptly converted  a regular old car to run off batteries, which we could charge at home. Dad was fond of his many cars, and they all had names. This one was christened “Cowgoose”, heaven knows why. It had maximum range of 20 miles, which was enough to get me to the local school (and back), and to do house calls in the local farms. We chugged around with impressive blue flashes coming up behind the back seat (where I was usually privileged to sit). It was very impressive at night.

The history of electric cars in USA is fascinating, if a little scary. GM made one called GMEV1. It was successful, in California, but was crushed (literally) by alternative providers. You may want to watch a 2006 movie (available on Netflix) called “Who killed the electric car”. Look it up on wikipedia “The film details the California Air Resources Board‘s reversal of the mandate after relentless pressure and suits from automobile manufacturers, continual pressure from the oil industry, orchestrated hype over a future hydrogen car, and finally the George W. Bush administration“.

Times is changing. Happy to take any advice.

And here is “Cowgoose” with Dad, brother John and me (in the flashy back seat).

Fred getting nice publicity and a 5 STAR review from Readers Favorite

We were featured in the Xmas edition of the Mount Pleasant magazine   Fred MP1 Fred MP2 And liked the review Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers’ Favorite December 2016   Five STARS When Fred the Snake Goes to School is a children’s animal story by Peter B. Cotton. Fred the Snake was given to James by JungleContinue Reading

Our EPISOD research project finishes after 9 years.

  This one is medical, but I will try to make it intelligible. EPISOD stands for “Evaluating Predictors and Interventions in Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction”. That pesky sphincter described by Mr Oddi is the valve that controls the flow of juices from the liver and pancreas into the small intestine (duodenum). If it overacts itContinue Reading

How come the children are all turning 50?

  Jodi got there first, with her first grandchild             And then Andy did it, with a lovely family party and a little Irish golf And now Nicky and Tripp. Nicky had a smart dinner at a famous restaurant near their home in Bucks, UK (near Oxford). Looks like fun  Continue Reading

Special visitors, Dorcas Chapman and brother John

Dorcas and my older brother John came to visit. Dorcas and I go back to the late 1960s when she typed our early endoscopy reports at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. Happily she agreed to be my main admin support when I joined the medical staff of The Middlesex Hospital in 1973, and also supervisedContinue Reading

A sad happy week in England

My former wife, Patricia, died peacefully at our son Andy’s home in Bury St Edmunds, on October 15th. Her lungs gave up. Paddy and I met and were married when I was still a student, in 1960, and built a family together for 25 years. Sadly, our relationship did not survive my career move toContinue Reading

Celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary

The last 2 weeks have been eventful! We spent 2 nights at the wonderful Swag Country Inn in the North Carolina mountains. The purpose was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary (September 28th), which we did in style, helped by 7 other special Deweesian couples. The Swag ( is an amazing place,  hosted for ever byContinue Reading

Great family photos; summer on Dewees Island

Thank you Alli Elmunzer for your expertise  

Down memory lane into the 1950s. Reconnecting with John Willson and John Bulmer.

  Over the last few weeks I have rediscovered and written about my first endoscopy assistants (Sue Wallace and Judy Caddy) at St Thomas’s in London in the late 1960s, and visited and honored my best old friend (Dick McCray) from 1971. And the fun continues, even further back into the 1950s…. Last weekend IContinue Reading

Honoring my best old friend

Honoring my best old friend

I went to visit Dick McCray this week. Sadly he is unwell. We met first in 1971 in New York. I was on my first trip to USA, traveling across west to east on my way back to England after spending 3 weeks in Japan looking at and learning a breakthrough technique that became knownContinue Reading