Dictionary of Sydney

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Mr Pat Cullen recalls driving the police to accident scenes in his tow truck in the 1920s in Liverpool, interviewed 1986

Mr Pat Cullen was born in 1912 and was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960' project. Here he describes his early days in the motor industry, which included driving the police to accident scenes.


PAT: Left school when I was fourteen and started working for a fellow named Billy Norman in the main street of Liverpool, which was down near the post office there was a garage was at that particular time. How I got the job as a mechanic, my dad bought a new Buick motorcar to bribe this fellow to give me a job.


PAT: From Norman's. That’s how I started in the motor game. I was fourteen then, that was in 1927, when the first Model A Fords came out.

INTERVIEWER: There wouldn't have been too many cars in Liverpool then?

PAT: No, very few. In fact, the police didn't have a car. And while I was only fourteen or fifteen, I learned to drive an old tow wagon, very well, and when there was any accidents, which was unusual, that there were accidents, I used to drive the police in the tow truck to the accident. Two or three years after that I went for my license. They were quite amazed, to think that I'd been driving around with the police, with no license.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mr Pat Cullen from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)