My First Car with… Rotherham District Chief Inspector Chris Foster

My First Car with… Rotherham District Chief Inspector Chris Foster

By Tom Sharpe | 12/06/2020

My First Car with… Rotherham District Chief Inspector Chris Foster


Hairdresser’s car turns out useful

Did you pass your driving test first-time?
 Thankfully yes. I remember it to this day, the morning of January 24, 1989. It was damp, foggy and nerve wracking. As soon as I passed I jumped straight on the motorway to see my mum in Hoyland and nearly drove onto the banking whilst looking over my shoulder at 70mph.

What was the first ever car  you owned?
I was lucky enough to be an only child and as an 18th birthday pressie found that my mum and dad had invested in a gold coloured Ford Escort LX. I can even remember the reg — G440 HCP. It came from Polar Ford, on Dodworth Road (now a housing estate) and had a stuffed Polar bear cuddly toy on the parcel shelf and had horrible beige velour seats — but it was an amazing gift on my birthday. I think it cost about £10k on the Ford options scheme.

What would have been your dream first car at the time you bought it?
I had/have an unusual taste in cars — I always wanted an original VW Beetle or I would have loved a Ford Puma in red.

What was your fondest memory from your time with the car?
I remember driving through Barnsley town centre with my Stone Roses cassette blaring out on a hot sunny evening driving to and from Leeds Uni with Barnsley FC stickers and scarves hanging out of the windows and driving with friends for days out, just enjoying the freedom that a car brought.

And the worst memory of your time with the car?
A tow bar shaped dint in the bonnet, and a repeated scuffed nearside wing done in the same spot on the road back from Holmfirth through Cawthorne. I was that scared to tell my mum and dad, that I went to my cousin, who sprayed it up for me on both occasions to be as good as new. I think my girlfriend at the time told me she didn’t think it was working out, just before I went to Uni as well — tear stains on the beige velour seats.

Would you class yourself as a “petrolhead” or prefer to be driven?
I love driving. I have a bright red Jeep Renegade, which I think is brilliant, but regularly get asked why I have bought a hairdresser’s car.
That is until everyone wants a lift when it snows.
I have driven a variety of cars and vans throughout my driving life and loved having a Kettler go-kart as a kid which I used to handbrake turn at the bottom of our street.
My driving passion continued when I obtained my “Lego” driving licence at Legoland in Denmark when I was about 10 and I finally got to own a Beetle on my 40th birthday.
It was a pig to drive and I’m sure it leaked petrol into the cabin but it was absolutely gorgeous.
I loved being a response driver as a cop and have been privileged to drive some lovely cars, mainly through work.
I can recall every different type of car which I have driven, right from a Bedford Rascal van, to a six-berth motorhome.
I would love to have a go at driving a coach or an HGV and have never driven anything that does 0-60 which isn’t measured by a calendar.
I am no speed freak as I have seen what RTCs can do but thought that the advanced driving course I did through work was one of the best things I have ever done in relation to driving.
What it teaches you about roadcraft is invaluable.