Friday, 4 May 2012

What's the best selling, most popular, least read book?

The answer, of course, is the Highway Code!  'Dave Brown's New Highway Code' which aired today on Radio 4, appealed to me on several fronts.  I couldn't help but be drawn into Dave Brown's (he of the Mighty Boosh) insight into the Highway Code, which was originally set up as a code of good manners for drivers.  There was interesting discussion of the attitude of motorists towards cyclists and the graphic design of the older editions and road signage, but I particularly liked the insight into post-war and 1950s driving, when travel on the road was simpler and slower.  

At the end of the programme Dave proposes a return to those 1950s values: we should imagine we are wearing 'a trilby or a sensible hat', a 'double breasted suit or a mac, buttoned and belted'.  We should all drive like '1950s gentlemen and gentlewomen, polite and more patient, well-mannered'.  And above all we should not be 'afraid to give a cheery wave or a smile!'  Ah, now if everyone drove like that wouldn't it make the world a better place!

Enjoy the programme on BBC iplayer, available for another 7 days.

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