Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - Billsboy
Whilst on holiday recently and with nothing else better to do, I pondered over the world's problems and of course Mr Flat Cap came to mind.
I can't pin-point the exact time my Father donned his flat cap and adopted the driving characteristics we all know and love. I do remember in my youth that I was always impressed with his driving, he was certainly no slouch.
But some time after I had fled the nest and his Grandchildren came on the scene, the gradual process took place. I remember towards the end of his life (At only 70), when I was being driven by him, thinking, why is he driving so slowly? On occasions when I took him out in my car, he would often ask what the hurry was!
I believe we all have it in us to become Mr Flat Cap so let's not be too hard on him.
Let's vent our annoyance at the real cause of hold ups and that is the driver behind Mr Flat, who does not take the opportunity to overtake. He often follows so closely that the third driver in the queue now has two cars to overtake and this is how long queues develop.
My point is that we should ease up on the criticism of Mr Flat Cap and come up with a suitable name for the real menace, the lethargic second driver in the queue.
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - Manatee
Good comment. A colleague who is a caravanner told me that he had driven the best part of a 100 miles behind a Flat Cap who not only held him up (as he did not have the scope/power to overtake with his house behind him) but also had at least half a mile of traffic backed up behind because it could not get past him and Flat Cap at the same time. He said this wothout a hint of irony. It had not occurred to him that he could assist anyone else to make progress.

This is not restricted to caravanners of course - I defend anybody's right to drive a a steady pace, what really frustrates me is the 3 cars following nose-to-tail who make it a moving road block.
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - SteveH42
While I agree to a degree, not everyone is familar enough with the road or drives a powerful enough car to take what others see as an overtaking opportunity. I've also seen occasions where I've spotted an opportunity only to have someone behind me who knows the road better surge out before I have the chance to, thus meaning I miss the opportunity and the problem persists.

When I'm not in the hurry I always take the line that is someone wants to go faster while I won't jump out of the way, I will make it easy for them as soon as I see an opportunity. Why others can't do the same I don't know - you often seem to find people who almost defend their position rather than make it easier all round.
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - Billsboy
Yes, often the second driver is too close to the first car and and as you say, defends their position.
If you can only safely overtake one car at a time this often leads to excited gestures and much headlamp flashing, whereas if they were following at the correct distance, and had a sensible approach, there would be no problem.
Who\'s behind Mr Flat Cap? - No Do$h
6 bloomin\' miles!

Yup, this afternoon I was caught behind 3 cars, all within a \"waffer thin mint\"* of each other, tagging behind a tractor and trailer. This meant that any overtake I tried would involve the equivalent of two artics. For 6 miles the oaf in the tractor ignored the ever building queue behind him whilst the numpty triplets jostled and braked incessantly.

A chap on an R1 overtook me ( I had left plenty of space and was sat back singing \"Jake the Peg\" with my daughter at this point, having just finished the 12th rendition of Charlie Drake\'s \"My Boomerang won\'t come back\") and then tried to overtake the triplets.

Now your R1 isn\'t a slow bike. It isn\'t even a quick bike. It\'s lightning on two wheels.

Despite this, the triplets actually closed up on each other, forcing the chap to gun the nadgers off his bike to get in front of numpty triplet No1 rather than leapfrogging as he had done to the rest of the traffic. I was then astonished to see the back of the rider illuminated by headlights, as Numpty No1 flashed him for his audacity.

At this stage I was sorely tempted to go for the same manouvere myself, if only so I could block the road and drag this arse-wit from his car and beat him to within 2.54cm of his life for being so moronic. Instead I joined little miss No Dosh in a rousing chorus of \"I tought I saw a puddy tat\" and gained some comfort speculating on the spectacularly poor performance this genitally challenged nincompoop must put on for his long suffering wife.

It\'s a long wait before Christmas is upon us but if any of you feel the desire to buy a pressy for your favourite moderator, can I have a MILAN anti-tank missile system for the roofrack please?


No Dosh - Backroom Moderator

(* Not a spelling error. Think Monty Python and Mr Creosote)
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - teabelly
I get stuck behind people like that and they do want a good kicking frankly. Had I same anti tank missile system I think it would be used very regularly indeed! I keep wondering whether to get some sort of in car video system going then I can get evidence of these idiots and pass them over to the police. Unfortunately I think in your circumstances they'd be prosecuting the biker and leaving the numpties alone.

I wonder what would happen if you overtook the first car and then barged in front of it and then slowed down to show them what a correct gap was? Best doing this in the sort of car they would get out the way of like a hummer :-) I suppose an led sign in the back window with some appropriate road safety message might be in order...
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - BrianW
Sometimes tempted to put the external speaker on the old CB set and give F-C a running commentry, same with the tailgaters.
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - defender
nd why the comment "the oaf in the tractor" he was only a man doing his job,there is no law requiring him to pull over and move for every car which comes along.the fault as you point out is with the following cars.I have lost count of the times that I have tried to get traffic to pass and the first car wont with the result that others cant,indeed its unadvisable from a tractors point of veiw to wave traffic past ,accident when overtaking etc =claim .also it can be difficult after pulling over with a large trailer to get on the road again .actualy its better to sit a little bit back and have more chance to be seen in a mirror and a clearer veiw to overtake . this is certainly not a personal attack on you but try to see it from all points as we all need to earn a living and the time it took to travel 6 miles gave you more quality time with your daughter.cheers
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - Dynamic Dave
nd why the comment "the oaf in the tractor" he was
only a man doing his job,there is no law requiring him
to pull over and move for every car which comes along.

Not so much law, but advice from the Highway Code:-


"Do not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if you are driving a large or slow moving vehicle. Check your mirrors frequently, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass."

Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - THe Growler
My father was the same. Flat cap, string-back driving gloves, car coat (never set off without any of these) plus the folding camp chairs on longer runs and of course the tartan travelling rug to put over Mother's knees and the wicker hamper full of Shippams fishpaste sandwiches, strawberries and cream, thermos of tea and bottles of Tizer so us kids and Mum could get bored to death not watching the cricket on Chipperfield Common(whoever was daft enough to invent a game that goes on till somebody dies?).

But this speaks volumes for the era that was in: (the one where AA patrolmen with sidecar outfits saluted you if you bore the AA badge for those mere striplings among you who know nothing of this....)

--- if Dad felt he was holding up traffic (dual carriageways were few and far between), he would pull over from time to time when safe to do so and let followers go by. Said it was the polite thing to do. I bet they were pleased: Stanmore to Bognor can take a good while behind a Morris 8 proceeding at a steady 30 mph! However one day he did (metaphorically) let his hair down and we reached a dizzy 50 mph on the (?) Bournemouth by-pass in the 1938 Opel, only to have the engine boil and throw a con-rod. After that and a tirade from Mum, it was back to Flat Cap mode thereafter.

Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - Mapmaker

Personally, I'll always look to find a place to let the boy in the Imprezza Turbo go past. I'll pull over into a layby at the first opportunity if I'm holding him up. I'd much rather that he was 5 miles in front of me when he rearranges the street furniture.

And the only thing worse than Mr F-C was the abnormal load going down the M40 yesterday evening - only one lane to get past him. So 3 lanes of very sticky traffic from Stratford-upon-Avon down to virtually the M25. And I had a delightful journey in the inside lane, about half a mile of empty road in front of & behind me*; don't think I ever used my brakes. The outside lane was stopping & starting the whole way. Best of all, an elderly Pugeot which joined the M40 when I did & spent the whole journey in the outside lane, was not even 15 yards further on when we finally overtook the abnormal load..


* perhaps my driving is soooo dangerous that people won't dare to be near me...
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - Sofa Spud
There are degrees of flatcapism, or its female equivalent, blue rinsism. I don't get bothered too much by elderly drivers who go a bit slower than I would - say 50 where it's safe to do 60. I tend to stay behind them at a reasonable distance and relax. If a safe opportunity occurs to overtake, then I do so.

But if Mr. Flatcap is of the 42 mph variety, it's a bit more annoying until he comes to a 30 limit, where he invariably maintains 42 mph and loses me!

Cheers, Sofa Spud
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - Sofa Spud
When Flatcap gets inside Tesco's, he's the one blocking your access to the Nescafe Gold Bend, carfully inspecting each of the identical jars of to make sure he buys the best one.

Cheers, SS
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - No Do$h
He also stops on entering the store, 18 inches inside the building with his trolley broadside for maximum disruption.

He repeats this trick on the way out, only this time he reads the whole receipt before moving on.
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - Rob C
I am told the "rolling roadblock" effect is known as a Rhonda, because the lead car is usually a Rover or Honda.

I have been put in many a dangerous situation by these clowns who follow the flat-cap. I do have the luxury of a powerful car and often leap-frog my way down a line of cars, but all too often I will find people who will deliberately close up their safe gap to prevent me pulling in, even though there would be plenty of room and I would be indicating my intention to pull in.

What annoys me most is the thought that said persons are so intent on not being overtaken, they would prefer to see a head-on collision rather than let me in.

My wife used to say I should "wait my turn"... until it happened to her, and she ended up rounding a corner on the wrong side of the road. To our very good fortune nothing was coming the other way.
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - THe Growler
Where I live, thank goodness, we have the Confucian respect for age, not the aggressive Western contempt for it.

One day you will all (God willing) be of "flat cap" years and may your youngers show you more respect than you appear to show to your elders, whether on the road, in the supermarket or anywhere else.
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - tyro
Surely the essence of flat-cappism is not being elderly and slowing down a little, but not caring about the fact that there are a dozen cars on your tail, and that someone behind you might have a good reason for wanting to be moving a little faster. Nothing wrong with driving slowly and taking in the scenery - but going out of one's way to let people overtake is simple politeness.
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - wemyss
Well put Growler and exactly what I was thinking. Some rather cruel remarks made of older people and they should remember that if they are lucky! they will be there themselves one day.
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - No Do$h
Respect where respect is due.

Can anyone tell me how bimbling along at a speed and in a manner that shows a total lack of awareness for surroundings is due respect?
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - Algernon
Turned 77 a week or two ago and took Toad the Supra to a road I know for a celebratory (?) run. Got up to a fair number of bimbles!

Or is that wrong too?
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - Duchess
Maybe this is the new definition of middle age when you think that:

a) "flat caps" are old

b) "baseball caps" are young

Oh dear........I thought I had a few years left before I got here!

And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - none
Nothing wrong with the flat cap brigade, experience and a sense of self preservation play a big part in their driving methods. Insurance Co's acknowledge these attributes, and Ins.Co's don't back losers !

And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - BrianW
Fast approaching flat cap age but the flat cap won't fit under the crash helmet!
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - Toby
I have confidence in not becoming a flat cap as it may not be in my genes... as my father has approached pensionable age he traded in a Mondeo (admittedly having had faster cars some years before) for an Audi TT and motorbike and seems to show no signs of slowing down...
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - THe Growler
Genes definitely play a part, as does mindset. My mother was furious when we gently but firmly persuaded her that, at 85, perhaps she should stop terrifying other road users and turn in the car keys. Having learned to drive in a Bullnose Morris long before some bright spark came up with driving tests, she was ill-equipped for the pandemonium of 1980\'s driving. None the less she refused to be parted from her pushbike until she shuffled off this mortal coil well past 90.

I must be following in her footsteps as people say to me sometimes \"you ride THAT? At your age?\" Usually the utterers are mere striplings in their 20\'s, which suggests they are already pre-programmed for FlatCap-Land even in their tender years.

I find a much younger very attractive partner helps as well ; )

But let us respect Mr Flat Cap. He may well have fought a war that in no small way has brought us to where we are now, he almost certainly grew up in less materially-endowed circumstances than we did, he may even be enjoying the fruits of many years at the bank I love to hate, he has the same rights and privileges that we claim as our right (if not more), he probably needs his car because they don\'t have buses any more, and a little bit of patience on our part costs nothing.
And Mr Flat Cap at the supermarket! - nick
But let us respect Mr Flat Cap. He may well have
fought a war that in no small way has brought us
to where we are now, he almost certainly grew up in
less materially-endowed circumstances than we did, he may even be enjoying
the fruits of many years at the bank I love to
hate, he has the same rights and privileges that we claim
as our right (if not more), he probably needs his car
because they don't have buses any more, and a little bit
of patience on our part costs nothing.

Well said, Growler. There's an old chap in our village of whom the less charitable amongst us might say is a doddery old git. However, in WWII he was one of the incredibly brave divers who were sent to the invasion beaches in the weeks before D-Day to map out the obstacles and mines etc. My neighbour, who can be quite exiting to watch as he drives around, was a rear gunner on a Stirling bomber. My aunt, now virtually immobile, drove a fire engine in London.
And we moan about taxes and speed cameras! Perhaps we need something to put things in perspective.
Who's behind Mr Flat Cap? - patently
I hope to become Mr Flat Cap one day.

As the process of doing so essentially involves living for a long time, the alternative is far worse.

Ask Honest John

Value my car