Archive for June, 2012

I would walk 500 miles…coz i havent passed my test yet

I’m part of the ‘One’ club. The ‘First Timers’. The ‘Turn up and Triumph’ crew. The ‘One shot is all you need’ posse.

 Obviously I’m talking about driving! But more specifically I’m talking about the driving test. Gone are the days when you would have to do little more than turn up to pass your test. It may seem much more difficult to pass you test these days but the point of the various theory and practical parts of the test meant that learning to drive is to fully understand being a competent and safe road user rather than simply practising to gain your licence.

 Now if you are a good a driver as I am (if you didn’t get the hint from the first paragraph I passed my test on the first attempt) you will be presented with one of these…


Driving Licence

Driving Licences – if you still use the big one, the police may not be happy


But these modern day driving licences are a far cry from previous versions. My licence contains all my details as well as a photograph. These have to be renewed every 10 years; I assume it allows DVLA to keep track of how youthful you are looking!

 As you can see in the photo, previous versions were very different. The big licence on the left is from 1930. This type of licence started in 1903 and was used for many years. The licence only lasted for 1 year before being renewed. The booklet in the centre is from the 1960’s. This contained the same information as the older licence but in a smaller format. Since then there have been other incarnations until we arrive at the modern licence (which belongs to yours truly). Everything about it screams early 21st century: all your details, your photo, computer generated numbers to make you ‘individual’ and holograms.

 But all three of these licences fail to hold one crucial piece of information…how many times you took your driving test. By the way, did I mention I passed first time!


Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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