Britain's 1960s Transport Minister Drove Straight Into A Canal

Water, an Amphicar and women. That was the recipe for fun in Britain in the sixties. Actually, it still is.

Ernest Marples started a promising career when Winston Churchill appointed him a junior minister in the Conservative Government in 1951. After becoming the Postmaster General in 1957, it only took him two years to jump into the Transport Minister's chair. In this picture, he is driving a Triumph-powered German Amphicar at Little Venice, a peaceful part of London's Ragent's Canal on April 22, 1964. Half a year later, the Conservative Party lost the elections.


As a former Londoner, I would say cruising in Little Venice with two ladies on board is the least I would expect from a politician who loved prostitues and later had to move to Monaco to escape various legal and taxation difficulties.

Still, the real hero was the artist John Wesley two years later. The River Thames is not a tiny little canal, so taking a 2,315 pound car with 43 horsepower into it is a ballsy move.


Photo credit: Les Lee/Hulton Archives/Fox Photos

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