Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Heritage Traffic Jam

The Journées du Patrimoine are coming up soon and I wanted to show you one of the most unusual activities from last year -- a traffic jam to relive the experience of heading off on summer holidays via the Route Nationale 10 of old. Hundreds of vehicles from the 60s and 70s turned up to block the town of Sainte Maure de Touraine in the name of heritage and nostalgia. Anyone who lived in the north of France and holidayed in the south before 1977 and the opening of the autoroute remembers this experience.

The event was organised by the mayor of Sainte Maure, Christian Barillet, and a local blogger, Laurent Carré, who dreams of the N10 one day being the French equivalent of Route 66 in the global psyche.

It wasn't quite like the old days though. Nerves weren't frazzled and the whole town enjoyed being transported back 40 years (pun intended). Even a few minor traffic accidents were part of the atmosphere, with a pink and white Panhard advertising Evian colliding with the rear of an automatic Mustang, which then went bumper to bumper with a DS station wagon, leather suitcases perched on the roof and towing a caravan completely lacking in any hint of aerodynamics (I'm quoting, in translation, the local newspaper article report on the day here).
Local resident Claude Méry made a video of the day and although it is 20 minutes long I recommend you at least watch a bit of the beginning to see a few cars and the last few minutes or so, which will give you a very good idea of what a village event in France is really like.

Alternatively you can watch our 3 minute video of a similar event in Le Blanc that we attended earlier this year.


Autolycus said...

Shades of Tati's "Trafic"!

Tim said...

Nice Ami 6 Estate at the start of the top film....
I'll watch them both when I'm in front of a machine that will cope with video!!

Stuart said...

Wonderful videos. I wish I had seen it in person.

Post a Comment