Home from the Shops  (a real life stuck situation captured on film)

 
Here is how I achieved it!
 
Please refer to Photo Set 14 to see photos captured from the movie and referred to in this account
 

 
Stucklady drove her rear wheel drive Mazda RX8 sports car to work as normal unaware that snow was forecast for later that day. That evening, she told me that it took her 15 minutes to reverse out of her parking space when leaving work, following two snow showers that dropped about 5 cm of snow in our area. She managed to drive some of the way home but was then unable to get up the hill leading to our estate. She was forced to abandon her car near some shops and even needed the help of some lads to push her car up onto the pavement. That cars traction in snow is so poor!

 

I took her to work the next day and she then arranged a lift back to her car after work.

 

My normal vehicle was due at the garage for a service and so I was given a courteous 4x4 vehicle to replace mine for the day.

 

Stucklady finished work early so that she could collect her car whilst it was still daylight, and therefore be able to see the ice and snow. I phoned her during the day and told her that the hill she had tried to get up the night before was still covered in ice (which was true). I suggested that she needed to come home by another route, which I explained. I did not tell her that I spent the morning researching where she was most likely to get stuck, but which was still on a route that would seem reasonable to her as an alternative to the icy hill. The hill I found was covered in snow that was compacted down and therefore very slippery.

My big challenge was that I wanted to film her attempt at getting home without her knowing, so that I would be able to post footage of a ‘real’ stuck online.

 

I had the bright idea of also capturing the noise from inside her car using a small battery powered Dictaphone that I used for work. I hoped that it would also enable me to hear what she said about getting stuck, if anything!

 

My big problem was how to position my vehicle so that she would not be able to see me filming her from within it. Luckily, she did not know the vehicle I was in that day, so that was easy, but as she was likely to drive right past me or get stuck very close to me, I realised that I had to disguise myself!  Luck was on my side yet again, as the cold weather made that easy, because no one would bat an eyelid over me wearing a top with the hood up, and a scarf across half of my face!

 

I spent some time making a temporary fix for my camera on the dashboard of my borrowed vehicle. It was easy to then place a towel over it to make it almost invisible when viewed from the outside.

 

My Dictaphone only lasts an hour, so I needed to know roughly what time she would be back at her car, so that it did not run out whilst she was still driving home. I sent her a text and realised that I only had about half an hour to get the plan finalised, as she was leaving earlier than I expected.

 

I had already worked out where I would park in relation to the hill and managed to get to her car about 5 minutes before she arrived. I put the Dictaphone on the passenger seat and hid it under a spare pair of her gloves. I knew she was wearing a different pair when I took her to work, so was pretty certain that she would not touch them and find it!

 

I was again lucky, in that I found a place to park up by the shops, so that I was facing her car. She had left it parked half on the pavement facing up a hill in a small road, but close to a junction with a main road. I had looked and seen marks made by spinning tyres in front of her two rear wheels, when I placed the Dictaphone, so I knew that she would be unable to pull away up hill. She had told me that she only got onto the pavement and up that far because the lads had pushed her!

 

I was ready for action on what I hoped to be my best day ever for filming stuck ladies. A ‘real life’ stuck was hopefully about to happen right in front of me, and I was going to be able to film it all, along with a recording from inside the car. Bliss!

 

The movies that I have made from the filming I did that day have been split into three parts.

 

I will now briefly describe the action in Part 1.

 

Stucklady turned up and walked to her car. She let the engine warm up for a while and then tried to pull away up the hill! I have no idea why; as she must have known that she would spin. After a while she selected reverse and even though the whole of her car was facing down hill, her wheels span as she tried to reverse. Her car really is terrible in snow! (See first and second attached photos – it's not very clear, but her offside rear is spinning)

 

After she had turned around, I followed her at a reasonable distance along a few roads until we reach a particular junction. I knew that she would have to completely stop as there is a hedge blocking the view to the right and anyway, cars in her road have to ‘Give Way’.

 

As she stopped the car to look, a person we know came down the short hill on the other side of the junction and stopped to talk to her. I had stopped back a little way hoping to get a shot of either her spinning as she pulled away or of her struggling up the small hill opposite, having had to start at it from a ‘standing start’.

 

Unfortunately the snow had turned more to slush on this junction and part of the hill than when I had checked it earlier. She was therefore able to pull away without spinning and started up the hill. Her wheels span slightly as she got onto more snow the further up she went, but it was quite short and so she made it. (See fourth photo)

 

I now had to act fast. This was the one stage where my plan could go wrong!

 

I had to turn left and drive around two roads and try and park up at my chosen location halfway down the snow-covered hill, before she came into view at the bottom. I had to rely on her driving very slowly along the snow-covered road after the small hill up from the junction. The back end of her car is so twitchy on snow, I was fairly confident that I would beat her, as she was not likely to take any risks by driving too quickly. On the other hand, I was in a garage vehicle and didn’t care – I had a real stuck situation to film so needed to get a wiggle on!

 

I was just bringing my vehicle to a standstill (with the camera already running) as she came into view at the bottom of the hill. I had made it, but it was a close run thing! (see fifth photo)

 

I won’t spoil the anticipation of what happened next, but I was amazed at how the back end of that car slid around so much, every time she span her wheels whilst trying to get round the corner and up the hill. (See last five photos)

 

Luckily she is quite a determined person and was not going to give up after just a few attempts.  On the other hand perhaps it was the fact that I had teased her at breakfast that morning, telling her she was not a good enough driver on her own, to get her ‘useless’ car up one of the hills needed to reach our home!