One of the things I loved about both of my Vespas was the little hook under the seat. It was perfect for hanging things off – usually plastic bags full of Parma ham, tomatoes and fresh crusty rolls for the impromptu picnics I’d have beside some picturesque field in Tuscany.
The hooks can still be found on Vespas today. I’d use the one on my PX in Sydney to carry home takeaway Thai for example.
The other day I got an email from Steve Wadman telling me about an unusual use he found for the hook on his Vespa. I let him tell you about it in his own words:
“Last year my uncle died and I took a major part in helping my Mum with all of the arrangements. He had been cremated and my Mum kept putting off making a decision about disposing of the ashes. It was the anniversary of his death a couple of weeks ago and I suggested that it would be good to do something with them on this day. She agreed and I arranged with my brother and sister to all meet up at my mother’s house in Rottingdean.
It was a really hot day and I decided to ride the Vespa down to Brighton to collect the ashes form the Funeral Director who had been keeping them for us. I rode down in my shorts and T shirt and felt really positive as we could put some closure behind us after my uncle’s death.
I arrived at the Funeral Directors and went inside. I don’t know if you have ever seen the container for someone’s remains, but I was expecting a small container. I had given no thought to this matter and when I was presented with a box the size of a shoe box with my Uncle’s remains inside and it was quite heavy – I was somewhat taken aback. They had thoughtfully given me a carrier bag. When you do think about it there is the coffin and the body so there is naturally quite a lot of ashes at the end of the day.
I went outside to the scooter and I already had a change of clothes in the top box and some other odds and ends under the seat so you know what’s coming!!!!
That little hook under the seat came out and the carrier bag with the ashes fitted perfectly between my legs.
I set off to Rottingdean to my mother’s house and rode along the seafront about 6 miles with the ashes snuggly tucked in and hanging on that hook!!
So my uncle made his final journey on a Vespa and we then spread his ashes in the sea as he loved swimming at Rottingdean.
I am sure you will appreciate this tale as it brought a lovely smile to all my family when I turned up on the scooter with the ashes in this fashion.”
I wonder if that’s what Enrico Piaggio had in mind when he first suggested the hook to his designers back in the early fifties?