Bertie is the Botty's Multi-coloured family car. Yes, he has his own page so he can express himself, through us and explain some facts about his history and some of the places he's been.
Having a large family means a big car is useful to travel around in together. We used to have a Renault Espace but were forced to sell it to fund Zac's education. So we made do with a little car for a while, then saw this car for sale by the roadside. After a few enquiries, the botty's acquired Bertie in April 2001. He was named Bertie by the kids who called him "Bertie Bus". I added a little twist to it and said that his full name was Bertrand because he was French and I knew a guy called Bertrand Lichou when I worked at ST. Back then he was just a plain old Peugeot 505 GRD Family Estate, owned by some old boy who used to take his grandkids out when they were younger. Whether he knew then that the gearbox was about to go west and that it was an oil burning pig, we will never know! Anyway, we paid too much money and got him.
First to go was the gearbox. My neighbour John and I put a replacement in. Then, more major surgery as I had burnt all the oil dry and the engine seized. Good old John helped out again and we put in another diesel lump I got from a guy who sold me "Scrappy". Scrappy was nothing to do with that annoying little dog in the Scooby Doo cartoons, but was another 505 GRD that I bought for spares to keep Bertie running.
Anyhow, the upshot of this history is that because of all the work John and I had put in, we weren't going to let Bertie go quickly. His blue paint was old and tired, so as a family, we decided to give him a lick of paint. So the story begins...
We wanted something colourful and whacky and yet has meaning. I took some copies of the blueprint in the back of the handbook and began drawing on them. Lou and I asked the kids for ideas of decals to put on the car and they gave us some sketches and ideas. The resulting design was realised. The car was to represent all aspects of the world united by the rainbow. We wanted to express different cultures of the world in unity through the paintwork yet in a fun and colourful way. Generally speaking there are no hard and fast rules and we are open to requests for symbols. We do turn away from commercial stuff like Disney characters or Corporate Logos as a rule. Click here for a description of the decals on Bertie to date.
Bertie likes us to record all the places he has been and we do try to do this for him. He has been to may different places to date and more interesting journeys are planned. Click here for some of them: