During this period, grandad’s diary recorded a number of birthdays.
Each year, he noted grandma’s birthday on 8 May. He noted that she was 69 in 1970, 70 in 1971 and 71 in 1972. Also, he noted the number of cards she received – 24 in 1970, 27 in 1971, 29 in 1972, 27 in 1973 and 29 in 1974. He also noted that she received 11 letters in 1970.
He also noted his own birthday each year on 1 December. Each year, he noted his own age from 73 in 1970 to 77 in 1974. He also noted how many cards he received – 16 in 1970, 17 in 1971, 17 in 1972, 16 in 1973 and 17 in 1974. In 1974, because his birthday fell on a Sunday, he noted that most of his cards arrived on Monday 2 December.
A “Missing” £2 Present
In 1974, three days after her birthday, grandma (who was keeping grandad’s diary at this point because of grandad’s poor health [see Chapter 100]) noted that she went to see Mrs Davis who told her that she had sent a card with £2 in it. Grandma told her that she had never received it. But, later that day, grandma and grandad found it in a Chambers Encyclopedia.
I am not sure of the explanation for this or its significance. Clearly, someone opened the letter and then either put the money in the encyclopedia or perhaps it got in there inadvertently. Incidentally, Chambers Encyclopedia was founded in 1859 but went out of print in 1979. Grandad mentions buying one in 1919 (see Chapter 27).
Grandad noted that, for his birthday in December 1970, mum and dad bought him the New English Bible with “apocrafer”. Although the New Testament was published in 1961, the version with Old Testament and apocrypha was only published in March 1970
For his birthday in 1972, as a family, we gave grandad a pair of slipper bootees.
Grandad’s diary mentioned mum’s birthday most years but not in 1970. It did in 1971 when grandma and grandad gave her five pounds. In 1972, grandad noted that it was mum’s 38th birthday and, in 1973, he noted that she was 39. In 1974, he noted mum’s birthday and that we all went to theirs for tea.
Grandad did sometimes note our birthdays. This seems to have been more likely if we had a party that grandma attended, for example, Alans’ and Liz’s birthdays in 1970 and Liz’s birthdays in 1972 and 1973. In 1972, grandma stayed on after Liz’s party to help with a coffee evening for “the Coeliacs”. After Liz’s party in 1970, Ron Douglas brought grandma home. In 1973, grandma and Ron Douglas picked Caroline up from school and brought her to Liz’s party. Liz went back with them and slept at grandma and grandad’s as she was going to Caroline’s birthday party the next day.
In 1971, grandad commented that Tricia had a birthday party but noted that grandma did not go as she went to a concert at church.
Grandad did sometimes comment on how old we were. For example, he noted that Liz was five in 1970, seven in 1972 and eight in 1973. He also noted that Tricia was 13 in 1971 and 14 in 1972. However, during this period he did not mention my birthday or dad’s at all. Given that mum and dad split up in June 1973 (see Chapter 99), it is not surprising that grandad did not mention dad’s birthday after that but he did not mention it before then either.
Grandad rarely noted birthday presents they got for us. The exception was when Liz turned five in March 1970. As they had done for the rest of us (see Chapter 92), grandma and grandad bought Liz a watch. Three days before Liz’s birthday, grandma went by bus to Norwich and bought it from Tilletts for £3 13 0.
Other Birthdays and Parties
Grandad’s diary did record other birthdays and parties.
Their neighbour, Caroline Douglas was born on 13 March 1964. So, her birthday fell three days before Liz’s and she was a year older. Liz attended Caroline’s birthday parties between 1970 and 1973. In 1970, Caroline’s party was on the 14th and, in 1971, on the 13th. The choice of these dates appears to have been so that the party could be on a Saturday. On 18 March 1972, Alan and Liz went to grandma and grandad’s in the afternoon and Liz went to Caroline’s eighth birthday party. Robin Harrison picked them up later and also picked up grandma so she could go to see me in a play at my school (see Chapter 103). As mentioned above, in 1973, Liz slept over at grandma and grandad’s so she could attend Caroline’s party the next day.
On 21 April 1970, Linda Bell had her 21st birthday party. Grandad noted that they bought her six coffee spoons in a case.
Two years later, on 1 September 1972, Linda’s brother David had his 21st birthday party at the airport. Grandma and grandad gave him a box of handkerchiefs as a present.
Grandad noted that Irene Bell’s birthday was on 14th September, the day before mum’s birthday. But, in both 1972 and 1973, he noted it being her 49th birthday. While I do not know for sure, it seems she was born in 1923 which means she would have been 49 in 1972 and 50 in 1973.
On 23 November 1973, grandma went by bus to Mansfield for Auntie Bertha’s 90th birthday which was being held on the 24th. Barbara Carpenter took her to the bus station. She came back on the 26th.
Auntie Bertha was grandma’s mother’s younger sister, so grandma’s maternal aunt and my great, great aunt. She was born on 23 November 1883 so was 14 years younger than grandma’s mother Jane. She had two sons. The eldest Frank was always known as Jim to avoid confusion with his father, also Frank. The youngest was Bert, who was the father of Marilyn, mum’s friend and cousin. According to news articles at the time of her golden wedding, Auntie Bertha moved to Mansfield as a young girl with her married sister, presumably grandma’s mother. She worked for the printers W and J Linney until 1906 when she got married to Frank Seville.
During this period, Christmas continued to be a major family celebration.
Preparations were sometimes noted. For example, on 11 December 1972, grandad noted that grandma did a lot of her Christmas correspondence. On 4 December 1973, grandad noted giving mum a £100 cheque for Christmas. At this time, grandad referred to Christmas as Xmas (see Chapters 36 and 81).
Events Leading up to Christmas
There were various events leading up to Christmas. For example, on 21 December 1972, Tricia and her friend Sally had dinner and tea at grandma and grandad’s. They went with grandma to Drayton ladies meeting where they played the violin for a Christmas sing-song.
Auntie Dolly Visited Each Christmas
Auntie Dolly spent each Christmas during this period with grandma and grandad. In 1971, Tom and Amy Wilson also spent Christmas with them. From 1970 to 1972, grandma, grandad and Auntie Dolly came to us for Christmas Day. In 1971, Tom and Amy came too. They usually came after grandma and Auntie Dolly had been to morning service. Auntie Dolly did not go to church on Christmas morning in 1970 as she had a cold but she still came to spend the day with us.
From 1973, Dad Used to Come to Ours for Christmas
Grandma, grandad and Auntie Dolly no longer came to us on Christmas Day from 1973 onwards. This was because mum and dad had split up (see Chapter 99). Dad came to ours for Christmas and presumably it was felt better that grandma and grandad did not come at the same time. In 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly did come to ours for tea on the 27th. I don’t know if this means that dad had left by then. Grandad did not come which could just have been that he relatively rarely went to things that were organised outside his house but it could also have been because dad would have been there.
We Went to Grandma and Grandad’s Over the Christmas Period
We sometimes went to grandma and grandad’s on Boxing Day, for example in 1970. But, we also went on different days. For example, in 1972, we went on Christmas Eve as that was a Sunday. We went for the same reason on 22 and 29 December 1974. On the 22nd, grandma and grandad watched “The Messiah” from the Royal Albert Hall. Grandad noted that it was given by amateurs. This was the first so-called “Scratch Messiah” at the Albert Hall where it is now performed annually. It was broadcast on BBC2 at 17.40.
We also went to grandma and grandad’s for dinner and tea on Christmas Eve in 1973. But, this was because they were not coming to ours on Christmas Day as they had in previous years. In 1974, we went there for dinner and tea on the 27th.
Other People Visited Grandma and Grandad Over Christmas
In 1973, Arthur and Rose Elsegood came round to grandma and grandad’s in the evening on Christmas Day. On Boxing Day, grandma and Auntie Dolly visited the Elsegoods and the Hodsons. In 1974, Arthur and Rose Elsegood were due to come on Christmas Day but did not as Arthur had flu (see Chapter 100). Grandad referred to both Christmas Day and Boxing Day being quiet as it was just him, grandma and Auntie Dolly both days.
Grandad largely did not note Christmas presents during this period but he did note that, in 1974, he received a drill from us and grandma received a Parker ball pen.
Although my recollections of family fireworks are from Middletons Lane (See Chapter 81), it seems that we had fireworks at grandma and grandad’s from 1972 to 1974. I do not recall this but it probably makes sense as I do not recall having fireworks at either Waverley Road or College Road. I am not sure how happy grandad was about having fireworks at theirs. In both 1972 and 1973, he noted that he spent the following day clearing up after the fireworks!
Toys and Games
There were relatively few references to games and toys during this period.
A Car Port
In August 1970, mum took grandad the car port that he had made for us (see Chapter 94). Apparently, he thought we had had our play out of it so he was going to pull it to pieces.
A Climbing Frame
In January 1971, grandad went with mum to the house in Middletons Lane to pull the climbing frame to pieces (see Chapter 102). He had made a climbing frame for church in May 1967 (see Chapter 90). He and grandma gave us a climbing frame for Christmas in 1967 and I presume he had made this.
Mum also referred to playing whist while on holiday in Scotland in May 1972.
In January 1974, grandma went to Norwich and bought a game called Scrabble for £4.10. Although there were similar games with different names before this, the name Scrabble was first used in America in 1948 with sets first being sold in the UK in 1955.
Books and Reading
Grandad did not make much reference to books or reading during this period. But, he did note that grandma went to the library for him in November 1970. He also noted, in August 1971, that Mr Elsegood brought him a bulb for the reading lamp he had given him the previous month. Grandad noted that this cost 62½p. In February 1974, grandad noted that he and grandma put his books back in his bookcase after the lounge had been redecorated and just after grandad had come out of hospital (see Chapter 100).
Grandad largely did not note the television programmes he watched during this period.
The Golden Shot
However, he did note, in August 1974, watching “Golden Shot” after tea. I recall this being a Sunday afternoon ritual during my childhood (see Chapter 76). I also recall it being presented by Bob Monkhouse and featuring “Bernie the bolt”.
Sunday Tea at Grandma and Grandad’s
During this period, as in the late sixties (see Chapter 92), we used to go to grandma and grandad’s for tea most Sundays. I think we mostly went by car, particularly after we moved from Hellesdon at the end of 1970 (see Chapter 102). But, in April 1970, grandad noted that Alan and Liz came on their bikes with Tricia running beside them Tricia would have been nearly 12, Alan nearly eight and Liz just turned five. Mum and Robin Harrison came later in the car. On 4 August 1974, grandad noted that mum had picked me up from Thorpe Station before coming for tea.
Sometimes One or More of Us Did Not Go for Sunday Tea
Sometimes, one or more of us did not go. Reasons included attending other activities, such as parties, having friends round, visiting friends, doing particular activities, watching football on TV, being away, problems with the car or being ill.
I did not go to grandma and grandad’s for tea on one Sunday in March 1970 as I was attending a party. This was also the case for Tricia in October 1970, Alan in February 1973 and Liz in October 1973.
Having Friends Round
On 2 July 1972, Tricia did not come for tea at grandma and grandad’s as she had some friends at home.
On 28 January 1973, Tricia did not come for tea at grandma and grandad’s as she had gone to see her friend, Sally.
Doing Particular Activities
On 19 May 1974, we did not go for tea at grandma and grandad’s as Liz was doing a sponsored walk. Tricia was also away in London for a youth event, the MAYC London weekend (see Chapter 107).
Watching Football on TV
On 23 and 30 June 1974, Alan and I did not go for tea at grandma and grandad’s as we were watching football. This was probably the World Cup. On the 23rd, the BBC showed the Netherlands Bulgaria game which the Netherlands won 4-1 to win their group. ITV showed Sweden Uruguay which Sweden won 3-0 to finish second in the group. These were the final group games of Group 3. On the 30th, ITV showed Netherlands East Germany which the Netherlands won 2-0. The BBC showed Poland Yugoslavia which Poland won 2-1. These games were in Group A which was one of two second round groups. The group winners (West Germany and the Netherlands) went into the final whereas the two second-placed teams (Poland and Brazil) played for third place.
Sometimes, one or more of us did not go for Sunday tea at grandma and grandad’s because we were away.
On 26 April 1970, dad and I did not go for tea as we had gone to Kirkby.
Youth Hostelling in Derbyshire
The next month, on 24 May 1970, dad, Alan and I did not go for tea as we had gone in the car “for a ramble” in Derbyshire and this holiday is covered later in this chapter.
The following year, on 30 May 1971, grandad noted that Tricia did not come for tea as she had gone camping because Monday was Spring Bank Holiday. Again, this holiday is referred to in more detail later in this chapter. That same year, on 22 August, grandad noted that I did not come for tea as I had gone camping in the New Forest. This was with Scouts and is covered later in this chapter. On 26 May 1974, Alan did not come for tea as he was at camp.
The following year, on 30 January 1972, dad did not come for tea as he had gone to London but grandad did not note why.
Holiday in Scotland
That same year, on 14 May, mum did not come to grandma and grandad’s for tea as she was on holiday in Scotland.
Two months later, on 23 July, Tricia did not go for tea as she had gone on an exchange visit to Yugoslavia. Also, Tricia missed on 6 August as she only got back from Yugoslavia at midnight. There is no mention of any of us going there on 30 July.
The following year, on 15 April 1973, neither Tricia nor I went for tea as we were in France on school trips. By the 22nd, I was back but Tricia was still in France.
On 19 August 1973, Tricia is not noted as coming for tea but grandad did not say why. But, on the 26th, he noted she was still in Switzerland. I don’t know for sure if this was a school trip but it may have been.
On 12 August 1973, grandad noted that Alan and Liz had not come for tea as they had gone to Butlins in Clacton with dad (see Chapter 99).
On 1 September 1974, Alan and Liz did not come for tea as they had gone to dad’s in Ilford. One thing that is odd about this entry is that grandad refers to Tricia as “Pat” which no-one ever did. I thought grandad was against doing this but it could have been that this came mostly from dad.
The next month, on 27 October, we did not go to grandma and grandad’s for tea. The previous day, mum had taken us to dad’s in Ilford. Mum had come home but we had stayed with dad.
The month after that, on 24 November, Alan did not come for tea as he had gone to a football match with dad. I am not sure what football match it was. Norwich did not play that day. Dad was involved with Ilford football club and they played the FA Cup first round proper away against Romford. Ilford won 2-0. They played Southend at home in the second round proper on 14 December 1974 and lost 2-0. Apparently, for that game there were 3,486 spectators. This was their joint best ever performance in the FA Cup (see Chapter 112).
Problems with the Car
On 17 February 1974, grandad noted that mum did not come for tea as the car’s battery was flat.
Illness was only given as the reason for not going to grandma and grandad’s for Sunday tea on three occasions over this entire period. On each occasion, it was Alan who was affected (see Chapter 100). On 5 April 1970, neither dad nor Alan went as Alan was ill. That same year, on 22 November, although we all went for tea, grandad noted that Alan was not too well.The following year, on 28 November 1971, grandma came to ours for tea as Alan was not well enough to go to theirs.
Absent Without Reason
Sometimes, no reason was given for not going to Sunday tea at grandma and grandad’s. Occasions included me and dad on 26 August 1972; Tricia on 26 November 1972; Tricia on 18 March 1973; Tricia and Liz on 1 April 1973; me, Tricia and Alan on 1 July 1973; all of us on 6 January 1974; Liz on 14 July 1974; Tricia on 21 July 1974; and me and Tricia on 8 September 1974.
Dad Stopped Coming to Grandma and Grandad’s for Tea After He and Mum Split Up
That year, on 13 May and on 17 and 24 June 1973, grandad did not mention dad coming for tea but did not say why. But, things may have been particularly bad between mum and dad at this point as they split up in June 1973 (see Chapter 99).
Sometimes, before that, the reasons given for dad not coming seem unconvincing and I wonder if there had either been a general row or he specifically did not want to come. For example, on 3 May 1970, dad went out in the car instead of coming with us. Also, on 29 April 1973, dad did not come for tea as “he had some work to do”. This latter occasion was only two months before mum and dad split up so the reason given seems implausible.
On 5 August 1973, grandad noted that dad did not come for tea anymore.
Variations on Sunday Tea
Occasionally, we went to grandma and grandad’s on a Sunday but did not stay for tea, e.g. on 28 February 1972, or came after tea, e.g. on 18 October 1970. On other occasions, we had both Sunday dinner and tea at grandma and grandad’s, e.g. on 25 August 1974.
Other People Came With Us for Tea at Grandma and Grandad’s
On some occasions, other people came with us for Sunday tea at grandma and grandad’s. These particularly included Robin Harrison and Caroline Douglas, Liz’s friend and grandma and grandad’s next-door neighbour.
For more details of Robin Harrison, see Chapter 99. Robin is mentioned as coming for tea on Sunday afternoon at grandma and grandad’s many times including particularly in 1970, e.g. on 29 March; 12 and 26 April; 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 May; 7, 14, 21 and 28 June; 12 July; and 2 and 23 August 1970. It is likely he came at other times without grandad specifically noting this. On 2 April 1972, grandad noted that we came in two cars, including Robin’s.
For example, Caroline came on 10 December 1972. She also sometimes came for meals by herself, for example for dinner on 22 and 25 July 1974.
The Leaches and Exchange Students
Other people who came with us included Derrick, Mary and Kathryn Leach in April 1970 and exchange students from Yugoslavia in July 1972, France in August/September 1972 and Germany in March 1974. For more details of those exchanges see Chapter 103.
Activities When We Went for Tea
Sometimes, but not often, grandad noted activities that we did when we came for tea. For example, on 24 June 1973, grandad noted that it was so hot that, when we came for tea, Alan brought his paddling pool. He noted that Alan, Caroline and Liz enjoyed playing in the water.
Going to Grandma and Grandad’s at Other Times
We also went to grandma and grandad’s at other times but there was no particular regularity to these visits although we did sometimes go on bank holidays, for example on 28 May 1973, which was Spring Bank Holiday. The visits were probably more frequently in school holidays. Sometimes we went for meals, to stay over, to do jobs or, on one occasion, to collect a book.
Other Meals at Grandma and Grandad’s
On 30 January 1970, mum had dinner at grandma and grandad’s and then went into Norwich with grandma. The following year, on 5 August 1971, Tricia went there for dinner. In the afternoon, she, grandma and Alan went to a garden and house party at Mr and Mrs Hodson’s. Then Tricia and Alan both went home. Two months later, on Tuesday 26th October, the four of us went for dinner. We came home on the bus at quarter to five. Tricia was 13, I was 11, Alan was nine and Liz was six.
The next year, on 21 July 1972, Alan, Liz and I went there for dinner and part of the afternoon. The year after, on 27 February 1973, Tricia, Alan, Liz and I went there by bus for dinner. Two months later, on 17 April 1973, mum, Alan and Liz went to grandma and grandad’s. Liz stayed for dinner but Alan and mum left after mum had cut the lawns. That same year, on Wednesday 29 August 1973, mum, Tricia, Alan and Liz went for dinner at grandma and grandad’s. I don’t know why I did not go. Tricia had arrived back from Switzerland that day at about 12.15.
The following year, on 4 January 1974, Alan, Liz and I went for dinner at grandma and grandad’s. That same year, on 31 July, Alan and Liz went to grandma and grandad’s for dinner and tea. At the end of that year, on 6 December 1974, Liz went to grandma and grandad’s for dinner and tea. Grandma met her in Norwich in the morning.
On 29 July 1971, Tricia and Alan went to grandma and grandad’s on the bus. Alan stayed there for a holiday. Tricia went into Norwich after dinner. The next day, grandma and Alan went into Norwich. Grandma went to a meeting and Alan went to mum’s office (see Chapter 105). Grandma bought a weekend ticket for her and Alan to go on the buses. This cost £1 for her and 50p for Alan. On the 31st, they used the bus tickets to go to Caister Castle, Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Oulton Broad. They called at ours before heading back to Drayton. On 1 August, they used their weekend bus tickets to go to Wroxham.
On 15 November 1974, Liz went to grandma and grandad’s for the weekend. Then, on the 16th, she went to Norwich with Ron and Caroline Douglas. That night, Caroline slept over with Liz. The next day, the rest of us came for tea and picked Liz up.
On 7 April 1972, Alan went to grandma and grandad’s for “bob a job”. Although “bob a job” was particularly associated with Scouts, I don’t think Alan was ever in Scouts but he may have been in Cubs, which I was not. Cubs certainly did “bob a job” at this particular time. It is also possible that Boys Brigade did “bob a job” but I am not sure.
Also, on 24 July 1973, Alan went to grandma and grandad’s to do odd jobs to earn money for his holiday in August.
The year after that, on 30 July 1974, Alan and Liz went there for the day. Grandad noted they did some work.
Collecting a Book
On 24 November 1973, I went to grandma and grandad’s on my bike for a book. This was a four-mile bike ride. I was 13. Sadly, I don’t know what the book was.
Going For No Reason
Sometimes we went for no specified reason. For example, on 6 January 1970, Tricia walked to grandma and grandad’s from Hellesdon and mum picked her up from there. The following year, on 3 August 1971, Tricia went to grandma and grandad’s for the day.
Sometimes Grandma and Grandad Came to Ours
On 19 November 1974, David Johnson picked up grandma and grandad and brought them to ours. Mum had gone to Ipswich. I think grandma and grandad must have stayed overnight as they were also there on the 20th.
Grandma and Grandad Had Lots of Visitors During this Period
During this period, grandma and grandad had a lot of visitors.
Tom and Amy Wilson
Their Visits Were More Limited Because of Tom’s Poor Health
Tom and Amy visited 14 times together and Amy came one further time on her own. While this still represented almost three visits per year, it was fewer than in the late sixties (see Chapter 92) largely because of Tom’s health (see Chapter 100). On 26 June 1971, Amy phoned to say that Tom was ill and they would not be able to come on Sunday the 27th as they had planned. They did not come until September 1971 which grandad noted was the first time that year. This may explain why there are photos of that visit.
The Last Time Tom and Amy Stayed with Grandma and Grandad was August 1973
The last time they both stayed with grandma and grandad was August 1973. They did come once after that, in September 1973, but they were staying in Cromer. Amy visited on her own in September 1974 but Tom was not well enough to come.
Grandad’s Poor Health Affected His Ability to Go Out with Tom and Amy
Grandad’s health may also have been a factor. It certainly restricted the amount he could go out with them after November 1971. Nevertheless, during the early part of this period, the four of them travelled to places as they had in the 1960s.
Places Tom and Amy Visited
Places Tom and Amy visited while they were with grandma and grandad included Aldeburgh, Bacton, Bracon Ash, Bramerton (including Bramerton Woods End), Coltishall, Cromer, Fakenham, Gorleston, Haddiscoe, Horning, Lowestoft, Ludham, New Buckenham, North Walsham, Norwich, Ormesby, Overstrand, Reedham Riverside, Southwold, Stalham, St Faiths, Taverham, Walcott, Weasenham, Wells, Wroxham, Wymondham and Yarmouth.
On 10 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went on a trip to North Walsham through Bacton.
On 8 November 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Bracon Ash to see a house Ken Bell was building. They came home via New Buckenham and ours. They also went to Bracon Ash on 18 April 1972.
Bramerton including Bramerton Woods End
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy ate their tea there on 22 September 1970. On 12 September 1971, they all went there with Ray Cirket.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy took their teas here on 19 April 1970.
On 14 September 1971, grandma. Grandad, Tom and Amy went to Gorleston with Ray Cirket and came home via Ormesby and Wroxham. On 30 October 1972, Tom, Amy and grandma went to Yarmouth and Gorleston. Grandad wrote “they had at Gorlestone (Matthes)”. Presumably, he meant dinner or tea.
On 15 September 1971. grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Lowestoft with Ray Cirket via Haddiscoe.
Grandma, Tom and Amy went to Horning on 27 October 1972 and on 13 April 1973. Also, in June 1972, they visited both Ludham and Horning.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Lowestoft on 15 September 1970 to see the new Methodist church (see Chapter 107). The following year to the day, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Lowestoft via Haddiscoe with Ray Cirket. They went again on 3 November 1971. Grandad was able to go with them although he had not been well enough to go to Yarmouth the previous day.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy came home from Yarmouth via Ludham and Wroxham in September 1970. In June 1972, grandma went with Tom and Amy to visit Ludham and Horning.
On 8 November 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy came home from Bracon Ash via New Buckenham.
On 10 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went with Ray Cirket to North Walsham via Bacton, Walcott, Stalham, Wroxham and St Faiths.
They sometimes went into Norwich. On 4 December 1970, grandad noted that they parked in St Andrew’s car park. On 17 September 1971, grandma, Tom, Amy and Ray Cirket went into Norwich.
On 14 September 1971, grandma. Grandad, Tom and Amy went to Gorleston with Ray Cirket and came home via Ormesby and Wroxham. They also came home via Ormesby and Wroxham after having visited Yarmouth in June 1972.
They mainly went there to visit George and Meddy Bailey but when grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went there on 21 April 1970, they found they were out. They did see them there when they visited on 6 July and 5 December 1970. On 16 September 1970, Tom and Amy again went to Overstrand but George and Meddy had gone to their son’s house. So, Tom and Amy went on to Weasenham, presumably to visit Amy’s cousin, and got back to Drayton at 7.30pm. On 17 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Overstrand to visit George and Meddy Bailey with Ray Cirket. The next year, on 13 June 1972, grandma, Tom and Amy went to Cromer and they also called to see George Bailey. On 25 August 1972, grandma went with Tom and Amy to visit Meddy Bailey and they came back via Walcott.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Reedham Riverside on 11 September 1971 with Ray Cirket. Grandma, Tom and Amy also went there on 27 August 1972, which was the bank holiday.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Southwold on 7 July 1970. Grandad noted that it was very hot and that he had never seen so many people on the beach. They also all went there on 8 September 1971, 10 November 1971 and 12 April 1972.
On 10 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went on a trip to North Walsham through Stalham.
On 10 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went on a trip to North Walsham through St Faiths. In St Faiths, all of them, except Tom, went to visit the crematorium.
On 15 June 1972, grandma, Tom and Amy went to Taverham to see a relative of Amy’s. Grandma, Tom and Amy also went there on 28 October 1972, in the morning, They took things to Taverham to a jumble sale that they went to in the afternoon.
On 10 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went on a trip to North Walsham through Walcott.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went to Weasenham to visit Amy’s cousin and his wife on 5 July 1970. Grandad, Tom and Amy went again on 18 September 1971. Grandma did not go as she had gone with Barbara Carpenter to take Ray Cirket home to Bedford and to visit Auntie Dolly.
Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy came home from Yarmouth via Ludham and Wroxham in September 1970. Also, on 10 September 1971, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy went with Ray Cirket to North Walsham via Wroxham. Four days later, they all came home from Gorleston via Wroxham. Grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy also came home via Wroxham after having visited Yarmouth in June 1972.
On 22 December 1971, grandma and grandad went with Tom and Amy to Wymondham.
On 20 April 1970, on the way back from Yarmouth, grandad, Tom and Amy dropped grandma in Norwich so that she could go to the hospital and to a meeting of the British Women’s Temperance Union. The next year, on 1 November 1971, Tom, Amy, grandma and grandad set off for Yarmouth but had to come home as grandad was not well (see Chapter 100). On the 2nd, grandma went with Tom and Amy to Yarmouth but grandad did not go. They did all manage to go on the 9th and again on 11 April and 8 June 1972. On 28 December 1971, grandma and Auntie Dolly went with Tom and Amy to Yarmouth. Grandad did not go as he had “water trouble”.
Going Out for a Run
Sometimes, they just went out in the car for what grandad described as a “little run”, for example on 14 April 1972. On 14 June 1972, grandma went out in the car with Tom and Amy but grandad did not note where they went. On 14 April 1973, there is an incomplete entry which reads “T A & E went to”. But, grandad did not state where they went.
Visiting Arthur Elsegood
Sometimes, when Tom was visiting, grandad and Tom went to call on Arthur Elsegood, for example, on 26 October 1972 and 23 October 1973. On 10 April 1973, grandma, grandad, Tom and Amy all went to visit Arthur Elsegood.
Visiting from Cromer
In September 1973, Tom and Amy visited grandma and grandad with Amy’s cousin Janet. They did not stay over. They were staying in Cromer on holiday for a few days.
Amy Also Came on her Own in 1974
On 20 September 1974, Amy came for the weekend. Tom had not been well enough to come. Ewart, Amy’s nephew brought her and he went on to Bungay. On the 22nd, he came from Bungay about 4.20pm and took Amy home. She rang about 8pm to say she was back.
Another frequent visitor was Auntie Dolly who visited 20 times during this period. She came regularly four times per year, at Easter, around the Spring bank holiday in May, in the summer and at Christmas.
Visit Each May
For example, in 1970, she came for a long weekend from Thursday 28 May to Monday 2 June. This was immediately after the Spring Bank Holiday which fell on 26 May that year. The following year, in 1971, she came over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday to Wednesday. In 1972, she came on the Wednesday before the Spring Bank Holiday (24 May) and stayed almost two weeks going home on Monday 5 June. The next year, in 1973, she came on the Friday before Spring Bank Holiday and stayed until the following Thursday. In 1974, she came on the Thursday (23 May) before the bank holiday and stayed to the following Friday.
Auntie Dolly Came by Bus
She used to come on the bus and various people met her and/or dropped her off at the bus station, including mum, dad, grandma, Robin Harrison and Barbara Carpenter. For example, on 31 March 1972, when mum picked up Auntie Dolly from the bus station, Tricia, Alan and I went with her. On 21 December 1973, when Auntie Dolly arrived for Christmas, mum met her at the bus station but the bus was delayed so they only arrived at grandma and grandad’s at 10.25pm. Also, on 21 December 1972, Alan went with dad to pick up Auntie Dolly from the bus station. On 18 August 1972, Robin picked Auntie Dolly up to take her to the bus station as we were on holiday in Cornwall and Devon. On 1 June 1973, Barbara Carpenter gave Auntie Dolly a lift to the bus station.
The Pyjama Story
On 29 December 1971, dad called for Auntie Dolly to take her to the bus but he was too late for the Bedford bus so took her to Bedford. Grandad noted that he still had his pajamas on. This was one of dad’s favourite stories which he told us many times (see Chapter 92).
Sometimes There Were Problems with the Bus
In May 1974, Auntie Dolly phoned to say the coach was late because of two punctures. As a result, grandma and Auntie Dolly came home by taxi and only arrived at 10.25pm.
Mrs Smith Accompanied Auntie Dolly Home in 1973
On 27 April 1973, Barbara Carpenter’s mother accompanied Auntie Dolly home on the bus. When they got to Bedford, Mrs Smith continued to Bristol.
Activities While with Grandma and Grandad
While Auntie Dolly was with grandma and grandad, she did things with grandma including coming to ours, visiting friends, going shopping in Norwich and walking.
Auntie Dolly Visited Ours
These visits included for a coffee evening in August 1971. In August 1973, mum showed Auntie Dolly the house in College Road (see Chapter 102). On 10 April 1974, Auntie Dolly and grandma went to Norwich and then to “Sheila’s” although “Sheila’s” was crossed out. I wonder if this means they had planned to visit us but did not. Auntie Dolly and grandma did come to ours for tea on 13 April 1974.
Auntie Dolly and Grandma Went Together to Visit Friends
These visited included to Miss Cooke for tea in March 1970. In April 1972, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Irene Bell’s to listen to records. Two years later, in April 1974, Auntie Dolly and grandma went to the Elsegoods. Arthur came to see grandad. That same month, Arthur and Rose Elsegood came for tea. The next month, in May 1974, Auntie Dolly and grandma went to see Mrs Hodson. In August 1974, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Mrs Cooper’s in the morning and to Mrs Hodson’s at night.
Auntie Dolly and Grandma Went Shopping in Norwich
One example of this was on 29 and 30 May 1970.
Auntie Dolly and Grandma Sometimes Went for Walks Together
For example, they walked to Mile Cross on 28 August 1970.
Grandma and Auntie Dolly also Visited Places Together
They also went various places together by bus including to Blakeney, Clacton, Cromer, Felixstowe, Holkham Hall, Holt, Ipswich, Long Stratton, Lowestoft, Mundesley, Norwich, Sheringham, Walcott, Wymondham, Yarmouth and round the Norfolk coast.
On 3 August 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly went into Norwich. They bought a 50p bus ticket and went to Blakeney, Holt and Cromer. They got home at 8.10pm.
Grandma and Auntie Dolly also went by bus to Cromer on the Tuesday after Spring Bank Holiday in May 1973 and on the Spring Bank Holiday itself in 1974. On 19 August 1974, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Cromer. Before they went, grandma did her canteen duty at the hospital with Irene Bell. Grandma and Auntie Dolly had lunch in the city but apparently it was not very good. They caught the 1.10pm bus to Cromer and had a “lovely afternoon on the pier”.
They went to Holkham Hall in August 1971. When on the bus, grandma realized she had left the tickets at home. She was asked to take them in on Thursday 19th. I am not sure if that day was chosen because they were taking another bus trip that day but they did – round part of the Norfolk coast.
On 3 August 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly went into Norwich. They bought a 50p bus ticket and went to Blakeney, Holt and Cromer. They got home at 8.10pm.
On 21 August 1974, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to catch the 9.15am bus but it did not run. They went on the 9.45 and just caught the 10.25 bus to Mundesley. They had a “jolly good day” and got home at 6 o’clock.
Grandma and Auntie Dolly often went into Norwich including to Eaton Park. On 24 May 1974, Auntie Dolly and grandma had lunch in Norwich. Grandad had gone in with them to get new glasses but he came home with mum. Barbara Carpenter came in for tea that day.
On the Spring Bank Holiday in 1971, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Walcott with “Sheila etc” which I assume refers to us as a family.
Special Bus Tickets
Grandad noted that, in August 1970, grandma and Auntie Dolly bought a £2 bus ticket allowing them to travel anywhere on Eastern Counties Buses. They used this for five days bus travel that would have otherwise cost them £4 15 7 each.
Visiting Doris Cirket in Hastings
During her visit in May 1972, grandma and Auntie Dolly went by bus to London to then go on to visit Doris Cirket in Hastings. They went on 26 May 1972 and came back on 31 May 1972. They had a taxi to the bus station as dad had a puncture but mum picked them up when they got back.
A number of Other Visitors Came to Grandma and Grandad’s During this Period.
Grandad’s sister came in May 1970. Her daughter and son-in-law, Olive and Alf brought her. Grandad described her health as fair but noted that she could not walk without assistance.
Jack and Eileen Fawthrop
Jack and Eileen visited on 26 May 1970 from 10.30am to 3pm. They had a caravan with them. They had spent a long weekend in Norfolk. The next year, they came again on 11 April 1971 with Eileen’s mother from Ludham for a couple of hours in the evening. On 21 September 1973, they came for the night. They were going for a holiday on the Broads the next day.
Arthur and Jessie Lofthouse
They visited in July 1970. They came by bus from Buxton changing in Nottingham. While they were with grandma and grandad, they walked on their own to Costessey and Taverham and with grandma to the caravan site in Drayton. They also played bowls in the garden with grandma on at least one occasion. They also did bus trips to Cromer, Felixstowe, Hunstanton, Sandringham and Wroxham. When in Wroxham, they also did a broads tour. One day, they had planned to go on a bus trip to Clacton but, as they were the only people who had booked, they went to Southwold, Lowestoft and Yarmouth instead.
Simon, Joyce and Emma Parkin
They came twice in May 1971 while on holiday in Sheringham.
Gertie’s Nephew and Wife
I am not entirely sure who they were. They came in June 1971 from where they were on holiday in Mundesley.
She came in June 1971. She was over from the United States visiting her parents.
Grandma’s brother came from 8-18 September 1971 at the same time as Tom and Amy were with grandma and grandad. He came by bus and mum picked him up from Norwich bus station. On the 13th, they all came to ours. Apparently, Ray was very interested in mum and dad’s Hi Fi and stayed longer. Dad took him home to grandma and grandad’s later. On the 18th, Barbara Carpenter was going to a wedding in Bedford. She took grandma for the day to visit Auntie Dolly and also took Ray home. That evening, Amy came babysitting at ours and grandma joined her when she got back from Bedford. Robin brought them home about 9.15pm.
Jack and Phyllis Attwood
They came three times in 1971 and 1972. The first time was from 21 September 1971. The next day, grandma and grandad went with them to Southwold. On the 23rd, Jack and Phyllis went to Blakeney and Wells. The day after that, on the 24th, grandma went with them into Norwich and they then came to ours. On the 25th, they left for home about 1.30pm.
They came again on 16 May 1972. Jack brought his violin for Arthur Elsegood to repair. Tom and Amy took the repaired violin back to Jack in June 1972. On 18 May 1972, Jack and Phyllis went to Cromer and Sheringham. After tea, Robin picked them up as they went to help mum with Coeliac visitors. On the 19th, grandma went with Jack and Phyllis to Wroxham. The next day, on the 20th, after dinner, Jack and Phyllis went home.
That same year, on 21 November 1972, they came again for a few days holiday. The next day, grandad noted that grandma went with Jack and Phyllis on a “country run”. On the 23rd, Phyllis and Jack went to Overstrand. In the evening, Arthur Elsegood and his wife came round. Jack showed some of his cine film and grandad showed some of his stills. On the 24th, Jack and grandad went to Arthur Elsegood’s. In the afternoon, grandma went with Jack and Phyllis into Norwich. In the evening, grandma and Phyllis went to a shoe sale at Irene Bell’s. Phyllis bought two pairs but, apparently, there were none to fit grandma. On the 25th, Jack and Phyllis left for home at about 11am.
Jim and Renie Seville
Jim and Renie visited twice over this period. The first was from 31 August 1972. Grandad was referring to Jim as Frank at this point. On 1 September 1972, Jim and Renie went into Norwich and, on the 2nd, they went to Yarmouth. A couple of day later, on the 4th, they went to Cromer. On the 5th, grandma, Jim and Renie came to ours for tea. The next day, on the 6th, Jim and Renie went with mum, Tricia and a French girl, who was staying with Tricia, to Sandringham and Hunstanton. Jim and Renie left for home on the 7th. They got the 8.15am bus into Norwich to get the 9.15am bus to Nottingham.
On 16 September 1974, Jim and Renie came again for a few days. On the 17th, they went into Norwich in the afternoon. The next day, on the 18th, they went to Sheringham. On the 19th, they went into Norwich. Mum met them there and brought them to ours for tea. She took them back to grandma and grandad’s at 8.10pm. On the 20th, Jim and Renie went home by bus.
On 25 June 1973, Florrie Booth came to visit. Grandma met her at the bus station. On the 29th, grandma and Florrie came to ours for tea and also came to visit me in hospital (see Chapter 100). The next day, on the 30th, they walked to Drayton in the afternoon. Florrie went home on 6 July 1973. Grandma went with her on the bus as she was looking after Auntie Bertha while Jim and Renie went for a holiday to Llandudno. Ron Douglas took grandma and Florrie to the bus station. Grandma got back on the 15th and Ron met her at the bus station.
Auntie Bertha Visited…
On 29 May 1974, Auntie Bertha came. Mum and I “fetched her”. I am not sure if this was from Mansfield but I think it was. Liz went to grandma and grandad’s for the day. Grandma took Caroline and Liz down the woods. On 15 June 1974, Auntie Bertha and Irene sat outside. Mrs Hodson came for tea. On 5 July 1974, grandma, Auntie Bertha, mum, Alan and Liz went to fetch Mrs Davis. That same month, on the 24th, grandad and Auntie Bertha went to see Irene Bell’s kitchen. Mrs Davis came in for tea. On 31 July, Auntie Bertha went to 162 to hear “MA” and record. I am not sure what “MA” referred to.
…And Stayed for 2½ Months
On 4 August 1974, mum took Auntie Bertha to see the house in College Road (see Chapter 102). The next day, grandma and Auntie Bertha went to Irene’s to hear Harry Secombe. Auntie Bertha walked as far as the post box. The following day, Auntie Bertha went to Mrs Davis and grandad went to Irene Bell’s on his own. The day after that, grandma noted that they had ten folk round to say goodbye to Auntie Bertha. Mum took her home on the 8th. She had been there for 2½ months. We went to grandma and grandad’s. Tricia and I went on our bikes. Alan was not too well but he improved. Grandma wrote that “E came with S& A” which I assume means Liz went with mum and Auntie Bertha.
In May 1970, grandma and grandad hosted a Methodist missionary from Rhodesia, called Miss Day. On the Saturday, grandma took Miss Day into Norwich and took her to see the Cathedral and other places of interest.
In March 1972, grandad noted that Barbara Carpenter’s mother came for a holiday. It is not completely clear if she came to Barbara’s or if she came from Barbara’s to grandma and grandad’s. A week after she came, she and grandma went to visit Mrs James. I believe this was Alice May James who was involved in Drayton ladies’ meeting.
Who Do I Recall?
Of these people, I recall Tom and Amy, Auntie Dolly, Jim and Renie and Auntie Bertha. I do not recall other relatives, such as Ray, or grandma and grandad’s friends, such as Jack and Phyllis Attwood.
Local Friends Also Visited
During this period, a number of local friends and neighbours came to visit grandma and grandad. Grandma sometimes went to visit them but grandad rarely did with the exception perhaps of Arthur Elsegood with whom he shared an interest in woodworking.
Barbara Carpenter was their next-door neighbour. On 15 February 1973, grandma went to Barbara’s. That same month, grandma invited Barbara in for tea. Barbara had not been at work as she had a bad finger. On 3 August 1974, Barbara Carpenter came in and Arthur Elsegood also came. At the end of that month, Barbara Carpenter took grandma to see Mrs Davis at Eckling Grange. Grandma and Barbara had tea in Dereham.
The Bells lived on the other side of Barbara Carpenter. On 28 May 1974, Irene Bell came in. The next month, grandad went to see the sun lounge at 162. Grandma took him and Irene Bell brought him back. The month after that, Mrs Lefever and Irene Bell also visited. That same month, Arthur Elsegood, Mrs Cooper and Irene Bell came for coffee.
Clare was a friend of their other neighbour, Ron Douglas. In May 1974, grandad noted that Clare came in twice. In July 1974, Clare came in to tell grandma and grandad about her job. But, grandad did not specify what she told them.
Arthur and Rose Elsegood
For example, they came on 18 July 1972 with two friends. Also, on 12 June 1973, Arthur Elsegood visited grandad who noted “we did no work only with our tounges”. The next month, on 14 July 1973, Arthur Elsegood came to visit grandad. He came again later that month on the morning of the 27th.
The next year, on 15 February 1974, Arthur Elsegood came to see grandad in the morning. On 2 May 1974, Arthur Elsegood came and sat with grandad while grandma went to a meeting in the evening. That same month, on the 15th, Arthur Elsegood came and stayed all afternoon. The next month, on 9 June 1974, Arthur Elsegood came at 9.45am and Clarice at 10.30am.Later that month, on the 17th, Arthur Elsegood visited in the morning. On the 22nd, grandma went to see Mrs Davis and Arthur Elsegood came to see grandad.
The next month, on 8 July 1974, Arthur Elsegood came to see grandad. Three days later, Arthur Elsegood, Mrs Cooper and Irene Bell came for coffee. Later that month, on the 20th, Arthur and Rose Elsegood came for tea. On the 30th, Arthur Elsegood came in the morning and Rose in the afternoon. The following month, on 3 August 1974, Barbara Carpenter came in and Arthur Elsegood also came. On 29 October 1974, Arthur and Rose Elsegood came for tea. They stayed until about 9pm.
On 8 June 1974, grandma went to visit Mrs Davis. Later that month, grandma went to see Mrs Davis and Arthur Elsegood came to see grandad. On 31 August 1974, Barbara Carpenter took grandma to see Mrs Davis at Eckling Grange. They had tea in Dereham. Mrs Davis had moved there earlier that month following a fall (see Chapter 100).
On 9 July 1974, Mrs Lefever and Irene Bell also visited. Later that month, Mrs Lefever brought lavender.
Mr and Mrs Hodson
On 16 May 1974, Mr Hodson came.
On 14 June 1974, Mrs Cooper came. On 11 July 1974, Arthur Elsegood, Mrs Cooper and Irene Bell came for coffee.
On 11 July 1974, Mrs Hinchley brought two pounds of strawberries.
On 21 July 1974, Mr Gathergood came.
During this period, family members, particularly dad and grandma sometimes went to visit Kirkby and/or Mansfield. Dad went largely to see his parents, particularly his mother, given that his father died in March 1970, and grandma to see Auntie Bertha. They often went together going there and back in the same day.
On 1 March 1970, dad went to Kirkby to visit his dad who was very sick (see Chapter 100 – he died on 7 March 1970). He dropped grandma at Amy Wilson’s. She and Tom took grandma to Auntie Bertha’s for dinner. Dad and grandma came back the same day. Grandma arrived home about 11pm.
The next month, in April 1970, I went with dad to Kirkby. A few months later, while mum and Tricia were in Oberammergau, dad, Alan, Liz and I went to Kirkby. Two months after that, in October, dad and grandma went to Kirkby and Mansfield for the day. Dad went to see his mother and grandma went to see Auntie Bertha. They came home the same day arriving back at ten minutes to midnight. Dad went again to Kirkby again that month as his mother was ill.
At the end of October 1970, grandma went by bus to Mansfield. Mum took her to the bus station and Amy and Tom met her in Nottingham. She stayed in Mansfield until 8 November.
In March 1971, dad took grandma to Mansfield to see Auntie Bertha. Dad was seeing his mother in Kirkby. They came home the same day with grandma getting home at ten minutes to midnight. Two months later, in May 1971, grandma and dad went to Kirkby and Mansfield again. Dad went to see his mother and grandma went to see Auntie Bertha. They got back at 11.34pm. Later that year, in August 1971, grandma went by bus to Kirkby and Mansfield. On the last day of August, grandad noted that mum, Tricia, Alan, Liz and I “called for a chat” about 4pm, presumably because grandma was away. Mum called again on 3 September. Grandma came back on the 5th and grandad noted that she brought him a large cup and saucer which she had bought for fifty pence.
In January 1972, grandma again went with dad to Mansfield. Two months later, we all went to Kirkby for the day. Later that year, in June, dad took grandma to Mansfield. They left at 6.30am and returned at 10.20pm. The next month, grandma went by bus to Nottingham and Mansfield to visit Auntie Bertha. She came back on 2 August. Just before Christmas 1972, dad and I took grandma to see Auntie Bertha and we went on to see dad’s mother. We left Drayton at 6.25 am but came back early, leaving Kirkby at 4pm and arriving in Drayton at 7.40pm, because it was foggy.
At the end of May 1973, dad went to Kirkby. This is the last time grandad mentioned such trips. This does not mean that dad stopped visiting Kirkby. He did not. But, because mum and dad had split up, grandad no longer recorded what dad was doing.
Did Mum Visit Kirkby During This Period?
I don’t know if mum ever visited Kirkby during this period apart from the time we all went in March 1972. If she did, grandad did not record it. From memory, it was mainly dad I recall going to Kirkby when I was a child largely because his mother still lived there.
Other Places Visited
Family members visited a variety of different places during this period.
Grandma went to Bedford on a number of occasions. For example, on 6 March 1970, she went there by bus. Dad dropped her at Norwich bus station to get the 7.20am bus. She arrived back on 10 March. Mum picked her up from the bus station and she arrived home at 21.30. She brought with her grandad’s violin that he had loaned to Auntie Dolly and a banjo for grandad to look at.
The following year, on 23 July 1971, grandma went by bus to visit Auntie Dolly in Bedford. She came back on the 28th. Dad picked her up at the bus station and she got home about 9.20pm. The next year, in September 1972, grandma stayed on in Bedford for a couple of days to visit Auntie Dolly. This was after Ray’s wedding (see Chapter 101). She came back on 4 October and Robin Harrison met her at the bus station.
Ideal Homes Exhibition
On 2 March 1972, Irene Bell went to the Daily Mail’s Ideal Homes Exhibition in London. This started in 1908 and is now known as the Ideal Homes Show. In 2008, the association with the Daily Mail ended with the show now owned by Media 10. Irene went by bus with members of the Taverham Women’s Institute. It seems this group was established in 1957 and is still running.
Windsor Safari Park
That same year, in August 1972, grandma went with mum on a bus outing to Windsor Safari Park. Founded in 1969, the park closed in 1992.
In January 1973, grandma went with mum to Wymondham. Grandma went to visit Ellen and mum went to visit a friend.
The next month, grandma went to Taverham.
In July 1974, grandad noted that I went to London. He did not say why but I assume it was to visit dad. At the beginning of August, mum met me at Thorpe Station. I assume this was the same trip and that I was returning from London.
Sometimes, family members went to places in Norwich. For example, on 1 May 1971, grandma went on the 1.30pm bus to Wensum Park.
Family members took a number of different holidays during this period.
Oberammergau Passion Play 1970
In 1970, grandma, mum and Tricia went to the Oberammergau passion play. This dates back to 1634 and is held every ten years. Robin Harrison went too and I think they were part of a larger group who went on the trip. I found details of an advertised trip by Lunn Poly in February 1970. I don’t know why dad and the rest of us did not go. But, I suspect mum probably thought Tricia was old enough and the rest of us were not. I am not sure it would have been something that would have particularly interested dad but I could be wrong.
Towards the end of July 1970, grandma, mum and Robin organised the money they needed for the trip (see Chapter 104). On 3 August, grandma packed for the trip and they left the next day. Robin called for her at 6.15am.
Ferry from Dover to Ostend
They arrived in Dover at 3pm and to Ostende at 7.20pm. Grandad used the French spelling to refer to Ostend.
From there, they went to Bruges where grandma saw the belfry.
The next day , they left Bruges to go to Trier.
The following day, they left Trier for Strasbourg where grandma visited the cathedral.
Innsbruck and Achensee
On the 7th, they left Strasbourg to Innsbruck and on to Achensee where they stayed for five days. The next day, grandma climbed part of the way up a mountain. Grandad did not say which one. Mum, Robin and Tricia climbed all the way to the top.
The following day, grandma and the party went to a Roman Catholic church service. Cyril Blount took the service. I am not entirely sure who this was but it seems he was a Methodist Minister who was chaplain in Norwich from 1966 to 1976. Apparently, he came to Norwich from Harlow in 1966.
In the evening, they went by coach to Innsbruck. On the 10th, they went to Innsbruck including to the castle, probably Ambras castle. Grandma bought a folding umbrella for 160 schillings which grandad noted was 53/4. They all met up at 1pm and took the cable train up the mountain where they had dinner in a café but the mist was too bad to see the view.
Rattenburg and Erfurter Hut
On the 11th, they went to Rattenburg then on a cable car up to Erfurter Hut at 6,200 feet.
The next day, they went down the valley of the river Ziller.
Lake Achensee and Pertisau
In the afternoon, grandma went with Hugh and Michael on the Lake Achensee to Pertisau. I am not entirely sure who they were. The following day, they left Achensee for Oberammergau.
On the 14th, they saw the passion play from 8am to 5.15pm with a two-hour break for dinner.
On the 15th, they left Oberammergau at 7.30am for Switzerland. They went through Liechtenstein and saw the Alps and Lake Lucerne. They stayed at Wolfenschiessen that night,
The next day, they left Wolfenschiessen at 8.30am and travelled for 12 hours to Reims which grandad spelled Rheims. They went to the cathedral. They stayed the night at the Grand Hotel Continental which now seems to be known just as the Hotel Continental.
On the 17th, they left Rheims at 8.30am and travelled to Ostende. They left there at 3.30pm and arrived back in Felixstowe at 7.25pm. It appears that they went via Dover but came back via Felixstowe. It appears that they went via Dover but came back via Felixstowe. They left there about 8pm and arrived home at 1.55am the next day.
Taverham Film Show
On 25 March 1972, grandma went to a film show at Taverham. Grandad noted “Ober” which I assume means that the film show was about the Oberammergau trip.
No Family Holiday in 1970
The Oberammergau trip meant that we did not have a family holiday in 1970, e.g. at Butlins as we had in previous years (see Chapter 92).
A “Ramble” in Derbyshire
However, grandad noted, on 24 May 1970, that dad, Alan and I did not go for tea as we had gone in the car “for a ramble” in Derbyshire. I don’t think this would have been a day trip so probably relates to one of the youth hostelling trips I did with dad around that time. However, I don’t recall precisely how many such youth hostelling holidays I had with dad and it is somewhat hard to piece together from grandad’s diary but there were definitely two with dad and Tricia in 1968 and 1969 respectively (see Chapter 92).
Youth Hostelling with Dad and Alan
Then there was this one with dad and Alan. I suspect the main reason Tricia did not come this year was that she went on the Oberammergau trip with mum. Also, Alan, who was nearly eight at this point might now have been considered old enough for such a holiday. I definitely recall going with Tricia and Alan separately but not together. As far as I recall, I never went on such a holiday with Liz. One issue might have been the rule that children under the age of nine needed to be accompanied by the parent of the same sex. This was not an issue for Tricia as she was older than nine when we went youth hostelling. It was also not an issue for me and Alan if we were with dad.
Youth Hostelling in a Wheelchair
I can’t recall clearly if I only went once with Alan. Certainly, I do recall going once when I had problems with my knee and dad had to push me around in a wheelchair. I don’t know if that was this year or later. Also, I am not completely clear if that was in the Peak District or perhaps in the lakes.
Butlins in Filey in 1971
But, in 1971, from 7 to 14 August 1971, we went to Butlins in Filey as we had in 1969. The only details grandad noted were that we went and came back. So, as mum was not keeping her diary at this point, there is little else. I did find a couple of Butlins photos in one of mum’s albums. Although these are labelled “?1970”, I am confident they are from 1971. As far as I know, this is the last time we went to Butlins as a family.
Grandma Went to Devon in 1971
In October 1971, grandma went on holiday in Devon. Grandad described it as a “ladies outing” so I presume it related to church (see Chapter 107). However, grandad gave few, if any, details. He noted, on 24 September 1971, that grandma paid her fare to Devon. On 2 October 1971, he noted that she left at 6.45am but that the bus only came for them at 7.45am. He noted that she got back on the 9th at around 10.30pm.
Mum (and Robin) Went to Scotland in 1972
From 5 to 14 May 1972, grandad noted that Robin and mum went on holiday to Scotland. There is a folder with postcards and detailed notes of this trip. However, these notes do not mention Robin. Indeed, the front of the folder is labelled to say “just me – I went on coach with John & Vera Wyatt”. Initially, I found the folder somewhat frustrating as it does not give much in the way of personal detail. It is very much “went here, did this”. But, I still felt it was useful as it was something that mum wrote during a period when she was not keeping her diary.
Some of the Postcards in the Folder Had Been Sent to Us
Much later, I discovered that some, but not all, of the postcards had been written and posted. Most of these were from the earlier part of the trip. These shed more light on the holiday and give a more personal feel. One of the first cards I came across was actually written by Robin to dad. He wrote, “Dear Roy, we are now bedded down for the night, It is a very nice hotel. The country has been simply marvelous. I have just done a sketch of one of the Lochs from memory, All Blessings. Robin”.
On the same page was a card from mum to Liz with highland dancers on the front. This said, “Dear Elizabeth, We are having a show of highland music & dancing in the hotel on Friday evening. It will be inside not outside I should think. Love from Mum xxxx”. In the margin, she wrote, “Please save all cards for a scrapbook”
A Coach Trip Organised Through St Peter’s Park Lane
It certainly seems that this was a coach trip organised through St Peter’s Methodist Church.
They left there at 7.30am and spent the first night in Carlisle. They travelled via Kings Lynn, Newark, Scotch Corner and Penrith. Some of them “ventured forth”, as it was raining heavily, and went to Carlisle Cathedral which mum noted was opened specially for them.
The next day, they left Carlisle and visited the blacksmith’s shop in Gretna Green. Apparently, Mrs Wells and Mr Wyatt were “married” in a ceremony.
Stirling and Callander
They then had lunch in Stirling before stopping in Callander at a shop that sold tartan materials. Grandma and grandad had visited Callander previously with Tom and Amy in June 1966 (see Chapter 92). Mum noted that it was better known as Tannochbrae, the fictional setting for “Dr Finlay’s Casebook” which she noted used characters that had been created by A J Cronin. I think dad was a fan of A J Cronin. He certainly encouraged me to read his books.
A Detour Through Dunkeld
From Callander, they travelled along the side of Loch Tay to Aberfeldy. But, then they had to make a detour as the bridge they wanted to use was closed and they had to go down to Dunkeld, a detour of around 25 to 30 miles. This made them late and they were not able to stop in Pitlochry.
They arrived in Inverness at about 8.15pm.They stayed seven nights in Inverness. On Sunday, they visited various sites in Inverness including the castle, Flora MacDonald’s statue and St Andrew’s Cathedral.
Methodist Church in Aberdeen
They attended a service at the Methodist church in Inverness. She noted that it had been built in 1965 as the previous building had burned down. Apparently, the Methodist Society in Inverness dates back to 1761 and a stained glass window in the church depicts a visit by John Wesley.
Tour of Inverness
In the afternoon, they went on a tour of Inverness guided by a “native”. This tour included Abertarff House, apparently the oldest house in Inverness, Dunbar’s Hospital, the Town House, the Clach-na-Cudain and the Tollbooth steeple.
Ness Islands and Culloden Battlefield
They then went to Ness Islands and the Culloden Battlefield which commemorates the battle of Culloden in 1746. Mum mentions the Tomnahurich Cemetery but it is not clear if they went there.
Tour of Carrbridge, Grantown-on-Spey, Dufftown, Keith, Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Fort George
On the Monday, they did a day’s tour of 173 miles through Carrbridge, Grantown-on-Spey, Dufftown, Keith, Elgin, Forres, Nairn, and Fort George. Mum marked the route on a postcard in the folder. She noted that in Dufftown, they visited the William Grant and Sons Glenfiddich Whisky Distillery. She also noted how beautiful the gorse was at Fort George.
Shopping in Inverness
On Tuesday, they spent the morning shopping in Inverness. They visited Pringle’s woollen mills where mum bought kilts for herself and Tricia. Apparently, the mill still operates and tours are still in operation.
Tour Around Loch Ness
In the afternoon, they went for a tour around Loch Ness. Mum noted stopping for tea at Golf View tea rooms in Fort Augustus. I don’t believe this is still in operation. I have not found any details of it apart from a 1970 advert for waitresses.
St Benedict’s Abbey and Monastery
Mum also had notes and postcards about St Benedict’s abbey/monastery in Fort Augustus although she did not say explicitly in her notes that they went there. However, she does say this in a postcard she sent to Alan. This operated as a monastery from the late 19th century to 1998. A school operated there until it closed in 1993. Attempts were made to run a heritage centre from the site but, when this closed, the buildings were converted into apartments. Since 2013, widespread experiences of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the school have emerged.
Return Through Invermoriston
They then returned to Inverness on the western side of Loch Ness with mum noting that the A82 was a better road than the B852 on the other side. On their way back, they went through Invermoriston and passed the old bridge.
They also passed a memorial to John Cobb. He died while trying to break the water speed record on 29 September 1952. On his first run, he recorded a speed of 206.89 mph but he crashed, and was killed, on the second run. His boat was called Crusader and the wreckage was located in July 2002.
Urquhart Castle, Drumbadrochit and the Caledonian Canal
Other postcards, cutting and notes relate to Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit and the Caledonian Canal although mum does not state explicitly that they stopped in any of these places.
Trip to Skye
On Wednesday, they made a day trip to the Isle of Skye, a round trip of 258 miles. On the way to Skye, they went past what mum refers to as Loch Moriston but which I think is called Dundreggan Reservoir. They also passed MacKenzie Cairn, Loch Cluanie, Glen Shiel, with views of the Saddle Mountain, Loch Duich, Loch Alsh and Loch Long before arriving in the Kyle of Lochalsh.
Five Sisters of Kintail
Among mum’s notes, there are a number of postcards including one with a photograph taken from Letterfearn, that is the other side of Loch Duich to the one they drove along, of the Five Sisters of Kintail which are on the northern side of Loch Duich.
Eilean Donan Castle
Another place for which she had postcards but which is not explicitly mentioned in her description of the day was Eilean Donan Castle although there is quite a bit of detail in the description of the postcards. One thing that she did not note is that it has featured in a number of films although perhaps the most famous was not filmed until 1999, the James Bond film “The World is Not Enough”.
Ferry to Skye
Of course, they went to Skye by ferry as the bridge only opened in 1995. The ferry closed the same year although a community ferry still operates a route to the south.
In her description of Skye, mum mentions Castle Moil, Kyleakin, the Isle of Pabay, Broadford, the Red Hills (including Beinn na Caillich), Sligachan, the Cuillin Hills and Portree, where they had lunch. She notes that they saw two people cutting peat soon after they set off from Kyleakin.
Mum mentions that, a few years earlier, the Quakers had been going to start a sanctuary on the Isle of Pabay but it never materialised. I have not found anything about these plans.
Back to Inverness
Mum does not describe the journey back to Inverness in much detail. Basically, they went the same way back except, instead of going to Invermoriston, they continued to the South on the A87 to Invergarry taking in the scenery of Loch Garry.
They spent Thursday morning in Inverness then, in the afternoon, went to Glen Affric. Places mum noted included Cannich, Loch Beinn a Mheadhain or Beneveian, Loch Affric, Affric Lodge, Sgùrr-na-Lapaich, Mam Soul, Strathglass, the wishing well of St Ignatius and the Aigas and Kilmorack power stations on the river Beauly. Mum noted that the Kilmorack power station is equipped with a salmon lift. It is of Borland type and is similar to a canal lock.
She noted that the BBC film “The Last of the Mohicans” was filmed at Glen Affric and that it was shown again on BBC shortly after they got back from holiday. Mum refers to this as a film but it was a 1971 mini-series. There has been a later 1992 film. It consisted of eight one-hour episodes and was shown on BBC1 on Saturday afternoons from 22 July 1972.
Findhorn and the Falls of Foyer
On Friday, they spent the day at Findhorn and then came back via Loch Mhòr and the Falls of Foyer. Surprisingly perhaps, there are no postcards or cuttings related to this day.
Findhorn is a community dedicated to mindfulness and the environment that was established by Eileen and Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1962. In April 2021, the community centre and sanctuary were destroyed by fire which was started deliberately by a co-worker who had been made redundant.
They left Inverness on the Saturday and only then did mum mention that they had been staying at the Cummings Hotel. This was located on Church Street and is now “The King’s Highway”, a Wetherspoons Pub.
Mum mentioned that they went through Carrbridge, Grantown-on-Spey, Tomintoul and Cock Bridge. She noted that this meant going down steep hills (1 in 3 and 1 in 5) but, they had to make a detour via Strathdon and the A97 as there was a hump-backed bridge that their coach could not get across. I believe this was the bridge at Gairnshiel. A new bridge is being constructed in 2022. From there, they went onto Crathie Church, the church the Royal Family attend when they are at Balmoral. They ate their packed lunch there and had a look inside the church.
They did not have time to go to Balmoral Castle but mum said they “caught several glimpses of it through the trees”. Mum recorded quite a lot of detail about it in her notes.
They then crossed the river Dee and saw General Wade’s Old Bridge. This bridge is in Invercauld. It was built in 1752-3 and carried the military road until it was bypassed in 1859.
They then travelled south through the Grampian mountains on the A93 through the Devil’s Elbow to Glenshee where they saw the chairlift. Grandma and grandad had gone up in the chairlift when they visited in 1966 – see Chapter 92.
A Wonderful Holiday
From there, they went to Perth, Kinross and over the Forth Road Bridge (see Chapter 86) to Edinburgh. They stayed in Newcastle before returning to Norwich after what mum said had been a “really wonderful holiday”.
Family Holiday in Cornwall in August 1972
On 18 August 1972, grandad noted that we were on holiday in Devon and Cornwall. He also noted that we came back on the 24th. Although mum was not keeping a diary at this point, she had a folder about this which is labelled “CORNWALL (& Glastonbury)”.
No Mention of Us
One thing I find odd about this folder is that it does not mention the rest of us specifically at all. I guess mum would argue that our presence was implied in “we”. Also, it was very similar in style to her notes on the earlier trip to Scotland that she had taken with people from St Peter’s. Still, in my view, it reads more like a generic travel guide than a personal story of a family holiday. In that respect, I find it somewhat frustrating. In some ways, it is worse than the two other holiday accounts. As we were with her, none of the postcards had been written on and sent home to us.
My Recollections of This Holiday
As mentioned before (see Chapter 92), I do recall this holiday but not particularly fondly. Partly, this is because it contrasted with my other experiences of youth hostelling with dad which I had really loved and which had probably been more chaotic than mum would have ever tolerated! Also, dad had drilled into me that youth hostels were for people travelling under their own steam, e.g. walking or cycling and we were travelling by car. Although I think we pretended we weren’t!
I don’t think it would have been realistic to do a walking holiday in Cornwall as we had done in the Peak District as the youth hostels were much further apart. While there had been a rule prohibiting arriving at a youth hostel by car, this was changing by the late 1960s (see Chapter 92). But, I am not sure if it was still discouraged or if it was just that dad did not like it.
Also, I think it was at a time when conflict levels between mum and dad were high. So, this may have been a factor although I don’t recall anything very specific. Nevertheless, they did split up ten months later (see Chapter 99). Also, although I was only 12, I definitely had teenage tendencies and did not particularly want to be on holiday with my family!
Mum noted that we left Norwich about 3am on the 15th and travelled via Newmarket, Royston, Stevenage, Watford and Slough to join the M3 and the A303 to Andover. This preceded the completion of the M25 in October 1986. The M3 was new having only opened in 1971. We stopped briefly at Stonehenge around 8.30 and then continued on the A303 to Ilminster and Exeter. We then took the A30 to Launceston, Bodmin, Redruth and Hayle before arriving in Penzance around 4pm. Mum did not note the distance but it is around 427 miles.
We had a brief look round Penzance. My sense is that mum would have liked to look round for longer but that may not have been the case. We then walked to the youth hostel where I believe we stayed for two nights. I don’t know if we walked there because of dad’s views about how to travel between youth hostels or because cars were not allowed at youth hostels or there simply was no parking. I also don’t know for sure if mum was perhaps unhappy about having to do this but I sense she was.
Penzance Youth Hostel
This is referred to as Castle Horneck. It still functions as a youth hostel and has since 1949.
On Wednesday, we went to Land’s End, Sennen Cove and a “few unnamed bays near the tip of Cornwall”.
On Thursday, we went to St Ives but mum noted that there was a sea mist all day so we “did not see it at its best”. In this section, mum really lapses into guide-book mode writing “here you will find all the amenities for an enjoyable holiday”.
We left St Ives and ate lunch in the car at Carbis Bay so we headed to Falmouth where we were staying in the youth hostel at Pendennis Castle. We stayed there three nights.
Apparently, this was the youth hostel in Falmouth from 1963 to 2000. It closed because the lease was not renewed. There currently is no youth hostel in Falmouth. The youth hostel was located in a former Royal Artillery barracks dating from 1901 and located in the Castle precinct.
Mum does not really describe what we did in Falmouth. All she said for Thursday was that Falmouth was very busy and that we eventually got to the youth hostel. She did include pictures and descriptions of Falmouth Harbour, Castle Beach and St Anthony’s Head Lighthouse. She noted that there was a passenger ferry to the Roseland Penninsula but she did not mention if we went on it. This appears to be the King Harry Ferry. Although mum referred to it as a passenger ferry, it does now carry cars. The ferry travels from King Harry’s Passage which mum had been to before when she was in Truro for a Methodist event in 1952 (see Chapter 52).
On Friday, we went to Truro. Mum has notes and pictures of Truro Cathedral although she did not explicitly say if we went there.
Tolcarne Beach, Newquay
She did note that we then went to Tolcarne Beach which she described as being “quite pleasant” although it had been windy at the top of the cliff.
On Saturday, we went to the Lizard. Mum made notes and has pictures related to the lighthouse at Lizard Point, the RNLB lifeboat and lifeboat station, the Telstar Dish Aerial Goonhilly and Kynance (see Chapter 54) and Mullion Coves. Again, mum is not very clear whether we visited these places or not. She did note that we did not get to see the Telstar Dish Aerial Goonhilly or Mullion Cove, perhaps with some regret and/or bitterness. With respect to the satellite dish, she noted “unfortunately we did not get to see it”.
The Lighthouse at Lizard Point
Although mum had a postcard of the lighthouse, she does not describe it all. For example, she did not note that it is the most southerly point on mainland Britain. I wonder if this means we did not go there.
The RNLB Lifeboat and Lifeboat Station
Although mum refers to the RNLB, it appears that the organisation has been the Royal National Lifeboat Institution or RNLI since 1854. But, the term RNLB is widely used in newspaper articles including as late as 1999.
Mum has postcards of both the lifeboat and the lifeboat station in her folder. She describes the lifeboat as the Lizard-Cadgwith RNLB lifeboat and it was named the Duke of Cornwall. She notes that it was named by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1961. Mum also notes that the lifeboat station at Kilcobben Cove was also opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1961 and that it replaced former Lizard and Cadgwith stations. The lifeboat station is still located at Kilcobben Cove but a new station was built in 2010 to accommodate current lifeboats. The name was changed from Lizard-Cadgwith to Lizard in 1987. The station was adapted in 1988 to accommodate a new Tyne Class lifeboat, the David Robinson. This itself was replaced by a Tamar Class lifeboat, Rose, in 2011. According to this site, the new lifeboat station was opened on 5 May 2012.
Aerial at Goonhilly
Mum also mentioned Mullion village and the church there.
Falmouth Methodist Church
On Sunday, we left Pendennis Castle and attended service at Falmouth Methodist Church.
While I do not recall this specifically, I am pretty sure there would have been conflict about this. I don’t think I was attending church at this point and would not have wanted to go while on holiday. I do not recall being forced to go to church when on holiday at Butlins and I am pretty sure we did not go when youth hostelling with dad.
Mum describes the church in some detail but without a picture. She mentions that it was badly damaged during the second world war with only a shell left. The building was rebuilt inside the shell with the church itself on the top floor and other rooms on the lower floor. The church was still operating from the same building. But, in February of 2022, the building was sold and the church moved temporarily to the church hall of the Parish Church of King Charles the Martyr. The church itself is to be converted into two commercial premises, flats and a communal meeting place.
After the service, mum noted that we drove to Fowey, As we approached Lostwithiel, we saw a sign post to “Ancient Monument”. So, we followed the sign and came to the ruins of Restormel Castle.
Fowey and Bodinnick Ferry
From there, we continued to Fowey with mum noting, with a picture, Bodinnick Ferry. But, she did not actually say if we went on it. This continues to operate.
Penquite House in Golant, Fowey
We stayed for two nights at the youth hostel at Penquite House in Golant, Fowey. This operated as a youth hostel from 1970 to 2014. The property was sold. It now appears to be a residential property.
Mum mentioned that it was new and that it had replaced the former hostel at St Faith’s, Lostwithiel. This operated as a youth hostel from 1949 to 1970 and became a guest house. It is now known as Peregrine Hall and seems to be available as a holiday home.
Mum described Penquite House as “very nice” with new equipment. But, she complained that it was over a mile from the road. She considered it to be a long walk and advised “to use some form of transport”. I suspect there was tension over this with dad wanting to walk to hostels and mum resenting this.
Polperro and Looe
On Monday, we went along the south coast to Polperro and Looe. Mum describes a few places in Looe, the medieval Guildhall, the 14th century church and a smugglers’ inn but it is not clear if we visited these. She noted that we spent the rest of the day on the beach.
On Tuesday, we left Fowey and headed to Tintagel via Lostwithiel, Bodmin and Camelford. Mum linked Camelford to Camelot but this is disputed. She noted in some detail that we went to see Tintagel Castle and that this involved going down 115 steps and then up 100 to get between the two parts of the Castle. A bridge between the two parts was finished in August 2019. The folder contains a lot of description and pictures of Tintagel Castle and also pictures of the beach and the Old Post Office in Tintagel. She also had a postcard related to King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.
Cheddar Youth Hostel
From Tintagel, we travelled through Devon to Cheddar Youth Hostel. But, mum noted that the “hostel was not very good and we decided to travel home the next day instead of staying until Thursday”. I am not sure if this was the real reason or whether the tensions that there had been on the holiday had just got too much! I am pretty sure that it was mum who decided that the hostel was not very good and that we should go home. Also, I am fairly sure dad would have stuck it out for another night. I am completely sure that we children had no say in the matter!
So, on the Wednesday, we left the youth hostel early and went to Cheddar caves and a trip round one of them. We had been there before in 1967 (see Chapter 92). We then went to Glastonbury to see the Abbey. Mum has multiple photos and detailed notes about the Abbey. These include one of a wooden cross which was donated by Queen Elizabeth in 1965. Mum also noted the landmark of Glastonbury Tor.
From Glastonbury, we headed back to Norwich via the M4, Slough, Watford and Newmarket. Mum noted that we had travelled about 1,200 miles.
My Feelings about This Holiday
Reviewing this holiday makes me feel quite sad. Clearly, things did not go well and we came home a day early. It was the last holiday mum and dad took together and perhaps it showed them their mutual incompatibility. However, I am sure I was not aware of this then and I am not sure of this even now. I do recall visiting Cornwall as a child so presumably that was this trip. I found researching the youth hostels interesting even though I have never felt the same affinity/nostalgia for those hostels that I felt/feel for the youth hostels in the Peak District.
Grandma and Mrs Davis Went on Holiday to Lowestoft
In both September 1972 and June 1973, grandma went for a week’s holiday in Lowestoft with her friend Mrs Davis. Grandad did not go. Mum took them both years and she also picked them up in 1972 but, in 1973, grandma came back by train. In 1972, grandad noted that Arthur Elsegood called in to see him while grandma was away. In 1973, he noted that grandma phoned twice from Lowestoft. Also, in September 1973, grandma and mum took Mrs Davis to Lowestoft for a two week holiday.
No Family Holiday in Summer 1973
As far as I am aware, we did not have a family holiday in the summer of 1973. I don’t know why but, presumably, mum and dad splitting up in June was a factor.
Dad Did Take Alan and Liz to Butlins in Clacton in August 1973
In August 1973, grandad noted that Alan and Liz had not come for tea as they had gone to Butlins in Clacton with dad. He also noted that mum had had to pay for part of it (see Chapter 99). On the 17th, mum took me to Clacton as Alan was not too well (see Chapter 100). Mum brought Alan home and I stayed in his place. I came back with Liz and dad the next day on the train.
Mum Went to Wales on Her Own in May 1973
What is perhaps odd is that mum did go on holiday in May 1973. This was another coach trip with church similar to the one she had done the previous year to Scotland. But, this time they went to Wales. I do not know if Robin Harrison went. He is not mentioned by grandad after February 1973 (see Chapter 99). In addition, grandad did not mention that trip. In fact, he does not mention us at all during that week. For example, on Sunday 20 May, we would usually have gone to grandma and grandad’s for tea but we did not. Grandad does not remark on this. But, he did note that the following Sunday was the Spring Bank Holiday and that grandma and Auntie Dolly came to ours for tea. He also noted that dad had gone to Kirkby.
I know about the trip because there is a report on it in mum’s folder. However, like the other reports, it lacks much in the way of personal detail and reads more like a generic travel guide. I don’t know why mum took this holiday but perhaps the situation between her and dad was so bad that she felt she needed a break. Certainly, within about a couple of weeks of her coming back they had split up.
As with the Scotland trip the previous year, some of the postcards were completed and posted to us. These do provide a little more personal colour and detail.
Card to Tricia
Card to Liz
Leaving from St Peter’s Methodist Church
The group left St Peter’s Methodist Church at 7.30am and travelled through Newmarket and Cambridge to Bedford where they stopped by the side of a river for coffee. This preceded the opening of the A14 in 1992.
They then joined the M1 travelled over Spaghetti Junction. This is a slightly odd description as Spaghetti Junction is on the M6 not the M1. But, presumably they did go on it. It had opened the previous year.
They then went via Shrewsbury to Llangollen where they stopped for a cup of tea. In mum’s folder were some notes on Llangollen and some pictures, including of the bridge.
They then travelled through Bala, Penrhyndeudradeth and Portmadoc, which has been known as Potrtmadog since 1974, before arriving at the King George IV Hotel in Criccieth for dinner. I am not sure if mum explored Criccieth that day but there are some notes and pictures on Criccieth including of the Castle, Black Rocks and the beach.
Church in Criccieth
On Sunday, they went to church. According to the postcard sent to Tricia, they went to a Presbyterian church, the implication being perhaps that any Methodist services were only available in Welsh.
Identifying the Church They Attended
I have not found it straightforward to identify where they went to church. As far as I can see, there is currently no Methodist Church in Criccieth.
I did find records of a Welsh language Calvinistic Methodist Church in the nearby village of Pentrefelin. But, this is further confused because the Calvinistic Methodist Church is also seemingly known as the Presbyterian Church of Wales!
Initially, I thought this was entirely a Welsh language church. Although this does seem to be predominantly the case, some of their churches do have English language services including Capel y Traeth which is in Criccieth. That church now claims to be the only Welsh-language church in Criccieth since the Jerusalem Church joined them in 2014. It is also described elsewhere as a Methodist church. Given that this church is in Criccieth, is part of the Presbyterian Church of Wales and, at least now, offers a service in English, could this be the church they attended? Probably not.
I think a more likely candidate is the former English Presbyterian Church in Criccieth. Apparently, it became a Chapel of Art and is now a private residence. But, it continued to hold services into the 1980s. It is located on Marine Crecent, close to the castle, about a ten-minute walk from the hotel where mum was staying.
After lunch on Sunday, they went to the Italian village of Portmeirion. Mum does not describe it all but she did include two postcards of it in her folder.
On Monday, they visited Llanystumdwy. Mum noted that it was the boyhood home of David Lloyd George (see Chapter 11) and that the meaning of the name is the church-at-the-bend-of-the-Dwy-river. Places she noted included the Lloyd George Museum, the bridge at Llanystumdwy and Lloyd George’s grave.
Butlins in Pwllheli
From Llanystumdwy, they went to the Butlins camp in Pwllheli and toured it in the coach. This strikes me as a rather odd thing to do but, as it was a camp that we had never stayed at, I suspect mum would have been interested.