Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MY VIEW (unnumbered) - ROAD TRIP IN ENGLAND 1947

Road Trip in England

Letty in her riding outfit. Huddersfield, UK, 1947

Ron had a motorcycle, and after the war ended, we decided to get it back on the road, in 1947. As the petrol ration was better that year, we did the trip he had promised me So the first thing I had to have was suitable clothing, and on sale at the city ex-RAF store, i found an old flying suit, a one-piece outfit with pockets and zippers. I bought it for 10 bob (shillings) and altered it a little. Then I got some sheet leather to make a riding helmet. It was green and fitted perfectly. Ron had his own pre-war leathers so was OK.

So off we went, one morning in late June, our first destination was Birmingham, to meet all my "Brum" cousins, aunts and uncles. I loved riding pillion and we had a good run there, staying one week...  All the war stories, what an education! While we were there we skated at the ice rink, went to Stratford Theatre and saw "Anthony and Cleopatra" on stage, Anne Hathaway's cottage, and to the Art Museum to see the carved statue, in green marble, of "Lucifer." In a circular room, students sitting on all the benches around the edges, drawing pictures of ...that evil-looking statue. I've never seen anything dead look so evil. London museums refused to show it, and so did Edinburgh, so Birmingham took it...

Next day Ron and I were ready to leave. My cousin, Lily and Ron and I were in the kitchen, and Ron shut the door on the dog but the dog was too fast and bit Ron's right hand. So instead of leaving, we went to the hospital. They cleaned his wounds, gave him a shot of something and bandaged his hand, then we set off. As Ron couldn't get his glove on that hand, the wind blew up his sleeve and two days later he had a nasty old. By this time we were near Tintagel in north Cornwall. We walked where King Arthur and the Knights of the round Table lived. What a lot of history here to learn.

Then, as we were staying at B & Bs, we ended up that day at the small Cornish town of Hayle. It was a nice visit and the food great. Only one drawback, the W.C. (toilet) was outside, up 15 steps, so we had a potty that night and laughed. Next day we had a walk and saw Mt. St. Michael in the distance, then headed for cobbled streets and donkey trips down to the sea at Clovelly. I bought a folding sun hat as it was very hot that day...

Next stop was Teignmouth, a lovely spot on the coast. We had a tram ride to the top of the town. It showed where men trained Commandos to climb cliffs. More history....

...From Grimsby to Huddersfield we had rain, all the way home. The three pannier bags with all our possessions were soaked through. Going through Doncaster, having stopped for lunch, Ron saw a tire for sale and he wanted to get it, but how to carry it home? Could I carry it over my head with one arm through? I said, "Sure, it isn't very heavy," so I did, but by the time we got home is was very heavy, and held a lot of water. We were very wet and glad to finish our trip. When we parked the bike, Ron got off, and I fell off... We had ridden 1600 miles on our trip.

Letty Evans
December 11, 2006