“I Wish I Could Get Up Like That”

I am clearly no Val Erde, but today I made a start on retouching the images scanned yesterday.

Our Uncle Roy holds the shepherd’s crook in this scene from a parade during about 1927. I began with this picture because Becky has spent so long trying to establish the location. It was a safe bet that is somewhere in the North of England, given that our maternal grandfather was from Yorkshire, and grandmother from Lancashire. In vain did Becky, and later, Jackie try to identify the shop or to read the writing on the window. Trams ran on lines over cobbles in many towns in Yorkshire at that time. Shepherds’ crooks were widely used in May Day parades during the 1920s.

This portrait of Mum on the beach at Conwy in about 1926 deserved to come next. In my post, “Genes Will Out”, I had featured the likeness between my sister, Jacqueline, and her son, my nephew, James. I had been unaware of where this strain began – if not before. The deckchairs in the background would not be unfamiliar on any beach today, although the sand bucket would most likely now be made of plastic.

The third of today’s improvements was made on this photograph of Mum and Roy, who still lives in Leicester. Our uncle looks ready to take on the world. Shoes and socks are less likely to be seen on the seashore today.

When Elizabeth brought Mum over this afternoon, our mother demonstrated that she could have saved us all the research. She informed us that the location of the parade was Manchester, the occasion, Whit Monday, and Roy’s companion, Joan Heald. Grandpa, being a prison engineer, was based at Strangeways at the time. Joan was the daughter of a neighbouring officer’s family.

This led us to https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-annual-whit-monday-procession-1927-online

After a brief explanation of the event, which continues today, this one minute silent film shows the likely procession Mum remembers.

Monday is the day for non-Catholics; Catholics parade on the Friday.

With a little further research, Becky and I were able to find the film which Mum could watch on my laptop.

My mother and sister had enjoyed a late lunch at Holmsley Old Station Tea Rooms. This did not deter them from scoffing cream teas.

Mum unwittingly cracked the joke of the day when, watching me haul myself out of my chair, she said “I wish I could get up like that”. Howls of laughter ensued.

Becky and Ian are still with us. Mum and Elizabeth left shortly before we ordered a takeaway meal from Forest Tandoori. My choice was prawn jalfrezi with special fried rice. I drank Uco Valley Malbec 2018. Should they be interested the others may speak for themselves.

Why Did The Donkey Cross The Road?

After a noisy thunderstorm during the night, the day dawned bright and clear. I walked the circular route to Milford on Sea and back. Indicative of the brisk pace I was able to maintain in the cooler weather, this round trip took just over 90 minutes.

The pines along Sea Breeze Way cast lengthy shadows across the terrain, and the sun that caused this also enriched the colour of the

leaves now beginning to fall in the Nature Reserve, where the footpaths are becoming rather soggy.

On my way back along the cliff top, watching very choppy seas, I leant into a very forceful head wind which made me think I should have taken this route on the outward journey. Then I would have been blown along. Perhaps I should have emulated the crow which, flying low, may have gained some shelter from the land. Not being able to fly, except in my youthful dreams, I would have had to walk along the shingle, and today I didn’t have time for that.

Back at home, I joined Jackie, who had already made a start on the continued clearance of the back drive. We have almost finished the task.

Later this afternoon Jackie drove us to the Montague Arms Hotel at Beaulieu where we met Elizabeth for a cream tea.

As we arrived at the hotel two donkeys left the forecourt, wandered around the corner and across the road and came to catatonic rest outside someone’s house.

The Montague Arms is a splendid building with a beautifully maintained garden. Whilst waiting for my sister I wandered out and spoke to the gardener who was pleased with my appreciation of his work. He didn’t stop all the time we were enjoying our refreshment. We could have played croquet on the immaculate lawn, had we felt so inclined.

For refreshment, the ladies each chose cream teas, Elizabeth’s beverage being Earl Grey and Jackie’s English Breakfast. The scones looked delicious, but I, thinking we would be eating out later, originally declined. My lady and my sister, however, each persuaded me to have half of one of theirs. With these I drank a bottle of Ringwood’s Forty-niner.

After this, having all agreed to go on afterwards to The Family House in Totton for our evening meal, we took Elizabeth on a tour of Beaulieu, which, of course, doesn’t take very long. We introduced her to Patrick’s Patch which contained more seasonal produce than last time we visited in November last year.

Chard and dahlias were still in their beds, and an attractive arrangement of miniature pumpkins was on display.

I travelled with Elizabeth to the restaurant to be sure she would find the car park where we arrived at the same time as Jackie, and had our usual excellent meal in homely surroundings. We all drank T’singTao beer. Afterwards we parted company and Jackie drove me home.