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Friday, 9 September 2011

Are We Nearly There? 52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy - Road Trips

52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and HistoryThe topic for Week 36 in Amy Coffin’s and Geneablogger’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History series is "Road Trips".

We lived outside Blackpool, the famous north west England  resort, but for our summer holiday we travelled to Bournemouuth on the south coast, where a close friend of my mother (known as Auntie Phyllis)  had moved to open a hotel. 

It was a long journey, before the days of motorways, though industrial Lancashire.  My brother and I hated crossing the swing bridges over the Manchester Ship Canal at Wigan and Warrington with visions of them swinging around whilst we were on them.  We would crouch down behind my parent's' seats and hide our eyes. 

Another journey was crossing the Pennines through the Peak District to visit my aunt and uncle in Sheffield, passing over the Snake Pass or in the Lake District going over the  Kirkston Pass - we must have seemed such wimps, but we hated the twisty roads and sudden drops below us, so it seemed safer not to look out.  until we reached  safer ground.

This was long before the days of electronic games , Walkman and I Pods - I don't think we even had a car radio. To pass the time, we did the usual car games of I Spy, I went to the seaside or the market , and bought A ...B..C ...etc.. and making up silly sentences from the registration numbers of cars and also making up silly songs.  My father was a commercial traveller (sales rep) for the Beecham Pharmaceutical Group and one ditty we came up with was:
There was a hermit in the hills
Living off his Beecham Pills
He ate two in the morning
And two at night
To make him feel so merry and bright.

We usually stopped somewehre for a picnic, prepared by my mother.  One notable time, she excelled herslf by making chicken pieces instead of the usual sandwiches and a fruit tart - and left them all behind in the pantry!   We had to stop somewhere and find a cafe for lunch.  My father got the blame here, as he was always chivvering us get a move on and get away. We returned home a week later to discover them covered in fur.

Like all children, the excitement of going away quickly turned to boredom and the perennial question was voiced   "Are we nearly there?"


  1. A nice photo and a nice story. It reminds me of the time my family went on a picnic and left the ham at home!

  2. A lovely story Susan! Especially the missing picnic. I used ton spend so much energy reminding the kids aabout their stuff for the beach that I ergot something of mine :-)


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