Thursday, 21 October 2021

Memories

I think I may well have written about this before, but today I had such vivid memories of an Easter about sixty six years ago.   Just for a few minutes I almost relived it so I shall share it with you again as I know you always enjoy  my memories.   What brought back the memory today?   'Antiques Road Trip' was touring round Norfolk - a county I love (my sister and her family lived for many years in Lowestoft so we travelled through Norfolk a lot) and many of the places they called at were familiar to me many years ago - now only  names.

It was Easter, we had been married three or four years and had just bought ourselves a second hand Claude Butler tandem.   We were keen to have an adventure on it and Easter was just the right time.   We planned it carefully.   We would go from Lincoln, where we lived at the time, to Lowestoft, where my sister lived.   We would stay overnight and then come back the next day - we had to be back for work on Tuesday.

We set off from work at around three o'clock on Good Friday  and got as far as a village called Walpole Cross Keys - a village almost on the Wash - where we stayed in a pub overnight and then set off immediately after breakfast next morning.   The weather was good and we made really good progress, arriving at my sisters mid afternoon.

I remember little about our stay except that my niece (eleven years younger than me) coveted my yellow cotton cardigan and likewise I desperately wanted her shorts, so we did a swap.   I really thought I was the bees knees in the shorts - all I can say, looking back, is that they only just covered what they absolutely needed to cover for the sake of decency. They were green and I wore them with an orange jumper so you could hardly miss me (and I have always had long legs).

Next morning (Easter Sunday) when we got up there was a strong wind blowing in our favour for the journey home.   My sister packed us sandwiches and off we set.   We fair sailed along in the flat countryside of Norfolk and then Lincolnshire, stopping in a village called Quiddenham for our lunch by a war memorial I seem to remember. 

An AA Man (they rode motor bikes with sidecars in those days) rode behind us for a while then as he passed us told us our speed - I forget what it was but it was something like twenty nine miles an hour. 

When we got to Sleaford in Lincolnshire we stopped for a Mars Bar each and by this time I was in tears saying I just could not go any further.   We were only seventeen miles from home and my husband persuaded me to carry on.   I remember we arrived at my Mum and Dad's long after dark and stayed there the night.  I don't think we needed much rocking off to sleep, but of course we had Easter Monday to recuperate. 

How very pleasing it was this afternoon, just for a few minutes,    that I should remember it again.   Hope I haven't bored you too much with the memory.

24 comments:

Rachel Phillips said...

66 years ago a Mars bar EACH would have been a luxury. Are you sure about that Mars bar? I live near Quidenham. You must have been very fit because the mileages you talk about are high.

Anonymous said...

We loved reading this today. The clothes swap and your long legs! Also the AA man with his motorbike and sidecar. My husband has a Claude Butler cycle which he really loves and has owned for years. Your memories are so interesting.
Wendy (Wales)

Rachel Phillips said...

Quidenham to Sleaford is 85 miles.

Barbara Anne said...

Lovely!

66 years ago, I was 4.

Hugs!

gz said...

A decent ride..and good memories

CharlotteP said...

Lovely to hear about your cycling exploits (and the shorts!) When I first joined the CTC, I also had some VERY short shorts (totally unsuitable and very uncomfortable to ride in!) My husband teased me about the blue shiny shorts all our married life. We mostly rode a Longstaff tandem trike, which was great fun, though I did own a Claud Butler tandem before we married - it was a lovely machine. It's 41 years since I became a cycling club member; weren't the roads lovely and so much quieter, then?!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - thank you for that information on mileage - I remember sitting on the steps of the war memorial in Quiddenham. Yes, I think we were very fit and of course we were young and the countryside is very flat. Also a tandem is so muc easier than a single bike

Heather said...

Oh to be young again and cycle long distances. Those were the days. I think I remember wearing a pair of blue shorts as a teenager, but although my legs were long they were not really a good shape for shorts. Mars Bars were my favourite chocolate bar in my younger days but now my teeth ache at the thought of one!

Tasker Dunham said...

Wonderful memory. Makes me saddle sore just reading it. I bet you were a head turner in those shorts.

Chris said...

Impressed with your stamina and fortitude - even on a tandem. Husband must have been super-fit too!

Anonymous said...

Lovely memories...and your post had me thinking about shorts and how prevalent they are in Australia, all ages, all types of people wearing them from those men displaying a huge beer gut, with little shorts pushed underneath to my skinny little Mum in her 90's. Enjoyable post Pat, as always - Pam.

The Furry Gnome said...

You could never bore us!

Joanne Noragon said...

Quite a ride!

Cro Magnon said...

When I was at school, there was a 'school tandem'; no-one seemed to own it. We would often take it into Norfolk at weekends. The roads were flat, and we would go to some pub', then ride back in a meandering fashion. Thanks, you've brought back my memories too!

Bonnie said...

Thank you for sharing that lovely story! That was quite a ride and I imagine you slept quite well when you arrived home!

Hilde said...

What a wonderful story! My husband and I did a lot of biking, but on two bikes, not on a tandem. Since we moved to a region without flat roads, and we got older, we don´t bike any more. Nowadays everybody around here has an electric bike and tells us how much fun it is, but I think biking is about moving powered only by your own muscles, isn´t it?

Librarian said...

I loved reading this, Pat, and I absolutely adore the image of you as a young, long-legged woman in green shorts and orange jumper - you truly must have been the bee's knees!

thelma said...

What a brilliant memory, no wonder you were flagging at the end.

Frances said...

As a baby, I was transported in a sidecar attached to a tandem! Can't say I remember, but there is a photo somewhere. I must have then progressed to a baby seat behind one of my parents, and then to the back seat of the tandem with little pedals that were added so that I could reach. My brother aged about 18months was in a seat behind me when he managed to get his foot in the back wheel....no fancy health and safety then! Took half his heel off!

Jennyff said...

What a vivid memory even to clothing details which were very entertaining. It was quite an adventure you must have been very pleased with yourselves. I still have my Claude Butler too, a wonderful mans racer that got me up the hills and round the dales of Yorkshire in fitter days

Anonymous said...

No wonder you have such emotional and mental stamina; lots of training!

ceci

Ellen D. said...

This is a terrific story! What a fun adventure and an awesome accomplishment! Thanks for sharing and Well done!

Melinda from Ontario said...

What a wonderful memory. I love listening to the memories of others as well as sharing my own. Interesting enough, I've recently begun writing down my own memories from the past. Originally, my plan was to pass on this collection of memories to my boys, (ages 20 and 18). I now realize that whether my boys ever read my completed collection has become inconsequential. This has become a fun project for me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you all. Nice that I stirred up memories for so many of you too. I did enjoy reading your responses to my post.