Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Park and Ride


Three young people back in 1938, who thought it was amusing to pose for a picture under a ‘Park Here’ sign. They had ‘parked’ themselves on the sea front, where  they had taken a ride on the train to the Welsh resort of Llandudno. The cheery young lady is my Mum, aged just eighteen, and on her first real grown-up holiday, without her parents. However, it was all very proper because it was an organised Youth Hostelling holiday. Mum had gone with her friend Blanche, with whom she worked in the offices of The Boots Pure Drug Company (as it then was) in Nottingham. They saved a little bit from their wage packet each week to pay for the trip, of which Mum has very fond memories. She had already met my Dad the previous Autumn, so there is no romance involved with 'Noel and Jimmy’ as Mum has carefully labelled them in white, in her neat script, on the black pages of her girlhood album. Mum tells me the male members of their ‘gang’  were all ‘older’men in their twenties or thirties!

I’ve only recently scanned these pictures, although I have known them all my life. Now that I have the time to delve a little deeper I can research the building in Mum’s album.

There’s my Mum on the left with ‘Our Gang’ assembling in front of the hostel. Lledr Hall was originally a wealthy businessman’s summer holiday home c1904. It became a youth hostel in the thirties when the movement was in its infancy, and these days it is once more an outdoor education centre.

Mum has featured before on this trip in A Happy Wanderer, where I describe how her kit was put together. The following pictures are, quite literally, a snapshot of that carefree holiday long ago. The rumblings of war were just beginning and many of the young people who took part in these holidays would soon be thrown headlong into the conflict.

She lost touch with all the other members of the gang, but remembers Jimmy turning up at as a dispatch rider at the War Office where she worked briefly whilst in the army in 1942. There was a smile of recognition though no remembrance from him of where from, says Mum.


Waiting at Llanrwst for the Llandudno train. A ‘free’ day when they weren’t being organised and the group chose to visit the seaside. Mum and Blanche with two of the gang.



Blanche, being quite daring on some sort of walkway, perhaps in the grounds of Lledr Hall, and Ken fooling around with an overhanging branch. This week’s Sepia Saturday has signs as a possible prompt and when I saw the Park Here sign in the first picture it took me off on the youth hostelling trail.


Why not visit other members of ‘Our Gang’ at Sepia Saturday and see what they made of the prompt?

14 comments:

  1. What a sweet story. It makes me recall my own first vacation without parents. I love how the pictures capture such happy and spontaneous moments.

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  2. I got vertigo looking at that photo of your Mum! She looks to be fairly high and those shoes look like she could slip easily!

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  3. You sure caught me with Park and Ride- something that is so a part of our world today too! Wonderful, happy memories to share, and your photos always delight. Bravo and cheers, especially after just putting my post for SS together, this warms my sad (at the moment) mood!

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  4. Great photos of happy times - those young men certainly look as thought they had designs on those two young girls!

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  5. Park here. Absolutely perfect. I don't suppose the young ones today use the phrase going parking. I haven't heard it or seen it used.

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  6. A happy photographic story of your mother's youthful holiday. Your mother's albums sound quite similar to my mother's, and I've posted quite a few of her photos in my SS offerings, but I didn't check them out for signs.

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  7. Everyone looks as if they are having great fun! Your photographs remind me very much of similar ones I have of my parents with Mum's sister and Dad;s brother enjoying themselves on days away in the same period 1936-38. Fortunately they did not know what was ahead of them come 1939.

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  8. Great photos and loved the journey you took me on.

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  9. Ah, it does look fun! something very carefree about these pictures. And your background to the images is very nice.

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  10. Your mom and friends could easily be mistaken for modern ramblers except for the wool and leather. It's nice to see the youthful fun in their eyes.

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  11. What a wonderful photo to have of your mother....I agree that she looks so carefree! We have one of those pointy finger signs at the bottom of our street and it makes me smile every time I drive by.
    Lovely story.

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  12. Your mum must have treasured her memories of that first vacation apart from parents. How wonderful that she was able to share it with you. Very sweet story. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. Those are wonderful photographs - they have that semi-sepia patina that shouts out the 1930s. Ah, the good old days when signs told you where to park rather than where not to park.

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  14. Your mother's skirt is so short that at first I thought it looked like a miniskirt. Then I decided it must be some sort of sport dress like the old tennis dresses and gym suits.

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