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.
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?