A Day at Tangmere

An incredible day. As I’ve written, mum gave me dad’s log books years ago and I’ve read through them several times, but so much of what he recorded makes sense only to others in his situation. The Wing Commander and the former curator of Tangmere, now volunteers, sat down with me and we worked our way through his books, with explanations easily provided.

Turns out, the few stories of his war experience that dad shared (and that I’ve managed to remember) are there in his written logs. This meant a great deal to me as it assured me that my memories were correct even though so many years have gone by. We followed dad’s story from his pilot training days in Ontario to his arrival in England, his subsequent training and becoming familiar with the area and then his many months spent flying gunner trainers up for target practice. After that, he had his choice of where to go and what to fly and that’s when he chose 91 Squadron, flying Spitfires. His Squadron moved around a lot, including a brief time in France. He flew the whole range of Spitfires, including the XXI, the fastest. Even more interesting are his records in the column labeled “Duty,” where he described in a word or two, the reason for each flight. This is the “lingo” column, so it was really great to have these terms explained.

These men were impressed with the flight route map the flight team of my VA Dreamliner gave to me (described in an earlier post), which shows that even surrounded with so much war memorbilia, they still truly enjoy and admire the world of flight.

Following this, I was turned over to Eric, who would give me a demo of the Link trainer, the type of trainer used for instrument navigation training during dad’s training. Tough work! Then, he was determined that I would try my never-before tested skills of flying a simulator – this time of a Lightning fighter, a RAF fighter of the Cold War era. Let’s just summarize by saying that between us, we managed to land in one piece 🙂 Although, he kindly said that I had apptitude for this and when I said that that was a generous statement, he said he wouldn’t say it if he didn’t mean it, so that was nice!

Time for tea and a delicious scone with strawberry jam and then I had an hour left to look at the museum collection before my bus back to Chichester. Eric showed me an amazing colour film, made at the air base during the war of Lancaster Bombers being loaded with bombs, the crew being briefed, the planes in flight, bombs being dropped, and the planes returning…all except one, at least at that moment in the film, and the crews’ debriefing. He said that this is the only colour film of this activity remaining from the war.

Among the collection I saw some items that have come my way over the years…dad’s pilot’s silk scarf with a map of Europe on it (I’ve often wondered how useful that could really have been given the scale and the Wing Commander confirmed – not very), a black model of a plane used to learn plane identification and other items. Again, good to have my memories confirmed as correct.

Among all the things we talked about, one item especially stood out. When I explained that dad had passed away in his seventies, the Wing Commander said that many WWII pilots had passed away at that age. He said that after the Korean War studies were done, post-mortem, with pilots as they also were passing away fairly young. He said the studies showed that war time pilots had hidden maladies…things such as harden arteries…that were attributed to hours spent in the air. He said no one knew or considered the effects of flying back then, nor, of course, could they.

That was it. Time to leave. My bus pulled up just as I got to the bus stop, so there was no turning back. I could have spent much longer…there was more to see…more to talk about. The base itself is completely different from my visit in the mid-seventies. At that time it was deserted…the in-between time when it was neither a base nor a museum. Then, a guard named Syd Shepherd met me at the door and after hearing why I was there, invited me into his guard office and shared his lunch of a meat pie with me. I had a good look around the base after that and took photos of the buildings to show dad (which the museum has asked me for as there are not many from that time). All of those buildings are gone now. The museum is housed in a building dated 1950 and moved to this site. Much of the airfield is built up into housing. I asked about Syd and it turned out that the current day treasurer is a Mr. Shepherd, but when I explained my story of Syd to him, there was no relation and no familiarity. Time surely marches on.

 

Quote from my dad: “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots!”

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South to Chichester and More Family History

My day began with me pulling the things I wanted for an overnight trip to Chichester, in southern England. After an afternoon of laundering yesterday, I had lots of clean clothes to choose from…what pleasure!

Sara took me to Victoria Station where I was to catch the Southern Railway to Chichester. My family seems to think I’m challenged in the navigation department. The truth is, when we travel together everyone else is so good at navigating that I usually knit, knowing I’m in good hands. However, when I’m on my own I pay attention. It’s just that no one never see me paying attention!

So, I arrived in Chichester without incident and spent quite a bit of time exploring the main shopping streets, trying to find salt tablets. My long-favoured Cytomax may have to step aside in the future…salt tablets seem to work instantly and efficiently and they’re certainly lighter to carry and don’t require mixing with more water so there’s less weight to tote. However, none was to be found so I’ll look in London on Wednesday when I have the day there. I have a feeling that between the three course meals I’ve been enjoying and the time away from my home base of 4,900′ above sea level beginning to deplete my red blood cell count, I may need a little boost in the Lake District mountains coming up next week. As a side note, a young clerk in one store didn’t know what salt tablets were. When she checked with her older companion he explained to her that “older walkers and bikers” prefer them to the newer options of powders and fizzy tablets. Sheesh.

Anyway…Chichester. I’m here because I’m visiting Tangmere Airfield/Museum tomorrow to go through my dad’s pilot log books from his time at this air base during WWII with the museum curator. I wrote about his log books in an earlier post. This meeting has been set up for some time an I’m looking forward to what I might learn about dad’s war service with the RAF.

I’m staying the night at the Chichester Harbour Hotel, an old hotel from the WWII era. A volunteer with the museum had recommended this hotel as pilots based at Tangmere often stayed here, he said, so I suppose my dad may have been along them. I’m not sure when he could have come hereas he had his work, but perhaps that happened. It’s a lovely thought to think about while I’m here.

The Chichester Harbour Hotel.

It was built as a private home for an important local business many during the era of Nelson and the front desk staff told me that General Eisonhower stayed here during WWII. So, I’m feeling quite honoured. I ate dinner here, and my crab and avocado taco and greens salad (a warm concoction of greens and peas in cream) was just right.

 

Prior to dinner I toured the Chichester Cathedral. My photos (I’m currently lugging around my iPad as a camera, but I’ve located a camera shop in town and tomorrow I’ll check whether they could replace my camera battery) don’t do it justice, but to give an idea…

There a chapel dedicated to WWII servicemen of Sussex, which I don’t suppose my father truly was, but as he was based here, I think he has the right to claim this…

Not that he would have darkened the door of the cathedral, but the RAF meant a great deal to him throughout his life, so including this seem alright.

The waitress wished me a relaxing night’s stay…a comfy bed awaits. Plus, my iPad is just being obstinate.

A Travel Day, following an Incredible Evening

First of all, a photo of our walking group before our last dinner together…

imageWe had our leader and his wife, who served as our “back marker,” six others from England, four of us from the US, and one from Belgium. Liz, third from the left, back row, was a dead ringer for Meryl Streep…I’m not convinced she wasn’t 🙂 Although I haven’t heard any stories of Ms. Streep being a walker and Liz is a powerhouse! Really great group.

Following our breakfast the next morning our group began to break up one by one. It’s always a bit melancholic…we’ve bonded as a group by this time and enjoy each other’s company. We always hope to see each other on another Ramblers Holidays walk and say so, but the odds of this, we all know, are slim.

Sara and I shared a taxi with a walker from NY to Fishguard Harbour. Her train to London was coming right away, while we had a three-hour wait. The time passed quickly, though, partly because the (huge) ferry that runs between FH in Wales and Ireland was coming in and docking. Incredible control over a very large ship as it was gently sidled up to the dock.

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Sara and I were bound for Cardiff. The story behind the reason for our visit is truly incredible, so much so that I hope it will see publication. Suffice it for here to write that it involved my mother in her early twenties, a young Welsh serviceman passing through her hometown en route to serve after training in Canada, mum’s parents inviting him to their home for dinner, a lovely thank you note from him that mum had kept from those 73 years ago, and the internet being able to tie all of these bits and pieces together. We were stopping to meet the serviceman, now in his nineties, and his son. What a memorable evening we had, with good conversation, sharing photographs, telling stories and reminiscing, a delicious pub meal and an overnight stay. Evenings like this come along seldom in life…what an honour and pleasure to have this opportunity. There are pictures…we’ll see how publication works out and perhaps I’ll be able to post one here. I so wish this had been mum visiting, but I was honoured to be her stand-in.

This morning it was up early and on board a train bound for London for an afternoon commitment of Sara’s and a serious date with a washing machine for me. We spotted a white chalk horse on a hillside…

image…but I don’t know which one this was. I can’t possibly search through the white horses of England to find its name on my iPad….it’s just toooo slow. My iPad is a trial in patiences, but I’m not complaining! However, it seems that I’ve burned out the charger for my camera and unless I can find a new camera battery, my posts may be reduced to just my unillustrated writing until I get home and remedy the situation. Probably a common fate of mixing converters, adapters, charges and foreign countries.

Tomorrow brings a train trip to southern England.

Feet Up, a Day of Rest at the Beach

Sara and I and a few of the other walkers decided against walking yesterday. The route sounded alright, but it was more coastal walking and then walking through some agricultural fields and that description just didn’t measure up to finding a local beach and enjoying some salt water and sun. Others went shopping and touring around, but Sara and I headed for the shore near The Cliff Hotel (where we were staying)

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and, after some looking, found a set of steps carved from rocks down to a cove with a small beach.

We spent a couple of hours here, with Sara swimming and me writing and knitting. I was thankful to give my blistered feet a rest…turns out my blister count after our Pembrokeshire Coast walk was actually four. My concern is getting the ol’ tootsies back in shape for my upcoming Lake District walk.

After this we cleaned up and took a taxi to St. Dogmael’s, where the walkers were to finish their day. Sara and I had lunch at the cafe of the St. Dogmael’s Abbey ruins cafe, then toured the abbey and the active old, but active St. Dogmael’s church.

There was a small display inside of used books for sale and, of all things, I found a book of WWII stories by servicemen, which is now my reading material.

The group arrived precisely on time, an amazing feat given that it was a 10 mile walk, and after they’d had a rest, we all went back to our hotel by bus. Dinner, another three-course meal, was at 7p as always. We started our usual pre-dinner meeting a little differently, by presenting Mike with a card of thanks and collected tips. He seems to have enjoyed our group. His wife, Pat, was along and she had served as our “back marker,” keeping us altogether as a group. Later, at dinner, Mike remarked that he’d have liked our group to have a couple more days together. He thought there must be a trail in the Pensilli (probably spelled incorrectly) hills that could be included on this particular holiday of Ramblers Holidays. That would be an interesting walk as that’s where the Stonehenge stones began their travels to the south of England.

Anyway, a nice dinner of tomato and basil soup, salmon with paella and a chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and raspberries and good company. I’m sure all those calories will get used up down the road a bit.

Yesterday’s Walk: Pembrokeshire Coast Trail

We began with our usual bus ride to the trailhead, this time in the tiny hamlet of Cumtydu. After we all got ourselves straightened out (sunscreen on, hats on, water pipes hooked on, biking gloves on, neckerchief on, sunglasses on, boots snugly on) we set off, or up, as was this case. Our walk to the top of a headland was accomplished by (only) two (long) switchbacks. But, once there we had a nice view of the inlet below.

Carrying on, we soon arrived high enough to see our path before us.

 

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Although we didn’t know it at the point Sara took this photo of me, our lunch destination was beyond the peninsula in the distance (above).

We had a morning rest stop and I got busy and applied Compeed to what felt like a blister beginning on my right heel. And, then ate apples, grapes and a mound of chocolate finger cookies, washed down with Cytomax and tea.

Sara, walking out from our lunch stop and our gang, having a little lesson in how to use poles whilst (hehe) going downhill:

So, we continued walking toward the peninsula, eventually arriving.

imageIt was a pretty sight, with the three sailing boats and there were two seals in the harbour. We’d passed hundreds of jellyfish along our walk, drifting far below in the water. They looked to be white and transparent and must have been huge – to look so huge from so far away.

At this point along the trail, the sign pointed up to the top of the hill just out of this photo, to the left. Mike wasn’t sure whether this was correct and given the distance we’d walked and the steeply rising temperature, some of us were wishing he’d check it out without us, but we dutifully followed. Once at the top it seemed to not be right so down we came, but a little further along the trail, we could see how that would have worked, albeit with a steep downhill.

From this point we could turn around to see where we’d been…we’d walked all of this…

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The temperature was rising…we found out today that it had gotten to 92…and when we came across this view…

image …it looked like an oasis before us. Turned out that this was where Mike had planned our lunch stop, so we scurried down the hill and onto the bench in the shade, beachside of the smaller building along the beach and got serious about restoring lost calories.

Notice the hill on the far side of the inlet? That was our after lunch walk and if I’m not mistaken, we also covered the hilly meadow beyond.

By this time, most of us were beginning to flag (there were a few choice words heard going up that exposed meadow 🙂 Sara and I had long ago taken a salt tablet each, which really helped restore our energy, but they only last so long in this heat, climbing and distance.

From here, our path was pretty much up and down and up and down and up and down. We eventually came to Penbryn, a town of one shop and maybe that many houses on a beach inlet (likely popular is summer) and restocked up on deliciously cold water. An interesting part of the walk came after this as we entered a beautiful wood. Turns out, in a month a Jurassic Park film is to be filmed there…seemed like a perfect setting and we half expected a dinosaur to roar at us through the dense ferns, shrubs and trees.

Within a bit, here was the next “up” greeting us…

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Following this we had another mile or so. Our bus was waiting for us at our pick up point in Tresaith, with the AC running, which I really appreciated. On the bus I took a sip of water and found that my 2gal Dromedary was all but dry. Perfect timing, but also a little unnerving to run out of water.

Back at the hotel I gingerly took off my boots, wool socks, liner socks and compression socklets to have a look at my feet. Well, my right foot as that was the one giving me grief throughout the day. An impressive blister under my Compeed, I think!

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All in all, a good walking day of only 9.25m, but in the heat, a bit of a slog near the end.

From Coastland to Moorland

Today’s 10.25 m walk began along the coastline, then took us through a dense wood and, because the fog cleared, up into the moorlands. Our weather continued sunny and hot times.

I’m truly amazed with how this coastline reminds me of the coastline of Cape Breton Island, of Nova Scotia. It’s as if the continents separated and pulled apart. Oh…wait a minute…

Some of our coastline scenery…

After a short break, we turned I land from the Wales Coast Path and entered an extremely lush and dense wood. At one point there sounded to be a huge machine at work, but we couldn’t see anything through the ferns, shrubs and trees. We wandered on for a ways with our leader doing a commendable job of navigating. Some way markers were easy to see and others were once our leader beat back the vines and shrubs covering them up…

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After this our trail markers seemed to disappear. After a wrong turn we ended up at a farmer’s house and they told us how to find our way again. This involved climbing a fairly long stretch along a bridle path. I was beginning to feel tired and just then, our leader announced lunch time. Here’s my lunch scenery from today…

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My old iPad is really being stretched to do what I’m asking of it. I wrote the rest of this post last night, but it stopped functioning and that part doesn’t’t seem to have been saved. It’s time to start getting ready for today’s adventure, so just to recap quickly…after lunch the clouds cleared so Mike decided we could venture up onto the moor. A bit of a hot climb up to this land of gorse, heather and sheep with their lambs….

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Following this we headed to a large rock outcrop, that, of course, has ages of history behind it regardng inhabitation, defense and so forth. By then the clouds were moving back in on the moor so Mike wants to get us down and down we went, by a steep and rocky route.

After that, it was just a walk back to town and our pick up and drive back to The Cliff House.

Blister count as of today: 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day of Walking (and I have enough energy to write about it!)

Thank you mountains of Montana. Thank you Chris, my once-in-a-while trainer, thank you Marcel, my post knee-op PT…with all that training today’s walking went smoothly. I guess it wasn’t an especially hard walk, with 10.25 miles and 400 m of elevation gain, but still, I had energy after we finished, so that makes it a good day.  Now, close to 10p, I’m definitely fading, but I’ll write a brief synopsis.

At our start, I thought we were having a ride to town to pick up our lunches, so I was ready, but had my coat in my hands, wondering where our van was. Turned out I had misheard the plans…we were walking to town…duh…this is a walking vacation. So I quickly tied that around my waist while someone held my poles and we were off.

We walked along Cardigan Bay in a light mist…

image…but no rain, heading to Cardigan (just over 3m). Once there, we had a 1/2hr break in order to buy whatever we wanted from the shops for lunch. I chose a Red Leicester, spring onion and other things sandwich, which, later (much later), by the time I thought of taking a photo of it I’d already gobbled up half of it. It was delicious.

imageFollowing our shopping we walked along the High Street in town to the far end and across a very old bridge which is known as the “new” bridge.

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This is the River Teifi (“tahvah”). It used to be a major river for bringing supplies in from sea. Things were sorted and stored in these warehouses of old…

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Following this we entred a nature preserve that seemed to feature otters, (didn’t see those), water buffalo (saw four later on) and badgers, which later on we saw lots of signs of and one rather large specimen…

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…made from willow branches.

We continued on, following the River Teifi quite far upstream which required climbing a lot of steep steps and within a few steps, going down a lot of steep steps…several times over.

I found it very interesting how our path, and presumably many in the UK gives walkers the right to pass very closely among houses. In one case today, our path passed between a house and it’s back yard. It was pretty, but it seemed invasive enough without stopping to photograph their garden.

Onward and we finally reached our lunch spot at 2p, when we all devoured our chosen sandwiches and fruit. We were all entertained by a large group of children rafting and canoeing in place and mainly trying to splash each other with their paddles…lots of shrieking and fun! From there we had a climb back up from the river’s edge and onward to a castle remains for some and a church for others. I chose the church which happened to be locked shut, but the cemetery held our interest. The erect stones were remarkable as was one marker for a man who had made a name for himself as a top geological surveyor for Canada.

There was an “Ogham” stone, which we read was a truly ancient stone grave marker with the language being comprised of only lines.

Following this we eventually re-entered the nature sanctuary and walked on an impressively long raised boardwalk, eventually returning to Cardigan. We had a short tour of the old buildings in town and then were transported back to our accommodations by van and after 10 miles or so on foot, a van was a lovely way to travel.

Our evening routine is to rest and clean up and meet to review the day and look ahead to the next day’s plan and then eat. I chose a delicious starter prawn cocktail, roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding and roasted potatoes, followed by a dense chocolate torte. Needless to say, after a day on the trail and that delicious meal, I’m finished for the day.

Travel Day

Today was a travel day – getting myself from London to Carmarthen by train and then to Cardigan in western Wales by taxi. All worked out as planned and I arrived here, at The Cliff Hotel with time to unpack, make and drink multiple cups of tea and soon to make myself presentable, hopefully, for our group introductory meeting followed by dinner together.

My 6.5 mile taxi trip during London’s morning rush hour took 50 minutes, at an average rate of 7.5 mph. At that rate, why would anyone own a car in London? A walker passed my taxi three times!

The taxi driver delivered me safely to Paddington Station and even hefted my suitcase out onto the sidewalk for me. PS was easy to figure out and I had an hour to spare, so I watched the traffic go by. My Great Westen Railway train left on time, heading for Cardiff.

I’d booked a First Class ticket for this travel and much to my delight, the trolley service was brought around right after we started up. Tea and fruitcake…so appropriate! And, delish.

imageAfter 45 minutes we were free of the city and vast scenes all made up of shades of green were the norm outside my window…hedgerows, trees, crops…and cows and sheep. Really, we drink up this kind of scenery after a few days in any city, don’t you think?

On to Cardiff where I had a tight train transfer, but as the train I was to board was pulling in to the same platform where I’d gotten off, there was plenty of time.

The train to Carmarthen had only three cars and made plenty of stops. It must be a local train for people shopping in Cardiff. I’d squished my stuff into a single seat, but when a double seat opened up I moved there. Turned out I was now sitting beside a chatty couple on holiday from other parts of Wales. Our car was quiet and it felt like everyone could hear our conversation so when the gentleman asked me where I was going and wasn’t to be contented with a vague answer, he said, in a loud voice: “Oh, it’s to be a dirty weekend is it, then?” Made us all laugh! As he carried on talking I had to have his wife translate for me, but when he learned that I’m from Canada, which launched him into a comparison of Canada with the US I gave up altogether and just last laughed along with his wife, who concluded that she really couldn’t take him anywhere 🙂

Robin’s taxi was not at the train station as promised, but just as I was beginning to become concerned, he arrived. Turned out he was driving on narrow country roads for the 45 minute trip and had gotten behind two lorries, as he said. All turned out well and Paul, my driver, was a great tour guide en route to my accommodations, even taking me through town to help me get my bearing. Cardigan has a population of 4,000, with most being elderly, he said. It attracts a lot of tourists in the season and I could see why…the town looked interesting to explore and it’s located on a huge estuary. Must be good for birding. Guess I’ll begin to find out tomorrow when we begin our walking. I did catch sight of one bird today that I think was a grey heron.

Time to get ready to meet the troops and check out the food at this place.

Signs in Welsh began to show up in Newport…

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One More Day of Exploring in London

Yesterday brought my last day in London before beginning all the travel this trip entails. I was ready for a relaxing morning, so that’s what we chose. This involved some reading, some knitting and the drinking of tea.

My daughter had an appointment that would take her afternoon, so I went along with her to her meeting place. We had time for lunch so we picked up the usual sandwich, crisps and water and took ourselves to Bloomsbury Park where we dined among many begging pigeons. A male and female common blackbird moseyed by, but they were focused on finding bugs in the grass versus waiting for crumbs to fall. (Hard to see here in this unedited photo, but the male has the yellow bill near the center.)

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Once we separated I decided to walk to Russell Park as last year when I was in London, a charity had set up a used book sale booth in the park. I was hoping they’d be there again. I was thoroughly disappointed to find that they weren’t, but, really, what were the odds? I did find a bookshop along my route, so that stop took care of the problem of having read everything I’d brought along, at least in paper form.

I was headed for an afternoon at the National Gallery, which was less than a two-mile walk. Once there, sweaty and not having much of a background in art, I decided my best bet was to join in a hour-long tour. The tour leader focused on six paintings during the hour and it was an opportunity to learn a lot about those particular paintings. I was tired, though, so not much stuck with me. One painting for which I do remember the name was “The Hay Wain,” by a British artist. Sorry…names and dates didn’t stick.

The London Symphny Orchestra was rehearsing in Trafalgar Square behind a series of dividers, so I decided to sit in front of the Gallery and have a listen, which was a treat. Unbeknownst to me, while I was nibbling on a cookie, a pigeon cuddled up next to me, which I only saw after I’d eaten everything and happened to turn around. It completely reminded me of Indy, our bichon, who’s taken to looking for handouts at home (and, yes, it works!). The pigeon was injured…looked like it had a broken wing and leg. Someone noticed it and gave it a bunch of peanuts and before I left I dug out my remaining cookie and shared it, so it was well fed at the moment, but will likely become food, itself, before long.

Back on my feet and time to walk back to meet my daughter. As I got underway I realized that I was near Piccadilly Circus and therefore the Regent Hotel, an old hotel that my dad had stayed in during the war and where I had stayed as well, in the mid-seventies. I decided that would be a perfect place for a cup of tea before chugging along again. I arrived at PC, but couldn’t see the hotel, so I asked a merchant and she said that the hotel had closed 10 years ago. The building is still there, but the hotel is gone and the interior is completely changed – to retail shops and offices. The former staff lodging (when the Regent employed over 1,000 people), is now, I later read, a hostel. This all came as quite a shock to me, since we have history in this place, and I stood there for a while, trying absorb the change that time inevitably brings. I’d stopped in at the registration desk 11 years ago and chatted with a clerk about my dad having stayed there. He said the hotel had many people coming in with comments like this and asked me to add my name to a list of these folks because the hotel had plans to write some history to share. Not any more, I guess.

The former Regent Palace Hotel (the largest hotel in Europe when it opened):

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I decided to move along and after a few stops and starts on streets that weren’t on my maps,

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arrived back at Bloomsbury Park for our meet up again, after which we took a much-appreciated bus back to our starting place and immediately dined on naked burgers, salad and fries…much needed calories after this day of walking in the sun.

I’ve been trying to load photos while onboard the train to west Wales – with some luck, but that seems to have run out. Will try again once settled in.

A Day in London

I had the day to spend in London yesterday and top on my to-see list was the Imperial War Museum. This involved a bus and some walking and with many signs pointing the way, the challenge was minimal. What a stellar building…

imageI was immediately captivated by the scene right inside the entrance – of a Spitfire hanging from the ceiling, as well as a buzz bomb. One of my dad’s duties as a Spitfire pilot in WWII was to hunt down and destroy incoming buzz bombs, so I spent considerable time reading the signage.

I was amazed by how tiny the cockpit of the Spitfire looked…how could a 6’1″ man, decked out in helmet and gear, fold himself into that space, especially within the two or three minutes they had to do that and get off the ground? Do it they did, however, and although dad hardly ever spoke about his war years, he did tell us about the strategy he used of getting a wing of his plane under a wing of the buzz bomb and then tilting the bomb up past 90 degrees so the internal gyroscope would fail and the bomb would go down into the English Channel. While I was reading the signage a grandpa and his grandson came by and the grandfather explained how the bombs would be shot down. I said I could add a bit to the history lesson and explained the tipping strategy. An impressive story and at the end, the grandpa said: ” Your father was a hero!”, which was a very kind thing to say.

I toured the WWI and WWII exhibits and then jumped a couple of floors to tour the Holocaust exhibit, which left me, as it would most everyone, drained.

From there I headed over to the second stop of the day, the Tate Modern Museum. It was late in the afternoon by now and I was tired, so I Just had a quick look around.

As I was walking back to meet my daughter for dinner I stopped in at this church, rebuilt in 1959, for a little respite. A good day of city exploring.