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.

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