We had been in Cardiff two years. A townhouse in Roath. Enjoying work, passing exams and planning next steps to an MD. Not a care in the world. We were half way to Cornwall compared with Liverpool and linked up with friends from there for a camping holiday. (We met Marilyn, the wife, and her new partner in 2013. New Mill Choir was trying its hand at competing in the Cornish Festival) Bath and Slimbridge were also relatively close. You don’t know how long you’ll stay, so you go. A quick one in a pub in Bath and the walls covered in rugby photographs from Moldgreen ARLFC. Something to do with the landlord. (We moored near to The Rec in 2002 on our first narrowboat trip) We had to go to West Wales once, ending up at Fishguard. It was no big deal. The night before setting off, neighbours Don and Yvonne hosted a wedding anniversary. Could have been a 25th, in a local barracks. I dropped and smashed a bottle of gin on the way out.
Fallingbostel, Germany was another visit to friends from Liverpool days. An army camp where Dick was MO. We went to Berlin as well. Down a long corridor, thoroughly checked. Camped under the wall, surrounded by observation towers. Did the bus tour and then picked the best for a return visit. East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie. Amazing to spend so much time, effort and presumably money on, from our point of view, a crazy system. Survived a thunderstorm. Back to Falli and Belsen. You have it to do, but it’s grim. (In 2007 we toured with New Mill Choir in Poland, taking in Auschwitz which was more than many of us could stomach)
Old friends from Sheila’s side of the family and a Kiwi husband in the RAF lived in North Luffenham. They are a very long story. They split, and we see Jude and the grandchildren.
Don and Yvonne were guests at my parents’ house in Huddersfield. Worth Valley came as an extra. Sadly I quite like steam trains.
Steve and Hazel had a caravan for a few years near Arneside. With Andy and Cheryl we popped up for a day. We’ve been to the area many times since, notably to Holgates with a mad crowd from Honley, after moving there in 1985.
1974 was the year that Leeds based Grandad Briggs could no longer look after his wife, Gladys, who had dementia. Sheila’s parents did sterling work looking after them following their move to Hunmanby on the east coast, often at the expense of their own health.
Eddie Shoesmith and his brother were schoolfriends. A bit of a mystery, they originated from Barnsley. Both good rugby players, grandsons of Albert Rosenfeld, an all-time great RL player from Australia and favourite with Fartown. Eddie sailed through his exams, Cambridge honours, then university posts. He eventually left Anne for a Chinese student.