Thursday, June 30, 2011

Choosing a Christmas Card - 2.12.1968

 Our friend John Savage took these photos, John was a work colleague of mine and a bit of a photographer.  In November we went off to St Leonard's Wood near Horsham and John snapped away.  I remember thinking how geeky we looked in our matching jumpers that I'd knitted and it took us forever to choose one photo to use as a Christmas Card for our families and friends back home in Australia, but now when I look at these photos I think we looked rather beautiful.   LOL    Time is a wonderful thing.

I liked the top photo but not enough of the Taxi in it. David is sitting in the driver's seat and Pennie is sitting on the fold-down 'dickie' seat in the passenger compartment.

The next we liked but you can't really see the Taxi here either.

This one is a bit blurry.

No Taxi at all!

I liked this one... Kangaroo painted by David from the design on an Aussie Penny.

 Nice... I like this one :-) but still not enough Taxi.

The pose is a bit... bit... bit... well you know a bit too lovey dovey,  but the Taxi looks great so this is the one we chose.
Below is one of our Christmas Cards for 1968.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Postcards from Australia - Northern Beaches - 10.1968

 Our families sent us a steady stream of Postcards from home, I stuck every one of them up on our walls... This fold out one is from Rosie.  And yes we did sigh, especially at our very familiar Newport Beach.

Avalon Beach

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally - 14.11.1968

With all the talk of the 1953 movie 'Genevieve' during the day,  our friend Peter W., who had names for every vehicle he ever owned, christened our much-loved Taxi.  We'd tossed a few names around but our time was up so Peter Christened her 'Tabitha'... and that's who she was known as from that day on.  (Sounds weird now but that's how it was.  Our dear friend Peter died a couple of years ago.)
 Positioned on the A23 at Pyecombe Hill watching the old vehicles pass by on their way to Brighton.
Just looking at this photo reminds me of just how darn cold it was with that freezing wind blowing around us.  That's me sitting on top of our Taxi and Peter W. in the light coloured slacks standing with other friends on the edge of the road.
(The Royal Automobile Club's annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run takes place on the first Sunday of every November and commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896 which celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the speed limit for 'light locomotives' from 4 mph to 14 mph and abolished the requirement for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot carrying a red flag.)

 Old Steyne, Brighton.

 Marine Parade, Brighton with the famous Pier back left.  I'm glad we didn't own one of these, looks less friendly than our Taxi with it's drivers cabin up front and no passenger seat beside.

(Nine years later, in 1977, we became homesick for our much loved second home so sailed back to England on the 'S.S. Australis' with three of our four children (#4 hadn't been born yet).  Nobody would rent us a house because the rent law was such that if we didn't pay our rent they couldn't kick us out because the children were under a certain age.  So we cashed in our return tickets, borrowed left right and centre and bought a house in Guildford near our old friends and spent 2 years reliving our first time in the UK. 

One weekend we went back to Brighton for a Veteran Commercial Vehicle Rally, David had the three children with him while I did a bit of shopping in the town.  When I'd finished and found him about an hour later,  somewhere near this spot,  the first thing he said to me was 'Have you seen the children?' 

He hadn't lost 6 month old Briony because she was on his back in a papoose, but Nerys aged 5 and Tomos aged 3 were missing.  The Police were searching as were we...  up and down, up and down the sea front... it wasn't a very nice half hour or so. 

Eventually it was discovered that both children were outside one of the Double Decker buses and David was inside, some woman asked the children where their Mummy and Daddy were and they said they didn't know so instead of standing with them for a minute or two she whisked them away to the Police Station which is under that clock just above this driver's head.  They had been there all the time and were sitting up on a high desk eating an ice cream and both burst into tears when their very relieved Mum walked in.  Phew!)

Benz Dog Cart, the oldest in the 1968 Rally.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Postcards from Friends - Barb Steele - 7.11.1968

P&O Oriana.

From:- Barb Steele - 7.11.1968

Dear Pennie and Dave,

     Thanks so much for your telegram.  What a lovely surprise for one lonely girl in a cabin with two old ladies and a mother with 2yr old baby.

     We've been having rather rough weather but are heading for the sun any day now, (we hope).  Got 3 nice people on my table - we're all trying to write at the moment but it's not very easy when you feel a bit uneasy.  Even the band members were ill last night.

       Love Barb

(David, Nerys 6, Tomos 5, Briony 2, and I sailed home to Australia on the Oriana in November/December 1979, before she was scrapped, she was indeed a fabulous ship... this was our second time in the U.K.)

Postcards - Tresco, Scilly - 7.10.1968

Cromwell’s Castle, Scilly 7/10/1968 - to - Andrew, Deakin. 2600

Dear Andrew,
We thought it was your turn for a card.  Had a beaut time on the Scillies although we only spent a couple of hours there.  Congrats for your Distinction your mum told us about.  Hope you’ll keep it up.  We hope to go to Scotland soon for a while, the taxi is very successful.
Love Pennie and David.

Cromwell’s Castle, Tresco, Scilly.

Postcards - Scilly Isles - 7.10.1968

 St Mary’s, Scilly Isles. 7/10/1968 - to - Meredith, Newport. 2106

Hell lo Merrie,
We LOVE the Scillies, there are sandy beaches with surf some days, DARLING little pubs (2).  Yesterday we surfed at St Ives in Cornwall*. I can still do it, although it’s necessary to lie on your back to catch the waves, but you can turn over once you get going.  More holidays, less work for me.
Love David (truly)

Hugh Town & the Harbour from SEaways. St Mary’s, Scilly.

*When we arrived at St Ives in Cornwall at about 9:30pm one night we found this beautiful sandy beach with several swimmers as well as several board riders, very different from the pebble beaches in and around Sussex.  Having spent quite a lot of time on Sydney beaches we were very excited and this was the first beach we’d found with real sand. It was getting dark so we drove off to find somewhere on a quiet back road to pull into and settle down for the night, so as to return to the beach at St Ives early the next morning with the sun shining and the heat rising all ready for a swim but... the water had vanished.   Totally vanished.  The sand was still there, there were children making sand castles, the sand was damp but no water.  This was our first lesson of the big tides on the West Coast of the U.K. but we did hang around and eventually, when the water came back, enjoy a sort of a surf. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Postcards - Lands End - 4.10.1968

Lands End, Cornwall 4/10/1968 - to - Nick, Newport. NSW 2106

Hi Nick,
Here we are at Land’s End at last, took us 5 days travelling to get here.  It really is lovely.  If you look in the Aunty Cranky* card collection in the card table you will find a postcard with the First and Last House on it.  I remember it being there and its so good to see something like that.  We have been camping in our Taxi every night, cooking our meals beside the road on a gas stove, having freshly picked blackberries, plenty beside all the roads and fresh Devon Clotted Cream, boy fattening.  Will write when we get home.
Love Pennie and David.

Lands End
(*Aunty Cranky was Mum’s Aunt, and my Great Aunt, she spent years travelling the world in the 1950’s sending us more than 150 postcards in that time.  Cranky was a nickname, her real name was Nancy, she and John lived at 'Wollogorang' where David and I met. Nancy was a nurse who nursed John at one time, he said she was a cranky nurse hence the nickname which she got before she married.)

Postcards - Lands End - 4.10.1968

 Lands End, Cornwell. 4/10/1968 - to - Julia, Deakin. ACT 2600

Dear Doodie,
You can see where we are, we have taken 5 days to get here via Dorset, Devon and finally Cornwall, and we are lucky, repeat lucky, to have a lovely day.  The place really looks like the card pictures it.  I imagine we have been near where Aunt Mollie was born if you remember her.   All along the roads, every road, are hedges of blackberries which we have with our Devon Clotted Cream for pudding every night.  The taxi is a perfect caravan.
Love Pennie and David.

Land’s End and Longships Lighthouse, Cornwall.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cornwall - Scilly Isles - October 1968

 David looking out to St Michael's Mount in Mount's Bay, Cornwall. Well he was when I picked up the camera.
Wiki says... Historically, St Michael's Mount was a Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, when it was given to the Benedictines, religious order of Mont Saint-Michel, by Edward the Confessor in the 11th century.

Pennie talking to an old Cornish Miner - note all the old coal mines in the background.

Pennie looking out to the Long Ships Lighthouse off Lands End.

The First and Last house at Lands End.

Pennie looking just a tad seedy after the sea voyage to the Scilly Isles.  Those are the customs houses at St Mary's on the right.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Postcards - Clifton Beach, Sidmoth - 4.10.1968

Lands End, Cornwall 4/10/1968 - to - Mary, Deakin. ACT 2600

Dear Mum,
We are having a beautiful tour, even weather-wise you’ll hear how we saw the Rodds at Buckland Abbey, it was great.  We have blackberries from the side of the road, with clotted cream for pudding every night. Land’s End is a thrill, and very relaxing.  My favourite was Dartmouth which looked more like Dr Doolittle’s Puddleby than the film one I think. We hope to surf near Newquay today, we’re going now.  Bye, love P & D.

Clifton Beach, Sidmouth. Devon.

Postcards - Cornwall/Devon - 4.10.1968

 Land’s End, Cornwall. 4/10/1968 - to - Mary, Deakin. ACT. 2600

Dear Mum
We have been blessed with lovely weather today for the end point of our week in Devon and Cornwall.  It has been lovely, Sidmouth was our first stop in Devon, and the place I am sure was alive with Aunt Mollies*.  We called on relatives of Pennie’s (Rodd’s) a Mrs Arthur Rodd and her sister-in-law Fanny. (A merry version of Aunt Mollie) at Yelverton, South Dartmoor, where they OWN Buckland Abbey, former home of Francis Drake now a museum on lease to Plymouth Corporation. More of it next time.  Tomorrow, weather permitting we’ll be doing a day trip to the Scillies.
Love P&D (and taxi)

Sidmouth, Devon.
*David had an Aunt Mollie in Australia, I never met her.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Buckland Abbey - October 1968 - Once the Home of Sir Francis Drake.

 Outside the Cider House at Buckland Abbey.
When I was leaving home to marry David, my Great Uncle Brent gave me contacts for our family in the West Country.  Uncle Brent also wrote to them to say we were coming.  Our side of the Rodd Family settled in Sydney in 1820 so this is a 191 year family separation but Uncle Brent had done all the research, had travelled extensively and knew where our old family homes were and the families who lived in them. 
When we were heading to the West Country I wrote to Aunt Fanny Rodd who wrote straight back and made arrangements for our visit.  We picked Aunty Fanny up from her small cottage in Yelverton, she was so thrilled to be having a ride in a London Taxi and we drove to Buckland Abbey for 'Tea' at her sister-in-laws home in the Cider House right beside the Abbey.
Captain Arthur Rodd bought the 700 year old Buckland Abbey in 1946 it was restored by 1951 then given to the National Trust.  Arthur Rodd and his wife Mollie lived in the Cider House which was one of the biggest homes we'd ever seen but not as big as the Abbey!

Buckland Abbey today from Google Maps.

 The very lovely Aunty Fanny and David inside Buckland Abbey.

Buckland Abbey is just north of Plymouth.
Very windy on top of the Smeaton Tower at Plymouth Hoe... our Taxi looks just like a Dinky model doesn't it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Postcards from Friends - Elsie Waugh - 25.9.1968

Cros-de-Cagnes - Cote d'Azur, French Riviera.

From:- Elsie Waugh - 25.9.1968

Dear David and Pennie,

     I am having a lovely restful time here.  The weather is lovely and so warm.  I have been in the sea each day since last Saturday; we arrived here on Thursday last about 7:50pm, after a long drive from Veyrier through the Alps.  My friends flat is marked with an x so you can see what a lovely view it commands.  Looking the other way from that on the card, is the sea, the full view of the race course, and Antibes Harbour.   I am writing this with the window on to the balcony wide open and can see the new moon over the hills at the back of Antibes, and the traffic going along the sea road.  Have not been to many places yet but hope to next week.  Love to you both, Pommy Mum xx xx

P.S. I have been to the old part of Cagnes and the Castle mentioned on this card marked.

Dorset/Devon - On the Road again - September 1968 - this time to the West Country.

Dinner time - Each weekend we shopped at Tesco's for the basic foods then bought the odd fresh meat, fruit or vegetables along the way, we cooked on our Campingaz on the luggage rack and on cool evenings used the back of the Taxi as a dining room :-)
Do you like those curtains?  Pity we don't have colour photos, they were red and white check, very friendly and cosy it was.

 Our camp site, just outside Tolpuddle in Dorset. We found plenty of quiet places to pull off the road in the evenings, the only traffic was early in the mornings as the Farmers went about their business.

 Abbotsbury in Dorset, the Ilchester Arms on right. I just Googled to find the name and it's still there but has some terrible reviews about the accommodation and the food.

Sidmouth, Devon.  The beaches aren't looking any better.

 Another meal time, this time on a sunny day just outside Dartmouth in Devon.

Under Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Tube Bridge at Saltash built across the Tamar River, Devon.  Linking Great Western Railway to Cornwall and finished in 1859 the year of Brunel's death.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Postcards from Friends - Justin Doyle -15.9.1968

Stonegate, York.

From:- Justin Doyle - 15.9.1968

Dear Pennie and David,

     Tried to phone you the last couple of weekends but you were unavailable.  Am now on an extended tour of England, heading for Scotland with Belinda and friend (female) and their car.  Tonight at Malton Youth Hostel no baths etc., after seeing York and environs today.

       Regards, Justin.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Postcards - New Forest - 9.9.1968

New Forest, Hampshire 13/9/1968 - to - Mary,  Deakin. ACT 2600

Dear Mum,
Mrs Waugh (and Mr.) (!) came down for lunch on Sunday - she’d received her parcel and was THRILLED.  We haven’t yet seen the contents.  The card is from a recent weekend drive, in Hants. Wilts and Dorset.   The ‘New Forest’ is striking for it’s wide open spaces, distinctive vegetation, rather like Snowy Mountains Snow Country in Summer.  Still Taxiing happily - we haven’t christened her yet.
Love to all P&D

The Cat and Fiddle Inn, Hinton Admiral
Located on the A35 road at the western edge of the New Forest the ‘Cat and Fiddle’ Inn with it’s thatched roof is a popular and interesting stop for tourists.

Postcards - North Wales - 3.9.1968

Snowdonia, Wales 3/9/68 - to - Julia, Deakin. ACT 2600

Dear Julia,
We had a fab time in Wales, the people, views, water and everything are really great.  We stayed one night in a little house that advertised B&B it was up on top of a hill in the back of beyond a real Welsh farm house, the next night we slept in the new Taxi of ours and we got very wet because the boot leaked.  Love P & D.

Caernarvon Castle - A Welsh Lady - Llanberis Pass
Menai Bridge - Swallow Falls