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Watford

Saturday 2nd September 1972 - Watford

We left quite early in the morning as we had to take the car back to the owners at Kingston-on-Thames. After depositing the car we caught a train to Waterloo, changed at Queen's Park and caught another train to Watford. In the afternoon Mum and Dad left us to go to London where they were staying as they were going to the Continent early next morning.

Sunday 3rd September 1972 - Watford

At lunch time Uncle Phil took us 2 miles past the town of Tring to a mountain where we met some of his friends. They were competing in a Britain-wide competition to see who could make the most contacts on their radios in 12 hours. In one man’s tent we heard Morse code. That night we watched home movies of Uncle Phil’s.

Monday 4th September 1972 - Watford

In the afternoon we caught a bus to Grandma’s. Aunty Francis was there too. We had a lovely time playing. Getting there on the bus I had a bit of trouble understanding their fares. I was actually asked if I was German.

Tuesday 5th September 1972 - Watford

We stayed home today and watched the Olympic Games on Aunty Joy’s colour TV and I made a bag. The colour TV is gorgeous and Munich is beautiful.

Wednesday 6th September 1972 - Watford

After lunch Uncle took us to see Bekonscot Model Village. It was really fantastic. This village had everything you could think of - a pier, lake, airport, racecours, churches, castles, playing areas, windmills, farms, a zoo, railway, docks, public pool, college and bridge. There were also many other things. There were trees everywhere and velvety soft grass, blooming flowers and miniature shrubs and trees. At the entrance was Epwood Castle and behind it Chessnade Zoo. This is a mixture of Chessington Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo. Everywhere there are trains running and stopping at stations. There are many shops and the arcaded street in the shopping centre is copied from High Street in Chester. Bekonscot College is a cream coloured building and copied from Worcester College, Oxford. The lake is stocked with goldfish and carp. There are many churches. The have towers or spires and little stained glass windows. St. Theresa’s Church had organ music and singing coming from it. All the trains leave from the Main Station of Maryloo. There are docks and they have grand liners at anchor. Also there is a public swimming pool. For the little people there are tennis courts, a cricket pitch and a golf club. The aerodrome is BOAC and has planes ready to take off and in the hangar. Spanning an ornamental lake is Alexandra Bridge, a copy of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Wychwood Castle is near the bridge. A path leads around the lake. There are rock plants and flowers on either side of the path. Also there are miniature conifers and a Japanese Maple growing. In the lake is a pier. At Epwood Racecourse a race is on. In fields men on horseback are chasing a fox. It was lovely. We drove to Cookham to look at the river and then we drove home.

Thursday 7th and Friday 8th September 1972 - Watford

On both these days we stayed at home, made things, watched GTV and went up to the town. For every meal that is cooked it is giant-sized and scrumptious.

Saturday 9th September 1972 - Garston

In the morning at Watford we received a call from Mum and Dad. The were in Amsterdam. It was nice to talk to them. We then caught a bus to Aunty Jacky’s where she lives at Garston. Dina and Nicky were there and so was Aunty Glenda’s children, Derrick and Steven. Steven was really cute. After lunch we all went swimming in an indoor pool that was heated to 82 degrees F. It was beautiful and 11 feet deep. Also Marianthea came. She’s nice and that night I slept with her and the boys with Aunty Glenda.

Sunday 10th September 1972 - Garston

Marianthea has dark hair and is adopted. We had fun together. In the morning we went swimming again and this is who came - Aunty Jacky, Uncle Jimmy, Dina, Nicky, Marianthea, Aunty Glenda, Uncle Geoff, Derrick, Steve, Matthew, Stephen and me. Uncle Geoff is kind of scary. It was fun swimming again. Marianthea’s cousin, Debra and her father came over. We all played together. For lunch we had a Greek meal and they are Greek. I didn’t like it very much. In the afternoon we went over to Aunty Glenda’s and had dinner. After Aunty Jacky’s family was taken home, Aunty Glenda took us back to Watford as the kids had to go to school the next day.

Monday 11th September and Tuesday 12th September 1972 - Watford

On both these days we stayed home, watched TV or went up to town. On Tuesday morning Uncle Phil and Aunty Joy went to a funeral as Uncle Phil’s father had died. On Tuesday evening we went to Grandma’s to meet some people that housed Mummy during the war. They were Uncle Alex, Aunty Mabel and Aunty Doreen. Uncle Alex was really nice.

Wednesday 13th September 1972 - Watford.

In the afternoon Uncle Phil took us to Madame Tussaud’s. On the way he took us to see Mum’s old house. It was on the Riverdene. Also we saw the school where she first went. It was St. Joseph’s convent.

Madame Tussaud’s was on Marylebone Road next to the Planetarium. Madame Tussaud’s was founded in Paris in 1770, came to England in 1802 and settled in London in 1835. The first room we saw was the Entertainers. The wax looked alive they were so well done. These are some of the people we saw in this room - Alfred Hitchcock, Twiggy, Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, the Beatles and many more.

The next room was called Heroes. It was dark except for colourful blinding lights flashing everywhere. There was Raquel Welch, Tom Jones, 2 astronauts from Apollo II, Chichester, David Frost, Cilla Black and a few others. This room was so different from any other room. Each figure in turn had lights pointing at them and they sang, talked or did something depending on who they were. At the 2 astronauts was heard a rocket taking off. Raquel Welch, a song was played, Tom Jones sang one of his songs and so on. Also if you stood in front of David Frost you could see yourself on 3 TVs.

After this room is a passageway leading to the Grand Hall. In this passageway is a portrait of Madam Tussaud herself aged 81. Near the entrance of the Grand Hall is Henry VIII and his 6 wives. In this room are kings and queens and rulers of other countries. Elizabeth II and her family are there. Also there is a portrait of President Nixon who has a really long nose. This room was full of wax people.

The next room we visited was the Chamber of Horrors. In here were murderers, a guillotine, treadmill, hanger and gas room. These are some murderers and what they did. Burke and Hare killed strangers and sold them for 10 pounds each. Mrs Dyer strangled 46 babies and threw them in the Thames. Christie killed women and put them in his kitchen cupboard. One man murdered his 3 wives in the bath. This bath was actually in the Chamber of Horrors. There were lots more gruesome people in the room. There was an original guillotine that had real people’s blood on it who had had their heads chopped off. Also there was a Hangman’s scaffold and drop removed from Hertford Prison. It was quite eerie in there. The Tableaux was a room of historic happenings. In here was Madame du Barry who is known as Sleeping Beauty. It is a wax model lying down with a veil over her face and breathing. Mary Queen of Scots was having her head chopped off and happening in Cromwellian times was done. Also there were the Princes sleeping in the Tower about to be suffocated.

The next room was the Battle of Britain. At the entrance to the room we walked through an air shelter that was used during the war. In the main room a Spitfire that was used in the War and was hanging from the ceiling. On one wall was a bombed German plane. Also on another wall were 2 screens showing the war as it happened. As we were leaving we saw a portrait of Hitler. We then walked through an arcade full of mirrors that made us look queer. The last room we saw was the Battle of Trafalgar. As we entered we heard a deafening sound of cannons and guns. We saw a ship with men shooting and looking after the ship. Below were dying men and Nelson dying from his wound. We all loved Madame Tussaud’s very much.

Thursday 14th and Friday 15th September 1972 - Watford

On Thursday we stayed home and mucked around. On Friday afternoon we caught a bus to Grandma’s. At her place we met Aunty Kitty, an old relation. Grandma’s lovely and we all love her.

Saturday 16th September 1972 - Watford

In the afternoon the McQuades came. We liked seeing them again. Ian and Bruce are gorgeous. Later on Mummy came home and we were all pleased to see her. From what she told us she had a wonderful time. Matthew got a car, Stephen a kaleidoscope and me a pair of clogs I didn’t see because they were posted back to Australia.

Sunday 17th September 1972 - Watford

In the morning we went to see Grandma and Aunty Kitty was there. That evening Uncle Bob went to Windsor for a week for a special course.

Monday 18th September 1972 - Watford

In mid-morning we caught a bus to Berkhamsted. When we arrived there we bought some lunch and ate it on a lock. After lunch we walked along the canal which was called the Grand Union Canal until we reached another pair of locks. We were lucky as a boat came and had to go through a lock. There are 2 sets of arms and the first pair of arms were open. They are then closed behind the boat. The water the other side of the lock in front of the boat is higher and while someone is holding the boat two other people crank this thing and suddenly all this water flows in from somewhere and the water gets so high that the water in the lock is as high as the water in front of it. They then open the lock and the boat goes through. It’s really interesting.

After a while we turned back and went to see Berkhamsted Castle. It was in ruins, but most of the outer wall was there and if it was still in use it would be enormous. We climbed up to the keep and looked at the well. It was quite high and we could see everything. The moat was really wide but didn’t have any water in it. In winter the local children go ice-skating in the moat when it freezes. Also lower down was another well. We then walked back to the canal and saw three navy boats. After playing on the swings we walked to High Street and went to see Aunty Hilda in her shop. She asked us to tea and we arrived home at midnight. We all really enjoyed that day.

Tuesday 19th September 1972 - Watford

Today we stayed home with Aunty Philippa, Aunty Joy, Ian and Bruce. In the afternoon we caught a bus to Aunty Jacky’s and all had our hair cut. When Maryanthea came home from school I stayed with her. We all love Aunty Joy and Uncle Phil very much as they’re so jolly and laughing all the time.

Wednesday 20th September 1972 - Watford

In the afternoon Uncle Phil and Aunty Joy took us and the McQuades to Windsor where we caught a boat and had a 2 hour trip up the River Thames. Our boat was called "Windsor" and the trip had beautiful countryside around it. We passed a beautiful big house with gorgeous gardens and lawns. It was called Oakley Court and was used for Frankenstein movies. I could just image it at night, all spooky. We also went through an automatic lock. All through England they have a competition to see which is the best looking lock. We saw the lock that always wins. Also we saw Bray Film Studios which make the films that are taken at Oakley Court. We really enjoyed the boat trip especially going through the lock. It was a lovely swelling feeling. From the boat and car we could see Windsor Castle. It was big and beautiful. The size was immense and it wasn’t ruined at all It looked really lovely!

Thursday 21st September 1972 - Watford

In the morning we left for London and at Oxford Circus we met Daddy. He had just come back from the continent the previous evening. While we had morning tea he told us what he did and bought. It sounded lovely. Afterwards we looked around the shops. We found the stores amazing. We only have little stores but they have enormous ones one block long and about 11 floors. They’re really enormous. While in Oxford Street we visited the biggest store in London, Selfridges. It was enormous and had practically everything you could sell. We spent hours in there. Also we went in the biggest Marks and Spencers. The big stores really amazed us.

After lunch we caught a train to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The dome inside the cathedral is really beautiful. The dome is very high and all along the walls are beautiful paintings. The ceiling above the choir is painted and beautiful too. Where the high altar is, it is in a canopy and the golden colours are really magnificent. You can walk right to the top of the dome, but we didn’t because we didn’t have time. The Cathedral was really beautiful.

We caught a train back to Oxford Circus where Daddy left us. We walked down Regent Street where we went into Hamley’s, the biggest toy shop in England. We spent hours there. There were 8 floors and all the toys we looked at were marvellous. We spent a lot of money there and I could never imagine a toy shop of that size. After having a smashing day in London we went back to Watford. This was the last time we saw London.

Friday 22nd September 1972 - Watford

Today we stayed home with Aunty Philippa. We packed most of our ports as well. Just after lunch Uncle Bob came back from Windsor.

Saturday 23rd September 1972 - Watford

In the morning Maryanthea came over to Aunty Joy’s and we went to the local theatre together. The film was good and only 3 pence to go in. When I went back to get my stuff Mummy and the boys were leaving with Aunty Glenda and the kids to go to Windsor Safari Park. When they came back they said they had enjoyed it. Meanwhile, Maryanthea and I caught a bus to Bushey where Grandma lives as we were going to sleep there for the night. Aunty Francis came over and we watched TV and played games. Maryanthea and I talked in bed till one in the morning. We had a lovely time. Also in the morning a telegram arrived from Brisbane saying 'safe journey home, love all, Brisbane’.

Sunday 24th September 1972 - Watford

All Sunday we played around and in the afternoon Aunty Joy, Uncle Phil, Mummy, Daddy, Stephen, Matthew, Aunty Jacky, Uncle Jimmy, Dina and Nicky all came over and we had a dinner of sandwiches. Later on when we were going home we said goodbye as it was the last time we would be seeing them all. Mummy and I had a sniffle about leaving Grandma.

Monday 25th September 1972 - Watford

Most of the day we packed and in the evening we caught a bus to Berkhamsted and had dinner at Aunty Hilda’s and Uncle Jimmy’s. Hilary and Paul were there too and they’re both really nice. The dinner was lovely. When we were back at Aunty Joy’s I had a bit of a sniffle in bed.

Tuesday 26th September 1972 - Watford

The day we were leaving had arrived. After having an early breakfast I received three letters. Later on Uncle Phil and Aunty Joy drove us to Heathrow Airport and at Terminal 3 they dropped us off and said goodbye as they could not go in. We were very sad to leave them behind.

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in United Kingdom

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