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Alicante, 1958



Barcelona, Alicante, 1957?

From Tony:
Another year, I'm not sure which? Can you remember the story of our journey by car (which car?). Across the Channel, through France, and onto Spain, along the coast, down to Alicante, and back? Do you remember being there? What we did? How you felt? Which year? This picture could be Alicante or Barcelona, any ideas?

From Marilyn:
I think this was Alicante as we were only in Barcelona overnight(I think). I’m pretty sure it was 1958 as I was 6 years old and was going into class 7 at school when we got back. Before we went I had had long blonde hair and it all got cut off and I had a perm - which I hated and I don’t think I’ve ever had a perm again. But all the waiters thought I looked like Shirley Temple!! I really can’t remember which car although there’s s picture somewhere. I remember the trip in Barcelona we had arrived late and our hotel was very close to the cathedral so when the bells started the next morning they woke everyone up! I also remember that Wendy, Joya and I were all in one big bed and sometime during the night I had either fallen or got out because they found me in the morning on a rug on the marble floor! I also remember that our parents were very upset with you as you refused to take off the sweater that Nanna had knitted and you were wearing it on the beach in the hottest part of the day! I think the main reason we were there was for a wedding which was on a mountain somewhere and we walked up a path with some very tall bamboo. There were flamenco guitarists playing in an open pavilion and they brought out a paella dish as big as a big table. It was the biggest paella dish I’ve ever seen! I remember going to Madrid where we bought my very first watch - which I still have even though it doesn’t work!! I think our parents went to the bullfight but didn’t like it much - no surprise! Then there was the journey home where it rained and rained and at one time there was water coming in the car. When we got home I remember we went through the cases that had been on the roof of the car and a lot of stuff was ruined or badly stained and I seem to remember Mummy washing everything as soon as we got back. I also remember a French girl - I think her name was Jacqueline and I didn’t know french and she didn’t know English but we played together! Just snippets but I’m sure you can fill in the blanks - but it’s bugging me that I can’t remember the car! When I went back to Spain in my twenties the northern coast near Barcelona was totally different- there were lots of hotels and there were plenty of fish and chips shops! I just remembered I think we had a suitcase full of spam and baked beans for us and the hotel restaurant had no idea how to cook chips - they ended up being soggy olive oil undercooked potatoes instead! That’s about it ! Thanks for the memories!!

From Tony:
That's fantastic. Thanks so much. I have no blanks to fill in! But I will dig out some pictures of our 1950s cars. So, I was 11 years old. I have no idea if I had started secondary school or having taken or passed the eleven-plus. Oh, I remember, I did get into bowling. Our hotel had a bowling alley! - wooden pins and wooden bowling balls with three holes for fingers, we would take turns setting the pins by hand. I'm not sure who the 'we' were - but we had great fun. And we / I bought our shared guitar, in Alicante probably. I never got it together to play it properly. I did have a penchant for playing the piano, but didn't know anyone who could help me learn. We probably brought back some castanets for clicking and fans for cooking - and maybe a doll? I don't know, guessing now. Do you still have some of your old school books? I still have my Hopalong Cassidy watch, but not the cap guns.  I'll look through some more photos to copy.

From Marilyn:
I forgot about the bowling alley! We definitely brought back castanets , tambourine, ladies fans and dolls! Wasn’t Joya’s brother’s name Robert? He was about the same age as you whoever he was. I have a few books but a lot of my things didn’t make the trek across the ocean!! Including all my dolls from all over Europe. Oh well - it’s only stuff. As long as I can still remember that’s the most important thing.

From Marilyn:
I remember a red/maroon car. The vauxhall velox I think was silver The Ford Zodiac I think was the blue and white car and the all black car was a Humber or Rover? Also I have no memory of living at Clarence Farm - I’m pretty sure we moved when I was only a year old.

From Tony:
Interesting, about Clarence Farm. Do you remember our Spaniel? Whose name has just slipped from my memory; Sammy, maybe? So, maybe we moved to Bank Lane in 1952. I'll have to see if Wendy has any idea or clues. The cars - a Humber, I've forgotten that. And yes about the Vauxhall and Ford colours.  And Daddy got a Rover 90 in the 1960s.

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