Darwen

We drove up to Darwen (in deepest darkest Lancashire) on Friday afternoon and met up with my dad and Rusty the dog at the Royal Arms, Tockholes, who very graciously allow motorhomers to park up for free on their car park (and didn’t even seem to mind that we’d brought two motorhomes not one). We had some good food in the pub on Friday night, then on Saturday morning headed up to Darwen Tower.

It was a short walk, but chilly and quite breezy.

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We did have the obligatory “short cut” imposed by my dad. I suppose it’s a family tradition…. This one involved trudging through knee-deep plantlife across the moor…. for no real reason as we popped back out onto the path we’d walked up on. Rusty seemed to enjoy his walk but couldn’t understand why no-one was rushing to throw the soggy stick he’d found.

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On Saturday afternoon we met up with Philip, one of my dad’s cousins, and Beverley, a more distant Wells cousin I had never met before, to compare family tree notes. They both seem to have been independently “doing” the family tree for some time whereas I only started on my dad’s tree last month (though as I have all the online subscriptions that they’re lacking and am not averse to ordering birth/marriage/death certificates as necessary, my overall tree was looking comparatively very good even at this early stage).

Philip had recently been in touch with another cousin of some description in Nottinghamshire who has also been working on the Wells family tree (Philips mother used to exchange Christmas cards with a cousin of hers in that part of the family, and on receiving the card addressed to his mum last year Philip had managed to get in touch with them to explain that his mum had now passed away. They then discovered the common interest in the family tree whilst chatting on the ‘phone). This cousin had printed off his records for quite a number of individuals on his tree, so both Beverley and I now have copies to be looking at.

Beverley brought copies of a couple of old photos. We have no photos of that vintage on our side of the family – until Saturday the best I’d seen was a 1920s photo of my grandad and his sister. I now have a really cute photo of my grandad’s grandma (my great great grandmother) with all of her grandchildren…. The other one is a group of (mainly) adults in front of a house, many as yet unidentified. I’m no help at all there as I’ve never seen a photo of any of the candidate individuals…..

Then on Saturday night we went out for a Chinese with Philip, his wife Kath and one of their granddaughters Genevieve, my godmother Heather and her husband Ray, and Lynne (an old friend of my dad’s who I haven’t seen since the day I passed my driving test – both she and her dad had been driving instructors and gave me some free lessons to get me through the terrible test….).

Today we have done good shopping at Ikea on the way home, specialising in items to be used for a purpose other than that intended by our Swedish friends. I think the best buy is a plastic toy bin that is to have an alternative life as the housing for the spare Thetford toilet canister we’ve acquired since returning home…. I’ve now got a list of jobs to be done this week in Kampington before we head off to the North East for a week on Friday – first stop in the morning B&Q for some suitable anchoring points for the plastic bin (we don’t want that bouncing around too much!)

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