Sixty years later …

When I realised that it was exactly 60 years since Gwenda and Pat set forth for the USA, I thought it was a good time for another article, to mark the anniversary. Luckily the Newcastle Chronicle group agreed, and reporter Katie Dickinson interviewed Gwenda and wrote a great piece  which appeared in north-east paper the Sunday Sun.

Gwenda relived the whole time, from their initial culture shock on their arrival in Cleveland, Ohio – when even a doctor saying, ‘Hi, honey!, was something to be commented on – to the many adventures of their road trip.

It feels as if it’s been 60 since I last wrote a blog post, too … Part of the reason is that I’ve been busy editing a new book, ‘Eve’s War’, the Second World War diaries of an amazing woman who was married to a British officer and travelled with her husband to his various postings round the UK during the conflict. I’ll be writing more about that soon on my Facebook page.

But I wasn’t neglecting ‘Bedpans & Bobby Socks’ entirely. The book was the main focus of a local writers’ talk that Gwenda and I took part in last November in Morpeth, Northumberland, along with novelist Sheila Quigley, who has been voted one of W H Smith’s most popular crime writers. The very enjoyable evening – which also included one of Sheila’s trademark quizzes – took place in The Chantry, a reminder of Morpeth’s medieval past, which today sells local crafts as well as being a tourist information centre and bagpipe museum.

A month or so later an article about some of the very different Christmases Gwenda has spent appeared in the Express. From a wartime Christmas as an evacuee in the Lake District, where all she wanted was a Chicks’ Own annual and a baby doll (she got neither) to that non-stop one in Cleveland, where she and Pat cooked for all their friends who like them had nowhere else to go (all 33 of them), to equally hectic Christmases as a vicar’s wife in Ashington and Newcastle.

Thanks to Doug Phillips, who took most of the photos (from our evening at The Chantry) below.


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