Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Chester U.K. - Remembrance of things past

 My colleague from Cambridge MA days the Revd Bruce Lomas (Rector at Trinity Church, Melrose, MA) and his wife Jane are on sabbatical leave.

They have visited Dublin, Ireland, and Manchester, UK (near to where Bruce visited his Great-Grandmother's grave).

Today they have been in Chester U.K.  -  a great City, which is not on the too well trodden tourist map.

Their visit reminded me of when I went to Chester.  'Twas probably in about 1971 when I owned a car, and when I worked for the National Westminster Bank at the Heythrop Park Training Centre, (now a "resort" see http://www.heythroppark.co.uk/ )

I remember that I took myself to Wales, there to take the train to the peak of a "mountain" in Snowdonia  (see http://www.snowdonrailway.co.uk/ ),  and to visit the Castles at Carmarthen and Conway.

My twin sister was then living in Sale (near Manchester) and she came down to Llandudno for the day.  We walked on the promenade  (board walk) and on the beach, and I am sure that we ate lunch together.
Weary and tired at the end of the day I decided that I would drive to Chester, and that I would stay in the first hotel I saw.
That turned out to be a three or four star hotel "The Blossoms".  (I had often stayed in "Guest Houses", but never before in an Hotel. I was somewhat overwhelmed by the grandeur  of "The Blossoms", and nervous about my ability to present myself as a world-weary traveler).
My argent was as good as it gets, so I stayed in that Hotel and ate dinner in the formal dining room.
 After dinner I wandered out to a local Cinema where (intrigued by the title) I  viewed "Play Misty for Me".  (Why do I remember such details?).
The next day I explored Chester:  The Cathedral, the Roman Wall, the River Dee with its swans, and the "The Rows".
These are magical memories from when I was a twenty seven year old man, unused to the big wide world, but ready to explore bits of Wales and England which had hitherto been outside my pale.
Thank you Bruce and Jane for stirring up these memories.

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