Tuesday, 9 July 2019

That 'bus journey again. My bad behaviour. Fish for breakfast.

So we changed coaches in London on that 1955 trip from Bristol to Lowestoft.

The change was made at the splendid Victoria Coach Station, a great semi art deco building, built in 1932

I was in awe -  not only because of the magnificent Coach Station (we didn't even have one in Bristol) but because I saw Coaches from many parts of England which bore the Bristol Marque

In those days some buses and coaches were built in Bristol and in Lowestoft.  The engine and chassis were made in Bristol, and then driven to Lowestoft to be out-fitted at the Eastern Coach Works.

Heady stuff for a proud Bristol boy and his Lowestoft born Mum!


We set off from Victoria Coach Station for the long drive to Lowestoft.  And then I behaved badly.

A fellow passenger pointed out to me the great sites and sights of London.  I ignored him and refused to respond to his commentary.

My Bristol provincialism took over and I was determined to disdain and ignore anything that London might have to offer (apart from coaches/buses made in Bristol and Lowestoft!)  

I was a rude and churlish little eleven year old.!  Mum was utterly vexed with me, and gave me a stern dressing down.  I deserved it.


But then we arrived at Nirvana (Lowestoft)  and the sun shone again for me.  Aunt Ada and Uncle Jim met us at the Lowestoft 'bus station and we walked to their wee home at 13 Gun Lane (long since demolished).

We probably had a cup of tea and a sandwich before bed, but I can't remember.

But I well remember the next morning.

I descended the stairs to be greeted by a wonderful smell. Aunt Ada was pan frying our breakfast on an old fashioned coal stove (nothing as fancy as a modern AGA range).

She was pan frying bloaters.  Bloaters are herrings which have been wood smoked intact for 48 hours, unlike herring kippers which are gutted and divided before they are "cured".

What a breakfast.  It was a breakfast feast fit for Poveys, if not for Kings and Queens. I loved every bite. Thanks Aunt Ada!

I am still fond of smoked fish for breakfast.


It was probably some ten years ago that my American born ( and now U.K. citizen) friend Joe S, took a trip from London into Suffolk, U.K.

We stayed one night at the fabulous 

White Lion Hotel on the Suffolk Coast in Aldeburgh, very near to "The Maltings"  (c/f Benjamin Britten and Peter Peers).

Guess what was on the breakfast menu. 

You have it  ---   there were bloaters.

Of course I had bloaters for breakfast that morning.

I thought that I had died and gone to Lowestoft!  But I was alive and in Aldeburgh!

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