Living in Windermere, it’s only an hour to the top of Orrest Head, School Knott or Biskey Howe, stunning views from all of them over the Lake to Claife Heights and the Langdale Pikes.
My parents’ first car was a Bedford van, bought around 1960. My dad withdrew £300 to buy it from a garage at Bolton-le-Sands. This must have been quite a sum as he was contacted by the tax office, asking him where he’d got the money from. He gave them his bank details and they didn’t pursue the matter further. It was in good condition and had collapsible seats in the back, so great for camping.
A later car was a Post Office van. It was being sold off from the Post Office, who were auctioning it by inviting ‘sealed bids’. My dad thought most people would bid £20, so he bid £21 and his strategy paid off!
It must have been a long trip because, in the same album, there are a few photos from the Cairngorms in the eastern Highlands of Scotland.
A couple of years later the family went to Glen Coe by bus. This is my mum, brother and sister looking across at two of the “three sisters of Glen Coe” as the ridges of Bidean are called.
My sister was quite well travelled, and my mum must have been indignant when Lindsey Tombs was featured in the Daily Mirror for climbing Ben Nevis when she was 9.
Back to the Lake District photo, this time on Blencathra. The grins of my mum, brother and sister (peeping out from under the shelter) probably reflect their elation at getting out of the rain!
I was born in 1965, and this photo of us at Wasdale Head, one of the remotest parts of the Lakes, was taken around 1968.
My brother and sister left home in the 1970s so there was just the three of us … with the luxury of a framed tent!
I love this photo of me and mum when I was about 10. Dad says it was taken after we’d been to the Highland Games at Drumnadrochit and were driving on to Beauly.
My dad was a boat builder, first for Borwicks, then Anchorage for seven years (1956–63). After that he went into partnership with Jack Youdell for three years. This was the time that he designed and built The Venture for Bowness Bay Boating Company. He joined Bowness Bay Boating Company in 1966, when it was an association during the summer months, all the boatmen looking after their own boats in the winter. In 1968, it became a formal limited company, of which all nine were directors.
The story of how dad got his job at Borwicks is one of remarkable persistence. He was 15 and had worked as an apprentice motor mechanic at Wooley’s Garage in Windermere, but wasn’t enjoying it. Dad asked for a job at Borwicks at the start of the Christmas holidays and was told ‘no vacancies’. At Easter the same happened, and again at the start of the summer holidays. But at the start of the next Christmas holidays, he was told, ‘wait outside’. He waited and 5 minutes later an old chap came out so dad promptly took his hands out of his pockets. The old man filled his pipe with tobacco, walked towards him, the turned away towards the machine shed. My dad stood and waited. Ten minutes later the secretary came out of the office and said ‘When can you start? The pay will be as for a 14 year old.’ An interview with few words. He took the Borwicks job and the pay cut, the rest, as they say, is history!
He appears three times in this ciné film made by Norman Smith from around 1967, posted on the Facebook Group Bowness, Windermere and the Lake in Bygone Days in August 2017 (in case my link doesn’t work!).