Sorry, sorry, sorry - - this post has been a long time coming. May was a crazy month for us but, we reached the end of it and left for England on Monday, May 30th. Monday and Tuesday pretty much consisted of travelling. However, while I was packing on Sunday I came across a loose piece of paper and said "What's this?" Answer?? My driver's license renewal reminder! My license had expired on May 15th and, after our week here in England we will be going to Ireland for our annual visit there for three weeks. I do almost all the driving in Ireland and I had no license! First thing on Monday I was at the door of the government office, waiting for it to open. So were 15 other people ahead of me. Yikes! Panicking, I politely asked if anyone else was in a real hurry. I explained my predicament and they were all kind enough to let me go first. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those wonderful people!!!
We had to fly to Toronto first - I hate flying west to turn around and fly back over our home province to get to Europe!!! It's the only time I regret living in the Maritimes! We ended up with a 9 hour stop-over in Toronto, then another 4 hour wait in Dublin, where we stopped to drop our main luggage off with friends for the week. Then we grabbed our backpacks and flew to Bristol where we took a bus from the airport to the train station, and finally a train to Bradford-on-Avon, where my great-great-grandfather was born.
So, just so she'll stop whinging and whining, this post is for Alanna - okay????? *smile*
Day 3 - or day 1 of our actual visit once you discount the two days of travel.
Very tired, very sore from the travel but, after a hardy breakfast at our B&B we hit the streets and headed for the library to see if I could get additional information on my ancestors. I spent a half hour on the computer there and was able to download a copy of the marriage licence for my g-g-g grandparents - the parents of the ancestor I was originally looking for. Then I started a conversation with one of the librarians which served to remind me to be careful how I worded my genealogy related questions in order to get correct responses. I asked her if she knew of any Gay families living in the area. She said none came to mind. I suggested I should take a look at the local telephone directory and perhaps I could find some there. She said that wouldn't be something listed in the directory. I was really confused and asked why they wouldn't be listed. Equally confused, she said she didn't think that was a piece of information that was really anyone's business. It actually dawned on both of us at the same time that the question had been misinterpreted. When I then rephrased the question and asked if she knew of any families with the surname of Gay, she dug out the phone book and we had a look through - not too many but I did find a few. She also gave me information on the central records office in Chippenham so we'll go there later in the week.
We then took a look through this very old town. There's some beautiful old architecture here - lots to inspire my future mini-making.
I especially liked this sign. I wonder if they put it up just for us??
We visited the old Saxon church, built somewhere in the 10th century but, over the centuries, it had changed use and in between long periods of abandonment, had been used for various things totally unrelated until its history had virtually been forgotten. It was not until the mid 1800s, during some renovations, that the underlying architecture was uncovered and it was recognized for what it was. Restorations have taken place that honour its original structure instead of trying to "modernize" it.
I have other pictures from today but it's very late here and I'm very tired -- and very whiny, can't you tell??? So - I'll say good night and try to post again tomorrow. TTFN!