Our Trip To The UK~Part 11

12 Feb

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites



As it happened, our B & B hostess in York was a lovely single lady who was a dedicated Julio Iglesias fan, and had followed him all over Europe and the UK.  She had a beautiful Collie dog that followed us everywhere, and if you don’t recognize that guy in the photo, on the hutch in the picture below, I’ll give you a hint, it’s an autographed photo of Julio of course. 


She directed us to the Pickering & Co. Bookstore on the Shambles, which was at the top of the list of places to see for DiVoran.  Also in the York area, of historical interest to me, was the Jorvik Vikiing Center, which houses many artifacts from the 1100-year-old Viking city of Jorvík.  Well-preserved remains of that city were discovered during excavations between 1976 & 1981.  Many items, from that 900 AD time period, such as workshops, fences, animal pens, privies and wells, were unearthed.  Also found were many items made of durable materials such as pottery, metalwork and bones. Surprisingly, many wood, leather and textiles items, along with plant and animal remains were found that had been preserved in oxygen-deprived wet clay of the region.



After all that exploring of the York city area, we stopped to rest and have tea at the famous Betty’s Tea Room.  The place was crowded, and a delightful local accountant asked if he could sit at our table with us.  Somehow the subject of street minstrels (Buskers) came up and he informed us that many of them earned very adequate livings, since they didn’t have to report the donations they received for their Busking to the government.



Next we stopped at the American Air Museum in Britain, of which I had became a founding member.  The museum is part of the Imperial War Museum, and stands as a memorial to the 30,000 American airmen who gave their lives, flying from air bases in the UK, in defense of liberty during the Second World War.  Since we were there, that small annex of the IWM has grown into a huge museum with over 25 airplanes representing all of the conflicts American airman have participated in during WWII to the present day.


Then we travelled to Hatfield, to visit the birthplace of the de Havilland Aircraft Company, builder of many of Britain’s WWII fighters and bombers.  The Comet Hotel is an Art Deco designed building that was originally built in 1936 as the administration building for Geoffrey de Havilland’s aircraft factory.  The design was intended to reflect de Havilland’s Comet Racer aeroplane design.  At that time, the de Havilland airfield and testing grounds were located just opposite of what is now the hotel.  A statue of the famous Comet Racer G-ACS sits in front of the hotel while the original aeroplane is now housed in The Shuttleworth Collection near Biggleswade.



From there we took the route around the eastern side of London to the town of Crawley, where we had our B & B base for the last couple of days of our stay in the UK.  Our hosts, Ron & Brenda Potts,  were some of the nicest people you would ever meet, and were very helpful with recommendations for site seeing and directions for the best ways to get around the London area.   They had both been part of the thousands of British children who were sent to the country during the London Blitz in WWII, and stayed there until the war was over.  They had many fascinating stories to tell us about their wartime experiences.



—–To Be Continued—–

One Response to “Our Trip To The UK~Part 11”

  1. Old Things R New February 14, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Betty’s Tea Room sounds like my “cup of tea”. I know you must have enjoyed the Air Musuem, Bill.


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