A Slice of Life
Day 10 – Friday July 10th
The full English breakfast at the Box Bush Cottage B&B, in their lovely country style kitchen, was outstanding, with all fresh ingredients. If I had to grade the places I stayed during this trip, Box Bush Cottage would get 10 out of 10 in all categories.
First on the list of stops today was the Madingley American Cemetery in Cambridge, which is a beautifully sculptured 30+ acre memorial with over 3800 headstones honoring American servicemen who died during WWII. As it happened, a large group of British RAF Cadets were touring the memorial and being professionally photographed. Their smart looking sky blue uniform shirts and berets made a striking contrast to all those white headstones.
Then it was on to the Shuttleworth Collection in Baggingswade. This was a very special museum with a collection of 50+ aircraft, many of which have been restored to flying condition. They had six hangers full of beautifully restored aircraft, ranging from pre-World War I examples to aircraft produced up until the end of World War II. They also had a large restoration hanger which housed at least six different vintage aircraft in various stages of restoration.
Next I planned to visit the Bletchley communication center in Bletchley park, where most of the British code breaking activities were conducted during World War II. When I arrived, it appeared that the facility was very extensive and when I asked the clerk at the ticket counter how long I could expect the tour of the facility to last he said, “Two or three hours to see everything.” I decided that would eat up too much of the schedule for the day, and chose not to participate in that museum.
This gave me a little extra time before I was to meet my friends Mark and Tina at 4 o’clock in Newport Pagnell. I decided to go ahead and visit the Milton Keynes Museum early instead of after dinner as planned.
This museum is an example of a 200 acre working Victorian farmsted in the Wolverton and Greenleys area of England during the early 1800s. There were examples of every conceivable type of equipment and technology (including a Wakefield Water Wheel electricity generator) needed to run a farm of that size during that time period.
Mark and Tina are friends of my son & his wife. I sharing a video DiVoran had made for them, and then we made a video of them for our family. We went to one of their favorite pubs (The White Horse Inn) for dinner and it was wonderful. The food was great and the conversation was excellent. However, dinner and visiting lasted a little longer than I had planned.
When I left their house for my hotel in Reading, I went the wrong way on the M1 motorway. When I finally realized what I had done, I had to retrace all those many miles I had just come. Things still didn’t seem right. So, I checked the hotel SatNav address again and discovered I had plugged the wrong numbers into Greta. By the time I finally realized that mistake, it was getting really late and I still didn’t know where I was. Greta couldn’t find the hotel SatNav address there in Reading, and neither could I. I had the street address, but I couldn’t read house numbers on any of the houses.
We went round and round, back and forth, up and down the streets. I finally discovered Church Road changed names just at the point where I had entered that road. One way it was Church Road, the opposite direction was another name. I was beginning to think I was going to have to spend the night in the car, but luckily the Elmhurst Hotel had a lighted sign out front and a doorman on duty. It was almost 3 am by the time I got to the hotel, and I was too tired to do anything but just get to my room (up three flights of stairs) and get in bed. Wow. What a day!
—–To Be Continued—–