Memories of Robin Scott
From Robin Scott (1950 trip) July, 2005:
“….It is interesting that two thirds of the band of 1950 are still around.
Trombone playing must prematurely age one as I am the only one left.
Your invitation has prompted me to reminisce about the trip. [Barrie Gillmore invited all the 1950 Band members and their partners to a dinner at his home, July 31, 2005.] My mother kept my old scrapbook of the trip so I dug it out to peruse the old tattered paper with its “falling out” memorabilia. In review, this really was an outstanding adventure for us! Most of us had never travelled very far afield even in Canada.
Most of us came from families of modest means and could never have afforded such travel. There we were at the age of 15 or so, travelling through and visiting 10 or 11 Canadian cities.
Then voyaging on an ocean going ship with restaurant service for every meal and lots of diversions: I have noted music, cinema, ping pong, dances and sing songs.
In England, riding a subway was an adventure and our ration books were a reminder of our own rationing a few years earlier.
Looking at the railroad map with cities of Blackpool, Bolton, Manchester, Bath, Exeter, Torquay, Weymouth, Bournmouth, Glasgow, Edinbourgh, Aberdeen, Eastbourne, and London all circled brings back memories of railroad travel.
Remember, they still had steam engines which were pretty dirty, so it was good that we wore those blue clothing that didn’t show the dirt.
And, there was nowhere to sleep even in long trips to Scotland. Some of us even tried to sleep in the luggage racks!
We were able to visit all the famous London sites that are still popular today.
We saw the Tower, the Zoo, Buckingham palace, Westminster Abbey and were even greeted by the Lord Mayor. St. Paul’s was memorable for climbing to the dome but also for the view of it standing untouched by the bombs while the surrounding neighborhoods had been flattened.
In the other cities we were able to see real castles and cathedrals and other buildings like nothing we had ever seen before. The Hippodrome program is of the Follies and the Palladium had Nat King Cole and his Trio among others.
When was there anything like this in Vancouver in 1950?
In industry, we saw diesel engines being manufactured, Brick being made, china being produced and decorated and chocolate being made into candy, beer being brewed, and cotton being produced from bale to yarn to cloth. Remember, in those days, and even today, there is very little manufacturing in Vancouver so this was all new to us.
The Holland trip was special in two ways besides seeing the canals and windmills etc. The hospitality was outstanding as the people were so thankful to the Canadian troops that had liberated them. But what still remains with me, is the language abilities of the kids we met. Here we had struggled with high school French which at the best enabled us to read a little, while all the young people there were fluently multilingual in four languages plus a dialect.
Our finale in Paris capped off the trip. Here we were introduced to French bread and wine. The wine was $0.29/liter as I recall. I have a picture of Dick Hall partaking of both.
Of course, none of this would have happened without “D” and we are all indebted to him for making this happen.
Again, it was a great trip and adventure.
I hope you all have a great reunion and many reminiscences of our trip 55 years ago.