My Winter Vacation in Bretton,
Article by Brenda Taylor
From Dec. 26th through Jan. 5th I was the
guest of first cousins Jerome & Ahdonna
Guilford, and their daughters Jerah (10) &
Jada (5) above. Jerome, originally from
Toledo, is an executive with Caterpillar and
has worked for the company since graduating
from Ohio State. Ahdonna is a native of
Roanoke, VA and has a degree in
Brenda was met at London Gatwick airport by
their driver – Joe- who is as close to an expert
on England’s history as you can get. He
pointed out many historical locations during
the three hour ride from London to
Weather & Driving….FOGGY, 25-35
degrees, rainy, and did I mention – FOGGY!
The sun must have been on vacation as well.
I had to get used to riding on the wrong side
of the car and the wrong side of the road.
There are two major roadways…the “A” & the
“M”, and many “round-abouts” which are the
equivalent of our “circles”. Traffic moves
fast. No place for a tourist to learn how to
Food: lots of “Sausage & Mash” any kind of
sausage served over mashed potatoes, and
beans on toast; not a lot of frozen foods or
foods with preservatives. Refrigerators are
small and most folks go grocery shopping
every two or three days.
Exchange rate: One English Pound = 50
cents American. Needless to say I didn’t shop
I logged over 20 miles on my pedometer
as sightseeing included walking tours of:
Peterborough - railroad center, factories &
warehouse businesses. Pubs (originally
public rooming houses where food was
served) are noticeable in every ethnic
neighborhood and are the gathering places
for locals. Good, home-cooked food,
conversation and lots to drink.
Stanford - lots of quaint shops and
boutiques, specialty stores, restaurants and
elite private schools, all alongside the river.
Cambridge - truly everything you’ve seen on
television. Tudor style buildings everywhere,
massive cathedrals and churches, Cambridge
University with the traditional English
architecture. Streets are narrow with many
alleyways. Lots of shops, wine cellars,
restaurants, and open air markets.
London - extremely diverse culturally. Many
ethnicities living, working and visiting the
area. The streets are crowded with holiday
shoppers and sightseers. Street vendors are
popular, peddling everything from clothing to
food to fragrances and souvenirs.
Restaurants all have their “special” menus. I
took the “tube” (subway train) and did LOTS
Places of interest: Buckingham Palace,
Tower of London, Eye of London (Ferris
wheel that gives the rider a most unbelievable
view of London, Piccadilly Circus, Trefalgar
Square (which was being transformed for the
huge New Year’s Eve celebration), Lilly White’
s Department Store, and Herrod’s
Department Store. Herrod’s is massive and
has everything from fine wines, gourmet
chocolates, and designer clothing to jewelry,
home furnishings, bakeries, five or six
restaurants, and a complete indoor market
(fresh vegetables, butcher shop and
seafood). Biggest attraction for shoppers …
the red light indicating that “Krispy Kreme
Donuts” are ready!!
Saw “Sound of Music” at the Palladium
Theatre. The Palladium opened its stage to
welcome such notable Black artists as Paul
Robeson, Leontyne Price, Lena Horne, Fats
Waller, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis, Jr.
Louis Armstrong. Pictures of these and many
other artists of color are displayed
prominently in the lobby.
New Year’s Eve was spent with several
American families who work in and around
Peterborough in traditional American Style.
The British tradition is to shoot off fireworks
(in grand style) from their front yards. Once
the fireworks are over, a brass band (yes, a
real brass band) came around the corner,
stopping at each house to play Auld Lang
Syne (which had its roots in Scotland).
Residents come out of their houses and join
the band to parade around the neighborhood
wishing each other a Happy New Year.
Enjoyed my trip and hope to do it again…in