On Monday morning we had a look around Gloucester and then went on to Wales.
Rozie had been looking forward to Wales, making some claim upon it as it was the birthplace of her mother and our home part at the time of our marriage had been named Clyro after one of these pretty villages.
We therefore expected some of the comments when we entered Wales to the effect that the scenery was better, the weather was better and the roads were better.
Actually this was true to a certain extent, as we enjoyed the more hilly country and the wider roads. Anyhow, we dare not say a bad word about anything in Wales.
At Hereford we saw the real Hereford cattle. I am wondering how many more things of this kind we have to see. We had Devon cream in Devon, Jersey buns in Jersey, Yarmouth bloaters in Yarmouth, Somerset cider in Somerset, Cornish pasties in Cornwall, Welsh rarebit to-night for tea, and I expect there will be some more items yet to come.
In the early afternoon we arrived at Clyro and there was great excitement. This was the little village we had heard so much about before we were married when we were looking for a name for our first home. We photographed the main street and also the post office. Then we went into the post office and sent letter cards home so that the postmark could be shown thereon. If there had been a decent hotel there we would have stayed the night, but we could not see one and so we went on to Llandrindod-Wells.
We had to follow the map here very closely as we could not pronounce the name and ask anyone whether we were on the right road. We arrived fairly early – about nine o’clock – after having had our tea on the roadside.
This roadside tea is a great idea. We boiled up our little kettle which we bought at Plymouth using a primus stove which Fred Ewen (Jack’s brother) lent us. We now have jam, lemon cheese, honey, bloater paste and biscuits in a little bag we bought at one of Woolworths country stores for the sum of 3d. Then when we decide to have a tea we get cream, milk and bread from a farm house or shop. We have a little set of cups and saucers, plates, teapot and cutlery which were given to me for a birthday present in Germany. Altogether it makes a very nice outfit and we enjoy our meals in the sunshine at a very low cost.
At Llandrindod-Wells I heard there was to be a Rotary lunch the next day and so we decided to stay for it. The morning was spent in seeing the town and parks and in getting my haircut, which cost the sum of 8d. and it was a very good job too!
I received a very hearty welcome at the club luncheon and one of the first questions I was asked was “Are you any relation to Billy Wallace, the footballer?” Strangely enough, I had been asked the same question by a man at the London Rotary Club and on this occasion the man asking the question had played against Billy in one of the games England v. Australia, and they had exchanged currencies at the close of the game. I was at the President’s table and as was expected, had to answer a great number of questions concerning New Zealand, as I was the first visitor from that country since the club had been formed.
After the lunch was over we started on our journey and arrived at Aberystwyth for the day. Here we received our first mail from home for what seemed like ages. The letters were dated 5th May and we got them on the 21st June. I received a bag from the post office and went in next door to have tea and read them. When I found that quota had not been beaten for the month of April I had to tell the party to keep off the roast chicken and order some baked beans on toast. On the contrary they said they would have something better as the month of May was now over and although we had not yet heard, it was sure to have been a good month, as the April figures were down. In any case, I don’t think they worried how the figures were as long as they had a good meal.
We had run through the sights of the town and then drove on to Aberdovey, which was reached at 9.30. Here we stayed the night in a very comfortable hotel as we did not see a farm house which appealed to us, except one, and when we made enquiries we found that one was already filled.
To-night finishes our first week of touring by car and we have travelled almost 1,000 miles. It does not seem far when I have done 500 miles in one day in New Zealand, but on this trip we spent a lot of time taking photos. And seeing the places of interest, so that a thousand miles in a week is quite a good performance.