Next morning it was still raining hard and we were disappointed, as we wanted to see this seaside resort which we had heard so much about. We went on to the long promenade to find our hotel and when we drove away in the morning we went to the end of it and saw nothing but hotels and boarding houses for about two miles.
Before we reached the end of the promenade we spent some time watching the breakers coming on to the beach and against the sea wall.
There were thousands of people about, as there was an excursion from one of the neighbouring towns where a holiday was being observed. These people came from inland and of course they were greatly interested in the storm which was raging at that time.
I got some photos. and while I was waiting for them the rain stopped and the sun came out. We therefore spent a couple of hours around the town and on the beach.
We could have spent a whole day there, for there were shows of every kind waiting for the people from the country. On the beach there were 250 donkeys in batches of about ten and girls and boys and even adults were having their ride.
I was also interested in the streamline trams which appeared to be quite new. There were four designs, (1) single decker, (2) double decker with no roof, (3) double decker with top enclosed, (4) single decker of open build in the shape of a boat. This last kind was taking people to the pleasure beach.
They have a high tower here which is a small edition of the “Eiffel Tower” in Paris. I noticed a lift going up, but I don’t know whether it goes right to the top. They have spent a lot of money on the waterfront. There are several long piers filled with side shows. In one place a soft hillside has been filled in with large stones placed in position so that they can be used as seats or steps and yet they are all quite organised, so that you can imagine you are on a natural cliff of stone.
We left there just before 12 o’clock and drove to Lancaster in time for lunch. As I had completed 2,000 miles to date I took the car to a garage for the engine oil to be changed and the body well greased; so far, the running costs have been low. I have had two punctures and have lost a nickel cover for the hub of the front wheel. When I replaced it after the first puncture it would appear that I did not fix it properly and it must have come off shortly afterwards without my noticing it.
I have done well with the petrol, as I believe I have been getting about 28 to the gallon. Notwithstanding this, I do not like the car as much as my own. I have only once had it up to 65 and then it started to vibrate so that I got back again to 60. I find the best pace for it is about 40. To-day I was on good road and I wanted to keep pace with an express which was going in the same direction, but although I got up to 60 the train left me behind.
We have been getting some very good roads in these parts. Yesterday and to-day we have had very wide roads with good surfaces. Some of these are marked out to take two lines of traffic running in different directions and others are marked out for only three lines of traffic. With the two lines going in the same direction you can let it out quite safely, but in every case I have been very careful. Of course I take no notice of what the passengers say, as they would not agree with that last remark.
After Lancaster we went into the lake country. We drove around several lakes through very beautiful country. Unfortunately, the rain started again and spoilt the best of the scenery and also prevented me from taking photos. We intended to stop at Carlisle, but as it was only 5.30 we drove on with the idea of getting to Glasgow, another 100 miles.
Carlisle is on the border and the first small village in reach of Scotland is Gretna Green.
Here we had to visit the famous blacksmith’s shop and see where so many people were married.
I was surprised to learn that Edward Gibbon Wakefield was married here to Ellen Turner on March 9th, 1826. This man was the founder of South Australia and the first governor of New Zealand.
We also heard of quite a number of other important people getting married in the same way. We afterwards had tea in the Gretna Hall, which is where the important wedding breakfasts are held. We visited the bridal chamber and saw a number of interesting relics of the past. While I was going round seeing this I was reminded that I was now in Scotland, as a man came up to me in kilts and talked so broadly that I could scarcely understand him.
As it was now 7.30 and we wanted to get to Glasgow we made another start and I had to step on it so that I would not arrive there in the dark. I had only gone a few miles when I picked up a nail and punctured my front tire. That put an end to the trip to Glasgow. It was Saturday afternoon and I could not get the puncture mended until the morning, so I stopped at a small place called Lockerbie and arranged to get the car finished first thing in the morning.
I am now in my bedroom at the hotel. It has just struck 11 o’clock and it is now almost dark. I am therefore reminded that I am in Scotland, as there is a highland band playing Scotch airs on the bagpipes just outside the hotel. The other members of the party are in bed and I will now have my bath and also get some rest.