Where There’s A Will…

Our trips to England over the years have been planned around different interests and purposes. Dear traveled 4 summers in a row in the early seventies with a Christian music group that started at Biola College. This group soon warped into a Christian Rock Band. I joined the group in it’s Rock Band Stage for Dear’s last two summers in England with the band. These trips in the seventies had us traveling from school to school singing and sharing during the school’s religious education time slot. In the evenings we would sing in a public hall or church in the same area with many of the kids from the schools coming out to listen again. Usually we’d tack on a few days at the end of the tour to sight see in different areas of Great Britain.

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“Hymns give way to Jesus Rock in morning assembly at St. George’s Church of England School, in Meadow Road, Gravesend yesterday. The concert was given by the Contemporaries, 14 musicians from the United States who are in the middle of a world tour. They have already completed a number of successful “gigs” in Liverpool. They are all professional musicians but they are giving their services free”…

Dear and I are in the center of the photo on the bottom row. 1974 was the last summer tour Dear and I participated in.

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The next time we would travel to England was in February of 2003. Dear’s company was sold and before he moved on to another job we decided to take a trip to London. While based in London we took day trips out by train to Cambridge for a day and to Watford to attend a evening worship conference at Tim Hughes (Here I Am to Worship) church. We enjoyed the London Eye which opened in 2000. We also visited the National Gallery, Westminster, St. Paul’s, and other great landmarks. We enjoyed a Gilbert and Sullivan production of HMS Pinafore on Valentine’s day. On this trip we stayed in So. Kensington a short walk to the underground for our many trips around London. At our hotel in Kensington was where Dear watched the bartender make a Kensington Dream for me which became my signature celebration drink that Dear prepares for me.

In April of 2004 we planned a high school graduation gift trip for our daughter Katie centered around her favorite authors (Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Austen) and Monty Python.

eagle and childHere is a tiny photo of Dear and Katie outside The Eagle and Child (Bird and Baby) of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Sayers (Inklings) fame. We enjoyed walks about Oxford that Tolkien and Lewis took together. We traveled to Bath to see some Jane Austen haunts. We drove around the Cotswolds where some Hobbit inspiration was gained. We traveled out to “Pemberly” (Chatsworth House) and to Bakewell of “Pride and Prejudice” fame and when in Scotland we traveled to Doune Castle and asked for coconuts to clip clop around the castle grounds where scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed.

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In 2006 we joined two couples who are our very good friends on a semi walking tour of some areas of Wales, the Lake District, Oban, Edinburgh, and York. The photo above is of the Derwent in the Lake District. For this trip we just had to show up as Jody masterfully booked all our lodgings for us in advance. The highlight of this trip for me was our time on the island of Iona.

That brings us to 2013 and the trip we planned with our oldest son Josh and our daughter in law, Laura. This trip needed to have something for both of them in mind. The main thing in our son Josh’s mind was to attend Premier League soccer matches so that’s where the title of this post comes to be. The first choice team to see was Manchester United in the famed Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England. We would try to get tickets for Saturday September 14th the day after we arrived in England. Josh went online at the Manchester United official site and was shocked to see the tickets released and sold out within seconds. Oh boy…now what? We found a secondary resale sight for tickets and were pleased to find 4 tickets available. They were pricey but we hit the buy button knowing this was something that was important for our “England Experience” this time around. Now we had to contact our B&B and see if it was OK to have the tickets delivered there. We got the correct address and then started the “wondering game” in our heads. I wonder if the tickets will arrive in time? I wonder if the tickets are official?” I wonder, I wonder….

We arrived at the Bed and Breakfast Friday night and our host immediately said to us, “I have a parcel I think you’ll be pleased to see” Josh ripped it open and there were 4 official looking tickets for the game on Saturday. We sighed in relief and thanked the Lord.

Man U 021My next post will be about our experience at “Old Trafford”.

This is one of those posts to document history for me and my family. So many things are forgotten as time goes on.

15 thoughts on “Where There’s A Will…

  1. Off to the games we go…I would love to have tickets like those in my hands….You have really be able to take in England over the past years and have so much history that you have been able to share with your children. That is so special to have those things in common.

  2. Were you already married in the “sitting on his knee” photo or was it a PDA during courtship?

    Love that you have found different approaches to your UK visits. Themed travel is so fun! There is a series of travel books called “Romantic days and nights in…” (New Orleans, Houston are two I’ve used.). The books suggest three to five day trips with plans for book lovers, sports enthusiasts, broke-as-a-joke, money-is-no-object, etc.
    I wonder if one was ever done for London or Seattle. Must check!

  3. What a great trip down memory lane – I love the photo of you and Greg in your Rock band stage and that you planned your trips back to England around a theme. That way you see and remember so much more than just a bunch of random things.
    My sister was on Iona a year or two ago for a spiritual retreat and enjoyed the experience tremendously. She described it as a very special place where “the line between earth and heaven was very thin” .

  4. What??? You were in a Rock Band, in the 70’s, in England, in Liverpool, where the famous 4 were from??? Oh my, that is so interesting Ellen! How cute, the picture of your band and of you two young things. Wow – what wonderful and very interesting experiences you have had in your travels to the island!

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE travel stories … accounts of your journeys are very interesting and the photos are great too. Can’t wait for the next installment. Oh and the photo of you and your honey from back in the day is priceless. I love that you were in a singing group together.

  6. Oh, my, Ellen! How fun is it that you have clippings of you and Dear when you were in a rock band together! I’m so glad you’re documenting this trip with your dear children.

  7. Hi! I was thrilled to see your news clipping of the band in the 70’s when googling. I was there! A pupil aged about 12, at St Georges School. But my family were also Christians in a local church, and we hosted some of the band members. In particular we had a husband and wife stay with us – top of the photo – he has a great ‘Mexican moustache’ and I seem to remember she danced? Their names escape me now, but I was very fond of them – they may have stayed with us more than 1 year. Your band was very encouraging and special to me at the time. And guess what? I went to university in Bath, live in the Cotswolds near Oxford and holidayed regularly in Lake District and Pembrokeshire. All places you visited. Esther

    • Wow Esther! How very special to see your comment on this post. Thank you so much for sharing these memories with me. Sarah and Frank were their names. Frank was our drummer and yes, Sarah was a dancer. She did some dancing at Disneyland as I recall. Those were wonderful times for us. If we ever have a chance to travel we always choose England. We were there again in 2014 for our 40th wedding anniversary celebratory trip! May God bless you and keep you. Happy new Year to you!

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