Tag Archives: reminiscences

Family Outings…….Old Style :)

22 Jun

– – – Exploring The Countryside and Lanes of Dorset – – –

Those of you who read my last blog post about the Hardy Monument will remember that I reminisced a little in that post about my days as a child in Dorset. Well today I thought we would continue in that vein and that I would share a picture or two with you 🙂 ! This is the childhood of The Dorset Rambler…….well a little bit of it 🙂 !

If you didn’t read my previous post, there is a link to it here.

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Nine of us picnic at the roadside – how did we all fit in that van!

As I said in my earlier blog entry, we had no car when I was a child and we couldn’t afford to bus everywhere……can you hear the violins 🙂 ! So walking was something that was just part of everyday life, and we walked miles to the beach or to the Purbeck Hills or wherever, sometimes with aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents; in fact the whole wider family.

But for two weeks of the year, during my father’s annual holiday (he only got two weeks off each year), my uncle would offer us the use of his old Morris 10 and we would drive for miles at what today seems like a walking pace as it was like most cars of the day, painfully slow! But then, there were quite a lot of us packed into it! On the odd year when for some reason my uncle couldn’t lend us his car, another uncle would lend us his even older, and even slower, van.

It is this van that you see in the picture above, and my, was that an interesting holiday! To start with, there were even more of us packed in there…….nine of us to be exact, which included my parents, grandparents and brothers. Us two younger boys sat in the luggage compartment at the back because of course it was only a 4/5 seater van. Oh, and the van couldn’t climb hills so for anything greater than a 10% incline, some of us would have to get out and walk up, climbing on board again when we, and the van, reached the top 🙂 !

Smaller hills were less of a problem but even then it wasn’t straight forward! I well remember the back of the van flying open as we struggled up one hill and although my brother and I managed to avoid falling out, the same can’t be said of our picnic which went rolling down the hill. Naturally, we managed to round it all up again 🙂 !

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Sausages! Picnicking beside the old Morris 10.

Of course, the picnic was not just any picnic! No, this was a full blown meal of sausages, eggs, bacon etc etc cooked on a primus stove beside the road. For seats, there was either the grass verge or the car seats that could be removed. We had no water carrier so in order to have a cup of tea, we would simply knock on the door of a house and ask if they would mind filling the kettle for us. Everyone was very willing to help in those days.

We had a funny experience one day……well most days really…..but on this particular evening, we needed petrol urgently but didn’t know where the nearest garage was. So we flagged down a passing bubble car to ask the driver for directions and he promised to lead us to a petrol station that would be open. The problem was that the old Morris 10 couldn’t keep up with him and he got further and further ahead of us until we could barely make out his rear lights as he disappeared into the distance. Fortunately it turned out ok, but the event reminded me of the Bubble Car Song (Beep Beep)……and if you are not old enough to remember that, you must Google it 🙂 !

Unlike today, there was no form of entertainment in the car or van so we made our own entertainment by singing at the top of our voices as we drove. I have very happy memories of our sing songs, especially late at night as we were on our way back. Usually there would be a quick stop at a pub for a drink, hopefully one with a playground for us youngsters, and then very often the day would finish with a midnight drive along the Bournemouth sea front to look at the illuminations, and maybe even a paddle in the sea by moonlight! Of course part of the fun for the young Dorset Rambler was staying up late as we would often not be home till the early hours!

Ah, happy days!

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,
Your friend The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are always welcomed.



The old and the new – year that is!

3 Jan


First of all, I wish you all a very happy new year.  May 2013 bring you health, happiness and fulfilment, and a fresh discovery of all that is beautiful in God’s created countryside around you. For those of you who follow my blog, thank you for taking the time to read it and for all of your kind comments.

The end of the year always seems a good time to take stock and to review all that has happened over the last 12 months so I did a review of all the walks that I have done in 2012.  Excluding the ‘Sunday afternoon strolls’ (which don’t necessarily happen on a Sunday but you get the picture), the following are my statistics:

Full day walks completed – 100
Total distance walked  – 1,250 miles
Average distance per walk – 12.5 miles
Longest single day walk – 35.2 miles

I don’t normally keep such detailed figures but as I am writing a book on walking in Dorset, I need to check distances and timings.  The statistics make interesting reading however and just reinforce how very fortunate I feel that in my 65th year I still have good health and the energy to enjoy my favourite past-time.  I feel blessed!

The coming year will be a special one because it is not only my 65th birthday, but will be the year of my official retirement, my wife has a significant birthday ;), and it is also our 40th wedding anniversary.  And of course, God willing, it will be a year of lots more walking.

Looking back over the last year put me in ‘reminiscing’ mode and I came across some old photographs which were taken some 35 years ago :)!


What the well dressed walker was wearing 35 years ago 😉

A rather fetching outfit don’t you think ;), especially the red hiking boots, which incidentally were leather and cost me all of £7!  In those days, I wasn’t able to walk quite as much as I do now since I was the sole bread winner and had a young family and a mortgage to support.  This meant working full time and trying to make some money out of photography in my spare time.  Weekends were either valuable family time or were spent photographing weddings.

However, I did manage to carve out some walking time, sometimes escaping with one of my brothers for a Saturday jaunt, or perhaps taking my son along in a rather battered carrier that we managed to acquire :)!

Father/son time 🙂

Another way I managed to get my walking time was by going out early in the morning.  I would get up at 3 am in the summer and be able to do a really good walk and still be home in time for breakfast and to spend the day with my family.  There is nothing better than being in the countryside or on the coast first thing in the morning before anyone is up and watching the sun rise as you walk, to watch the earth waking up after its night of slumbering.

Later, as my children were growing up, we developed a great arrangement – my son Paul and I would take off for a days walking whilst my wife and daughter would do ‘girly’ things.  Later, at my wife’s suggestion, we bought a two man tent and Paul and I started backpacking on some weekends, usually along the Dorset coast.  At first of course I carried everything on my back but as Paul grew, he gradually started to share the load.

Our trips grew over the years and we started to go away for walking weeks, often to the Lake District where we would camp in the Great Langdale Valley, but also to Scotland, North Wales, The Brecon Beacons and so on.  We would walk all day, cook dinner on the stove outside the tent, and then take an evening stroll to our favourite watering hole which was The Stickle Barn Inn.  I remember how much lighter the evenings seemed to be in the north of England and we would walk the mile or so back to the tent at 11 pm and it would still be light enough to see.  Of course it was probably helped by the fact that there was no light pollution!

The Dorset Rambler and Son at The Stickle Barn Inn 🙂

These were special times and they have given me such wonderful memories.  To anyone reading this who has children, I cannot recommend highly enough the value of spending time together in the outdoors, especially in this computer age we live in.  It will build strong and deep relationships as well as encouraging a healthy interest in nature and the countryside.

Paul and I still walk together and thoroughly enjoy each others company, in fact I am blessed with having a great relationship with both of my children – well adults I should say :)!  What more could a man ask for!

I could continue to reminisce for hours but I fear you would become bored.  So to come back to where we started, I don’t necessarily wish you wealth as that is transitory, I wish you health and happiness as these are so much more fulfilling and long lasting.

A very happy new year to you all.

Be blessed!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which ishttp://www.yarrowphotography.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.