A History of Me Next

London - 1958

In 1958, at the age of 13, I stayed the whole of the month of July with my Aunt Helen, Uncle Wilfred and three cousins, John, Richard and Peter, in Shirley, Croydon.

Because my Scottish school's holidays started earlier than the English schools, I went on several sight-seeing trips to London, and beyond, unaccompanied. I recall walking about a mile to get a bus to Croydon East Station and a train to either London Bridge or Victoria Station. I had a haversack in which I carried a Brownie Box Camera, my lunch, an A to Z map book of London, which I vaguely recall being a pre-war edition, and various tourist information leaflets and notes which my aunt had dictated about how to get to where-ever my target would be for that day.

Looking back nearly 50 years later, I wonder if the whole project was as fool-hardy then as it appears to me now. My parents put me on the train in Dundee and my uncle met me at Kings Cross Station. It all went very smoothly, although I do recall just getting back onto the train as it was about to pull out of some station or another - I had been buying a snack from a snack trolley on the platform. My aunt and uncle were not on the phone and I don't think I carried any form of identification, addresses or the likes so I guess everything just had to work out OK.

When I returned, I typed an account which I scanned in February 2005 to form the basis of this section of my history. In January 2006 I had a trawl through the three letters I had sent my parents back in 1958 to see if there was any further detail worth adding. Hopefully this has retained the "sound" of me aged 13 - the changes or comments added nearly half a century later are given in brackets.

All the photos were from said Brownie Box Camera and the post cards were mainly bought at the time.


Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at elliottsimpson@hotmail.com

January 2006