Our ferry back to England was scheduled to depart at 13:10 (had originally been 11:10, but was put back two hours before we even went on holiday), which was a very inconvenient time in two ways – it meant that I had to travel from Poole to King’s Lynn as a car passenger rather than as I had intended doing so by public transport, and it also meant with a lot of waiting around.
A SMOOTH FERRY JOURNEY AND A SLOW CAR JOURNEY
Once we were aboard the ferry an ensconced in our seats the journey was smooth and comfortable. Poole Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world, meaning that there is plenty to be seen as the boat approaches land.
The journey from Poole to King’s Lynn was slow, and it was well past 11PM by the time I got home.
Continuing my account of my holiday in the channel islands with a look at Le Dehus Dolmen.
My account of my holiday in the Channel Islands has reached the final full day we spent on Guernsey.
LE DEHUS DOLMEN
Not relishing a shopping trip on the Friday morning I stayed at the hotel and caught up with my photo editing. Lunch was a picnic which we consumed in my parent’s room at that establishment. From there we set off for our last excursion of the holiday, taking a bus to the nearest point to our target that we could get to and then seeking out Le Dehus Dolmen, an ancient but very well preserved burial mound/chamber. It is not terribly well signposted and we had a couple of false starts, but we did locate it, and it was worth all the trouble (plus we saw some interesting stuff while locating it). We walked back to a point where there would be more buses, and arrived their literally at the same time as a bus heading for St Peter Port, so the return journey was pretty straightforward.
Continuing my account of my holiday in the channel islands with the first of two posts about the occupation museum.
Welcome to the latest post in my series about my holiday in the channel islands. This is the first post about the museum dedicated to the German occupation of Guernsey between 1940 and 1945.
THE OPENING VIDEO
The museum experience starts with a video about the occupation, which is well worth watching. There are then a set of rooms full of exhibits and then separated from them by the cafe is ‘Occupation Strasse’ – a reconstruction of a street in the time of the occupation. The short video sets the scene very nicely.
A LARGE COLLECTION OF GERMAN MILITARIA
The first exhibits are large quantities of German militaria. This stuff was all genuine (I work for an auctioneer, and German military is notorious for featuring a heavy preponderance of fakes, some convincing and others utterly blatant – I would go so far as to say that if you see German militaria listed in an auction catalogue regard it as fake until and unless proved otherwise).
Today’s post looks at a serendipitous find en route to the Occupation Museum.
Welcome to the latest post in my series about my holiday in the channel islands. This post is, as the place itself was, on the way to a much more significant attraction.
Serendipity is a word that refers to happy developments that come about by chance. It comes from the mythical island of Serendip, also rendered variously as Serendib and Sarandib, visited by Sindbad the Sailor on one of his voyages. The island most commonly equated with Sindbad’s Serendip is Sri Lanka. Our visit to the Little Chapel was a perfect example of serendipity – we were in a cab heading towards the Occupation Museum when we passed the sign for the little chapel. Once we had established that we would be able to walk from there to the museum we decided to visit the chapel.
THE LITTLE CHAPEL
The Little Chapel is indeed a little building, but there is far more inside than you would ever guess from the outside.
Welcome to the latest post in my series about my holiday in the channel islands. This post finishes the Alderney segment.
THE FINAL FULL DAY ON ALDERNEY
The final full day on Alderney ended up being a very quiet one – the events of Wednesday, covered in the seventh and eighth posts in this series, had taken a lot out of me and I was not up to the walk to the nearest point from which I could have looked at the gannet colony.
THE BOAT BACK TO GUERNSEY
Our boat back to Guernsey was leaving at 8AM on the Friday, so we had a taxi booked to pick us up from the fort at 7:30AM that morning. The voyage back was rougher than the voyage out had been, and we were all pretty relieved when we alighted on Guernsey.
I end this post with a final look at Fort Clonque…
Journeying through cricket history and from King’s Lynn to Alderney in honour of John Arlott.
Having reached Alderney in my account of my recent holiday it is now time for a special post in honour of John Arlott, the legendary cricket commentator, who lived his last years on the island. We will travel through considerable space and time in the course this journey.
STOP ONE: CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge, which my route from King’s Lynn to Portsmouth passed through, was the birthplace of Jack Hobbs, ‘The Master’. It also provides a specialist spinner for the XI since after his falling out with Yorkshire, which ended his first class career, Johnny Wardle played minor counties cricket for Cambrigeshire.
STOP TWO: VAUXHALL
The train from Waterloo to Portsmouth passes through but does not stop at Vauxhall, which overlooks The Oval, home of Surrey County Cricket Club. It is not my purpose to pick an time Surrey XI here (I did that a while back) so I am not actually using this location to pick any players – I am merely noting it.
STOPS 3,4 AND 5: SURBITON, WOKING, GUILDFORD
As with Vauxhall the train passes through Surbiton. Surbiton is not in itself of major relevance, but a line branches off here to Thames Ditton and Hampton Court, and at one time of his life the legendary fast bowler Tom Richardson had a home in Thames Ditton.
Woking, the first stop on the London-Portsmouth route, was home for many years to the Bedser twins, Alec (right arm fast medium, useful lower order batter) and Eric (right handed batter, off spinner).
Guildford, also a scheduled stop on the route, is home to the earliest verifiable reference to the great game of cricket. Testimony regarding the usage of a piece of land, made in 1598 and referring to the childhood of the man testifying, tells us that some form of cricket was being played in Guildford by the 1550s. Surrey still play the odd match at Guildford and one of the more recent of those games featured Kevin Pietersen scoring a double century in the course of which he hit a number of balls into the river Wey which flows past the ground.
STOPS 6-7: GODALMING AND PETERSFIELD
Godalming is home to Charterhouse School, where George Geary (Leics and England) was cricket coach for a time and one of his charges was Peter May. More recently Martin Bicknell (Surrey and England) has been director of cricket there.
Petersfield has a connection that dates to much earlier in cricket’s history: John Small, one of Hambledon’s finest batters in that clubs glory days of the late 18th century, lived there. According to John Nyren in “Cricketers of My Time” Small was a keen skater and enjoyed skating on the surface of Petersfield Pond when that body of water froze over in the winter.
STOP 8: PORTSMOUTH
Portsmouth was one of Hampshire’s out grounds when such were regularly used. In 1899 Major Robert Poore smashed Somerset for twin tons there, and then confirmed his liking for west country bowling by scoring a career best 304 in the return match at Taunton (when another army officer, Captain Teddy Wynyard, scored 225, in a sixth wicket stand of 411).
STOP 9: GUERNSEY
Guernsey has not to my knowledge produced any significant cricketers, though it has produced a couple of well known sportspeople: tennis player Heather Watson, at one time British number one, and footballer Matt Le Tissier who played for Southampton for many years. However it did indirectly give me a squad member, because it was there that I consumed bottle of ginger beer whose place of origin was significant:
Bundaberg, where this variety of ginger beer comes from, was the birthplace of Don Tallon, Australian keeper batter named by Bradman as keeper in his all time XI and considered by many of his contemporaries to have been the best ever in that role.
THE TERMINUS: BRAYE ROAD, ALDERNEY
Braye Road is one terminus of the Alderney Railway, once a genuine commercial railway transporting stone from a quarry, now a heritage railway using carriages of 1938 tube stock (I was not able to travel it being there too early in the year for it to be open). It also gave me, by way of a piece of lateral thinking, a final player for my cricket journey:
The cricket significance of this picture lies in the name of the road rather than that of the station: it provides a tenuous link to opening batter Tammy Beaumont.
SELECTING OUR XI
In terms of the players I have linked to specific locations we have:
Jack Hobbs, Johnny Wardle (Cambridge), Tom Richardson (Surbiton/ Thames Ditton), Alec and Eric Bedser (Woking), Kevin Pietersen (Guildford), Peter May, George Geary, Martin Bicknell (Godalming), John Small (Petersfield), Major Robert Poore (Portsmouth), Don Tallon (Guernsey, by subterfuge), Tammy Beaumont (Alderney, by cunning use of a street sign). These are 13 players, from whom 11 must be selected. My XI in batting order is:
This XI is well balanced, with good batting depth. The bowling has a genuine speedster in Richardson, two high quality fast medium/ medium fast bowlers in Geary and A Bedser, a great left arm spinner in Wardle and off spin back up from E Bedser, with Hobbs’ medium pace as sixth bowling option. I end this post with a view of Fort Clonque:
Continuing coverage of my holiday with the trip from Guernsey to Alderney
We reach a transition point in my account of my recent holiday – the journey from Guernsey to Alderney.
Although we had to check out of our hotel by 10AM and the boat to Alderney was not due to sail until 4PM we were able to leave our bags at the hotel to be picked up immediately before boarding, which enabled us to spend an enjoyable morning in St Peter Port. We enjoyed a picnic lunch, and picked our bags up from the hotel, before heading for the boat.
THE VOYAGE TO ALDERNEY
The boat on which we travelled over to Alderney (a voyage that takes about an hour) on a small boat run by a company called Salty Blonde. The voyage itself was fairly uneventful (the sea was very smooth fortunately). The main drama came on our arrival at the harbour on Alderney, when we had a substantial climb up a vertical metal ladder from the boat, and the platform at the top of said ladder was covered in seaweed. The boat crew managed our bags for us to that point, but the climb was not an experience I would care to repeat even so.
FROM THE HARBOUR TO FORT CLONQUE
A taxi conveyed the baggage and my mother to the fort while the rest of us walked. The walk was a pleasant one, and then it remained only to decide on rooms at the fort.
An account of a full day on Guernsey as part of my series on my recent holiday.
Welcome to the latest post in this series about my recent holiday (I am now back in Lynn, so these posts will be coming less sporadically). This post covers the one full day we spent on Guernsey en route to Alderney.
A FRENCH RESTAURANT
On the Saturday evening, having established ourselves at St Georges Guest House, roughly a kilometre from the centre of St Peter Port, we went out to find a restaurant to eat at. We settled on a French establishment, and the food and drink were both excellent.
The following morning we walked out to Castle Cornet, purchasing food at an M&S Food Hall on the way. We ate near a lighthouse, which I subsequently walked out to – it was very windy around the lighthouse but worth it for the views.
THE GUERNSEY MUSEUM
There was a wildlife photography exhibition at the Guernsey Museum as well as some stuff on the history of the island.
Resuming my coverage of my holiday to Guermsey and Alderney, setting the scene for what is to come in this series of posts.
I wasn’t entirely sure when I put the first post of this series about my holiday up as to when I would be able to post. There was no internet connection in Alderney, although I was able to edit plenty of photos ready for use. Yesterday we travelled back from Alderney to Guernsey, and then visited two places which both proved of huge interest, and left me with over 300 photos to edit to catch back up with that side of things. Between last night and this morning (I was underway before 7AM) I completed that job, meaning that at least until the end of today I am up to date in terms of photos. I am going to use the rest of this post to outline the rest of the series for you.
I will devote one post to the day we spent on Guernsey before we were able to travel across to Alderney.
The journey to Alderney will account for the next post.
I will produce several posts about Alderney:
A cricket themed post in honour of John Arlott who spent his last years on Alderney – this will take the form of a two-fold journey, through a large amount of space and centuries in time as I cover cricketing links relating to my journey (two of them highly contrived, I admit), creating a spectacular XI in the process.
A post about our first visit to St Anne, the sole town on the island.
Probably two posts about the walk we did on our second full day on the island.
A special post featuring maps of Alderney and the Channel Islands, several great examples of which I saw:
A special post dedicated to the birds of Alderney, of which I saw some fine specimens.
A post about the return journey to Guernsey.
Every post relating to Alderney will feature a view of Fort Clonque, where we stayed.
Events since arriving back on Guernsey warrant at least three posts already:
A post about the Little Chapel.
Two posts minimum about the Occupation Museum (Guernsey was occupied by the Germans from 1940-5).
I have no doubt that today’s events will be worth at least one further post, and then there is the return journey.
Beginning my account of a family holiday in Guernsey and Alderney with an account of getting to Guernsey.
I am writing this post in a guest house at St Peter Port on the island of Guernsey. I am on a family holiday the centrepiece of which is a few days in Fort Clonque on the island of Alderney. We have time on Guernsey either side of that due to the fact the only ferries we could book were one going out of Portsmouth yesterday morning and one returning to Poole a week today. Just for the record these ferries are run by Condor, which is not part of the Pathetic & Obnoxious Group (P&O for short) who are currently treating their employees so atrociously.
KING’S LYNN TO PORTSMOUTH
Owing to the amount of stuff she and my nephew were taking my sister drove from King’s Lynn to Portsmouth, then took her car to Poole ready for the return journey before getting a train back to Portsmouth. I travelled by train (I had intended to do the same for the return journey from Poole before change in ferry times nixed that idea, so I will be a passenger in her car for the return journey). I got the 13:44 from Lynn to London which ran to time, giving me just under an hour to get from King’s Cross to Waterloo for the train to Poole, far more time than needed for that journey. I elected to take the Victoria line to Oxford Circus and then the Bakerloo line to Waterloo, deciding that although changing to the Jubilee at Green Park was quicker in terms of time spent on trains that difference would be more than accounted for by the difference between the cross-platform hop at Oxford Circus and the long interchange at Green Park, especially given the weight of my bags.
I arrived at Waterloo half an hour before my train to Portsmouth was due to depart, and had to wait for the platform to be confirmed. The train arrived in Portsmouth on time, and I made my way to the Travelodge, about three minutes walk from Portsmouth and Southsea station, where my sister my nephew and I were booked into a three bed room for the night.
PORTSMOUTH TO GUERNSEY
Originally our ferry was supposed to set out at 9AM, which would have meant being at the terminal by 8AM (Guernsey is a ‘crown dependency’, not part of Britain, so this is officially an international journey), but a delay meant that check was not until 9:30AM. Once we got underway it was smooth sailing – there were a few small waves in evidence in the open sea but it was never remotely rough.
We arrived into St Peter Port just after 5PM, and were established at our guest house an hour later.