Back to the Big Pond
The late sixties and seventies, starting with Christine Diana Munson-Barkshire
This photograph was taken whilst waiting for my parents to wake up early one morning.
Little Di had been pillion passenger on our trip up from Bristol: she became my first wife, poor thing.
We met on the occasion of my sister's 21st Birthday Party in Bristol, somewhere in Redland.
Paul, Diana, '66 @ Rangemore Hall nr. Burton-upon-Trent. Bike is a Triumph Tiger 100.
Raymond Ernest, with the oak furniture he made at Edgbaston behind him. Dining table, four chairs, side table are visible.
Above, Stonehenge, prior to trip around Cornwall, year of Lynn and Richard's overland emigration to
New Zealand, 1967. Old Triumph, 1955 650cc Speed Twin. We visited a fertile homestead, on an
estuary, one of Richard's father's fellow military retirees. Before that, we were given
breakfast by strangers when we stopped, cold and hungry, in the town square at Liskeard (?)
Below, marriage, Orsett parish church, Wednesday, August 21st., 1968
Rood Screen, Parish Church, and in the limo, August 21st., 1968
Paul Raymond Dickins, 26; Christine Diana Munson-Barshire, 22.
Essex, yet another 1968 wedding: Val and Colin's. Paul, Diana, Jacqui, Leslie (Diana's twin, later married to Paul Richold).
Stephen and Tessa Holdaway on left. Simon and Hilary Holdaway on right. August and September, 1968.
Family friends of the Barkshires. Stephen became a priest, C of E, and Simon was a policeman,
but quit, because he was incorruptible. Here is where Simon works these days. I had an
email from him on December 20th., 2001, after he had found me on the web!
Stephen contacted me a day
or so afterwards, and the next paragraph is taken from his email. Note that
the accident referred to occurred on December 28th 1968, when Stephen, Tessa and Di were the unfortunate
passengers in a Hillman Minx that I was driving. This car had been left in England for me to sell by my father,
who had recently emigrated with Mum. On the trip, near Cambridge, which we were taking for Stephen to
officiate in a wedding, I took a chance to overtake on a clear road, that was a three lane layout. Needless
to say, I managed to screw up, and the car skidded on the snow and slammed into a telegraph pole. The
result was a broken hip for Tessa, damage to Stephen and windscreen glass in Di',s face. All I had was a
slight cut to my right shoulder. A doctor stopped to help, and was hit by wires, when the telegraph
pole fell down. I won't readily forget the look that Oscar, Di's father gave me in the hospital, or the
sense of guilt that has always pervaded my memories of that time:
Yes I am still married! We have 3 kids. Claire is
a Clinical Psychologist in Oxford, Lucy
has just started with Harrow Race Relations Council doing a 3 year project on the interface
between refugees and service provision, like health education etc.. Andy is saving hard to go to
Tanzania in January to work in a school for 6 months and then travel.
I'm still a priest working as Team Rector in the
market town of Louth in Lincolnshire.
I have a team of 5 and things are going well. I've also worked in Southampton,
Redditch in Worcestershire and Lincoln where I was an industrial chaplain.
We have fully recovered from the accident although
I have developed arthritis
which doctors think is a connection and I don't like driving in snow!
Last year we all met up for Ali's 50th birthday in
Somerset and spent time
with Lel and Rich and also Di and Amy.
1969, Alhambra, Granada: Jacqui and Di. On the right, ca 1969: Anna, Alan, Soot, Di
(Sadly, Soot, Alan's wife, a Cypriot, died of cancer in 2000)
Grandad, Sarah, Diana, '71
Diana, Geoff, @ Kibworth Harcourt, '67; Oscar, Sarah @ Salisbury Cathedral, '71
Left: another group of wedding guests, probably at Val and Colin's do? ca '68. Right: Ray and Peggy emigrate
to Sydney, 1968, prior to tripping over to Auckland and, finally, Vancouver in 1969 to work at Jericho School
for the Deaf. I still have that sweater, must be made of really good wool!! Bought in a Littlewoods' store, ca 1960, and it still fits me.
Dover Place, Clifton, 1970, Norton Commando. These houses were really weak, although protected. Two doors down, the
whole front fell off. So, they repaired it, but left the remainder alone. Typical bureaucratic nonsense, the houses were
really poorly built, three floors visible from the front, although there were six at the back. On a hill, which is not uncommon in Bristol.
L: Holdaway's New Year, Orsett, Essex; 1969? I stand between Oscar Harry Horace Munson-Barkshire and Douglas Holdaway, patriarchs:
both are now deceased. Alison, Betty Holdaway, Leslie, Tessa, Diana. R: Paul Richold and Leslie ca '71
Oscar, Lel, Di, Sarah, Amy. Then my father and ... at 107, Culford Road, Hackney, London. This was in 1971, when
Arsenal won the double, (2-1 against Liverpool in the FA Cup: 0-0 at full time, Charlie George scored a screamer for the
winner. Steve Heighway scored for Liverpool, Eddie Kelly got the other Arsenal goal) for the second time in
the twentieth century. The first time was by another London club, Tottenham Hotspur, in 1961.
I worked for ISKE firstly in the UK, and then
throughout Europe. This was one of the hotels I used. In Fontainebleau:
The hotel is L'aigle Noir: where the rooms were old, and with old furniture.
Once, they put me in a room where a plaque proclaimed that HRH Prince Philip stayed there.
I nearly, very nearly, flounced out of there, you know.
107 Culford Road, and a year later, Caxton Street.
Below left: Alison, Oscar, Douglas, Diana, Stephen, Sarah, Amy.
Below right: Alison, Oscar, Diana, Sarah, Amy, Hilary.
And then, in the country: Big and Little Di. Rick and Sarah on the swing.
Above: Foreground Sarah, then Di, then Lel. And, on the right, August 1972, Sarah on my brand new Guzzi V7 Sport
Sarah at three, in Bristol, 1974
Above: Self inflicted wound. 1973, probably, when I was also a rabid biker, on my 1972 V7 Sport.
What a beautiful bike. Somewhat better than the British rubbish that I had been used to (Rudge,
Ariel Arrow, Triumph Sports Cub, Triumph Tiger 100, Norton Commando, some Villiers' engined
monstrosity, Panther, etc., etc.). Val, Maxine and me, ca '73. And at Peter Prior's house, nr Hereford,
ca '74 in the Rivett's top-quality leather suit that was stolen from my apartment in Vancouver, early
eighties. It was still in perfect condition, even after protecting my skin when forced off my bike whilst commuting in London.
Hereford: Bulmers Cider CEO Prior, a Yank, and an Orange (passive) Irishman to his left. Prinia, Peter
and Dave Minton (excellent Motorcycle Sport journalist) on right, 1974?
1974, and, in Auckland, New Zealand, this handsome couple are wed. Way to go, sis!
Ella and Steve Barker, Sarah on right. 1975. Below: Sarah and Ella
The Bowden and Harvey families; Architects Rule ca 1975. Leslie is married to Paul (Rick) Richold, yet another architect.
And there were other antisocials, of like ilk.
This from Colin on February
24th., 2002: I have been meaning to contact you for the last 20 years, and
recently via e-mail. Life in Bristol ticks on - many faces here are the same if a little older. Val and I have
seen Sarah at summer parties at Rick and Lels', she is a lovely girl and we enjoy meeting her.
Maxine and Chloe have partners, Maxine lives in London and has a daughter Emily who is a delightful 18 months.
Chloe has a 4 year old son Dylan and a 2 year old daughter called Hannah. Val makes jewellery and sells from home
and I am still doing Architecture with Rick. I hear your web-site is worth looking at, perhaps you can give me the
address. Hope you are OK and best of luck in 2002. Best wishes Colin and Val
(I replied, but don't doubt that they are shocked at what they found! Whenever I can access my photo
drawer, I shall have to scan some more of them and send them off or put them here. History, don't you know.)
Blackberries from the Avon Gorge, and Val's comment on my eating habits. On the right is a shot on Durdham Down. Both ca 1976
Below: Paul and Sarah, '77 near Tintern Abbey, last days in UK. On Kingsdown Parade, two architects and a nutcase; June 3rd., 1977.
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