Thursday, 21 July 2016

Regrets and Serendipity...

Thank you all for all your support and kind words recently, it encouraged and reminded me that sometimes I need to step back and relax and not feel guilty for it.

And of course, when I did stop worrying, my creativity returned.

That was when I regretted not buying that old book last month.

The old book that I picked up, browsed, then put back down on the book stall during the rainy day at Lowdham Book Festival. I'd left it, deciding it wasn't useful. :(

While it's noisy at home at the moment, I decided to do some research for an idea that may be suitable as a pocket novel, as it's buzzing around my brain at the moment.

If you want to know about Steam Locomotives there's lots of information on the internet, and plenty of photographic examples, but interior views of the carriages on the line I am interested in, no. I could find a few pictures for the 1890's.

So I decided that the start would need a rethink and put it aside.

Then today I popped into an Oxfam book shop that I'd never visited before, and a very well-worn cloth bound book caught my attention. The books of the early 20th century were often cloth-bound, so I always look at these when I see them.

I'd found a gem. The Blue Guides to England. They are still going and you can read more here.

There were a few pages loose, but they were there. There were little maps of different regions of the country, information on stations, buses, fares and hotels, as well as the standard tourist information of the time. Everything a visitor to England might need to know in the late 1930's. And no adverts.

From America to England the steamer took 5-10 days, and just like now it cost more to travel in the summer season; off season was 10% less.

The rail route I was interested in described the views as the train travelled from London to Brighton, the classes available and how long the journey could take.

Of course all the fares and hotel charges are in pre-decimal currency, so £-s-d.

I'm old enough to remember those, and many of the coins shown here. My pocket-money as a child was a thruppenny bit (three pence). :-)

It's going to be fun to dip into the pages and learning more about places I've visited, over the years.

But I will be getting on with the writing/editing too.


Teresa Ashby said...

I'm so glad you found the Blue Guide! It sounds like a fantastic resource. I remember the old coins well. Most of all I'm glad your creativity has returned, lovely news, Carol :-) xx

Patsy said...

A good find, Carol.

I'm either younger than you or have a worse memory.

Wendy's Writing said...

Isn't it wonderful what you find in charity shops. I had just started junior school when decimalisation came in. I was never good at maths, so found it a whole lot easier when the teacher set us bills to add up!

liz young said...

Oh dear, Carol - you'll be looking out for that book in every second hand bookshop from here to eternity!

liz young said...

Reading the second half of your blog, I see you found a treasure that made up for it.

Helen Laycock said...

What a lovely little find! It will certainly be very useful in adding that touch of authenticity to your writing, Carol.

Helen Laycock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carolb said...

Thanks, Teresa.

I'd never come across one of these before which is what intrigued me so much when I opened the book.

There was a lovely inscription too, dated 4th March 1945 when the book had been given as a birthday present.

Carolb said...

You are definitely younger, Patsy. ;)

Carolb said...

I've found some wonderful research books in charity shops, Wendy.

I do remember thinking, when we went decimal, how strange it was that a coins that were worth a lot suddenly seemed to become worth less.

Carolb said...

If I ever see the first book again, Lizy, I'll make sure I get it. :)

Carolb said...

It's fascinating to read too, all these snippets of advice to the traveller, and I'm sure it will be helpful in placing my characters, Helen. :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Husband and I re very fond of steam trains and he's knowledgeable about all trains but I've never heard of this before - sounds great!

Carolb said...

Yes, steam trains are very popular, so you can always find information on engines, Rosemary.

I've decided to start further on to get over the carriage issue. :)

If I ever come across any other Blue Guides (that I can afford) I'll definitely buy them.