Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Memories and Intentions

For the last four weeks I've been roaming all over the world with the locations on people's mail. I won't go into the technicalities of the job but suffice to say it has been very hard but interesting work. From 6a.m. in the morning the post I was dealing with came from all over. First in was usually Teeside which took me around Gateshead, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. York and North Yorkshire would join in giving me happy memories of Christmas visits to York and summer holidays on the coast around Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay and my favourite places on that coast Staithes and Saltburn. The west coast would then join in and off I would travel around Morecambe, Southport, Blackpool and Formby (again more holiday memories) and then to Liverpool and Manchester. Scotland would soon follow and my imagination was captured by some of the place names, although I've never been into Scotland further north than Edinburgh and Glasgow. I've directed mail to the Isles of Mull, Lewis, Islay and North Uist, to Glencoe and Culloden and places like Kirckaldy, Auchtermuchty, Muckle Flugga and Bridge of Don as well as Edinburgh with it's regions of Morningside and Portobello. I'd never felt any connection with Scotland leaning rather towards Wales in the knowledge that ancestors on my father's side came, way back in the 18th century, from the Forest of Dean and the Welsh borders but a few years ago I discovered that my great great great grandfather on my mother's side of the family was, according to the 1851 census, born in Fifeshire. I've since done more research and using naming patterns and family occupations I think I'm sure this ancestor was born in Dunfermline. I was particularly taken with names which I later discovered were in the Kingdom of Fife, places like Cardenden, Pittenween, St Andrews and the gloriously named Coal Town of Wemyss and Coaltown of Balgonie. So memories and intentions all in one through a computer screen and I've now decided that one day I want to visit all these Fifeshire places and see what they are really like. I hope the Christmas mail I've dealt with gets to its destination - I think the one addressed to 'No 4 Callanish' will but I'm not so sure about the one addressed to 'Robin Hood's Well, in the layby, on the A1'!!


  1. Hi there - its me the non moving blogger!! My Mum (and the house where I grew up) looks over the sea to Saltburn! It was in North Yorkshire when I was little but now its moved to Cleveland. I live near Northallerton. Have you been on the cliff lift at Saltburn - I love it there we spend many happy hours there in the summer and we used to walk to Marske beach when we were little. I miss the view forom my Mams bedroom window and like to gaze upon it when I visit and see the tankers and ships all waiting to go in to port. They sometimes have fireworks at New Year and always sound their horns.

  2. Hello Catherine, I think that area is a wonderful part of the country you are so lucky to have childhood memories of Saltburn - I loved the beach and the pier and yes we did use the lift to go up into the little town and had a coffee in a cafe near the station:)

  3. Oooooooooooooooooh! I am only 5 minutes or so from Saltburn and pop inwhen I can, yes the lift is amazing! I took some photos of it all last year, I must get them organised, but a search on my blog "Saltburn" should find them. I often take Wilma on the beach there......wonderful!