Sepia Saturday – 1955 road trip from Scotland to Europe and back

This week’s Sepia Saturday theme is on the subject of shoes, however all my family photos seem to show folks in Utilitarian Footwear (not very attractive or interesting) so I’m not sticking with the theme this week (although I would show you photos of my huge collection of US-made cowboy boots if you asked nicely).  Granny did do some outrageous stuff while wearing her good stockings and shoes, but that’s a story you’ve heard before, while she was up a tree with her cousins, and old enough to know better.  This week, may I introduce my maternal  Grandmother (the somewhat boistrous and fun Elsie of the trashed sewing box) and the rather more reserved but the best Granddad ever (Douglas the biker)….

Having posted a charming photo of Norman (Douglas’s brother) and his cute granddaughter, Rose, I decided to rummage around in my photos and see what pics I have of Douglas’s other brothers.  Douglas had 6 brothers,  James who died aged 3 1/2 from scarlet fever, Bruce and Tommy who I don’t have any photos of, and Andrew, Norman and Gordon.  These last three brothers managed to maintain contact with Douglas and they met up regularly and had photos taken for posterity.  Douglas was the last of the brothers to die,  in 2002 (he was 91).

Douglas and Elsie took a road trip in 1955 with Douglas’s brother, Gordon, and his wife Betty.  My mum would have been 17 when her folks just decided to Up Sticks from central Scotland and head off to Europe for a couple of months.  Quite a surprising decision at the time, I would think, but Douglas was a mechanic to trade, so they had no worries about the reliability of the vehicle.  They obviously had no worries about being shut in a car with his brother and sister-in-law either 🙂

They headed off from Fife, Scotland – and I have to tell you, I never saw Douglas or Elsie in such a casual state when they were older – so it’s lovely to see now :-).  The four of them went off on their travels, annoying goatherds in the French Alps by nicking their sticks

picnicking at the side of the road while the locals were trying to fish,

and generally being a bit touristy.  I bet Douglas had to drag Elsie out of the Casino.

But at least the only run-in with the cops was to find out the way to Turin, and not to bail Elsie out of the Police Station 🙂

There will be a couple of further instalments from this little album, so if you are a Sepia Saturday blogger and want to see what the Fab Four got up to, please subscribe in your reader of choice, as I hope to be back “on theme” next week 🙂

Jo 🙂

About Jo Graham

Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
This entry was posted in Douglas & Elsie's 1955 Road Trip, Photos, Sepia Saturday. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Sepia Saturday – 1955 road trip from Scotland to Europe and back

  1. Hugo Banter says:

    Hi Jo
    Is this a recently found photo album? Your other stories seem to relate to a different album.
    Keep up the good work, your stories are always a good read.

    Hugo xx

    • Jo says:

      Yes, Hugo, this is a newly found small album in a suitcase full of Douglas’s photos – I didn’t give it much thought until I scanned the photos and saw them bigger than 3″x 2″ – much more interesting 🙂 Look forward to your next post

  2. Bob Scotney says:

    1955 was my first year in Fife at St Andrews and here you have someone ‘leaving.’ Hope you have one of them to fill in the details of the trip as your comment about the casino intrigued me.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks for your comment, Bob. Sadly none of the four are with us any longer, so I’m doing my own interpretation from the photos, having known the personalities of my grandparents 🙂

  3. Little Nell says:

    Jo, you always make me smile with your commentary. I think you have some of granny’s sense if fun! These are great pictures and I love the way you’ve added to the background story. Can’t wait for more episodes!

  4. Jo says:

    Thank you, Little Nell – both my grandmothers seem to have had a great sense of humour (and a little naughty streak) but I only grew up knowing Elsie very well, as Dad’s Mum, Mary (she of Great Granny’s album) died when I was 3. I am enjoying getting to know Mary through her photo albums. Elsie was around (on a very regular basis) until I was 33, so I knew her well. I hope to redress the balance by posting more about Elsie and her antics soon – I suspect there will be more anecdotes than photos 🙂 Jo

  5. Christine H. says:

    Oh, that looks like fun. The goatherd’s expression really cracked me up. Too funny.

  6. Alan Burnett says:

    What great photographs, and how wonderful to have someone in the family who carefully recorded where the pictures were taken and when. The picture of Juan Les Pins took me back to a camping holiday there in the early 1960s. Great memories.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks, Alan, Douglas was very methodical (as methodical as Elsie was laissez-faire, so they complemented each other perfectly) but Juan Les Pins looks very scary to me!

  7. This trip looks like it was so much fun … I loved all of the photos and your stories to go with them. I look forward to the next installment!

    Kathy M.

  8. Titania says:

    This is a fantastic memoir; a holiday on the continent. Sure there were not so many tourists then. Fun to look through their “adventures”. I enjoyed their holiday as well.

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