This month Chris Moore, a local village lass, gave us an entertaining talk on her many holidays over the years. One of which was a recent special holiday to Orkney, where they came across, among other spectacular things, a memorial to the sailors lost while working the Arctic Convoy during the second world war.
Our journey started in 1973 with Chris & husband Archie, winning their first holiday abroad in a raffle prize! A weekend in Paris flying from Southend. It didn’t get off to a very good start as Chris, who was terrified of flying, noticed a hole in the floor beneath her feet just as they were taking off. Despite this they managed to get to Paris and had a great time. 1976 saw them travelling to the South of France on a camping holiday enduring a very long coach trip due to their car not passing its MOT. Stunned they watched as the coach drivers changed over whilst still driving down the motorway!
A few holidays later they were attracted to an advert in the Standard for a trip to Hamburg from Harwich. After happily strolling around the lovely old cobbled streets, Chris waved to some young ladies up on their balconies which, to her puzzlement, was answered with rude gestures. But, of course, Archie’s cheery wave was greeted with enthusiasm and entreaties to come up and join them. All was explained later!
For their silver wedding in 1985, Chris and Archie had a wonderful trip to Norway. They packed everything into their old Renault 4 and set off for Newcastle and the ferry to Bergen. Visiting many beautiful places they had a trip on the Flam railway to the mountain top; Archie even managed to avoid a chilly end when he capsized whilst sailboarding in the Hardanger fjord. One small detail they learnt was that the box of wine they had in their boot could have resulted in a three-month prison sentence if caught!
After many holidays in the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, Northumbria and Scotland, they chose Orkney as the next to tick off their bucket list. After flight hiccups they spent a few days exploring Kirkwall in the midst of celebrating the St Magnus Festival. One of the most striking and memorable places was the Italian Chapel built by a group of Italian PoWs. They were taken from North Africa and sent to Orkney to work on the Churchill barriers. These were a road built of giant concrete blocks and was built to prevent the German ships coming through the Pentland Firth. The prisoners turned one of the Nissan huts into a beautiful chapel. It has a ceiling to rival the Sistine chapel and incredible carvings and sculptures.
The final trip was to the island of Hoy which was used as a huge Navy base in WW2 complete with a cinema and a dance hall. Scapa Flow was the main route used by the supply ships heading for Russia and huge defence barriers and torpedo nets etc were put into place after the Royal Oak was torpedoed. After a trip around the island they visited the incredible structure of the Arctic Convoy memorial and a very moving visit to the Naval Cemetery.
Those of you who knew the late Les Malshinger from the village will have heard of the part he played on Arctic Convoys during WW2. He was deployed between 1943 to 1945 on HMS Lauderdale; he must have endured so much and with great courage.
After a very memorable trip to Orkney, Chris & Archie were subjected to another flight delay on the way home so their advice to you is if you want to experience their lovely holiday on Orkney, take the train to Inverness and then coach/ferry to Orkney!
PAWS’ next meeting is on Tuesday, March 26th, in the Peldon Community Hall. It will be the AGM which will be followed by a QUIZ.
Details of all meetings and speakers are on the calendar of the home page of this website. If you would like further information about PAWS please ring either of the following committee members: