When Dad was working at Bibby's, he became aware of a caravan in Wales that we could rent for about £7.00/week. We stayed at the Abbeyford Holiday Camp (now Abbeyford Caravan Park) and lived in the lap of luxury for a week.
We went to Wales on several occasions and visited Towyn, where we then made day trips to Rhyl, Pensarn (Gwrych Castle), Colwyn Bay, and Llandudno. We made at least one day trip to Conway Castle which was the farthest we ventured from Towyn. Another trip found us in Anglesey and then Holyhead.
The first time we went to Towyn, I remember visiting the arcade and almost getting electrocuted while pulling on the "battery machine".
On another day trip, we went to Alton Towers to one of the country’s stately homes where we checked out a really neat model railroad and miniature towns. On that particular trip, which was quite a journey, Dad recalls tried to start the car to go home and while the engine would turn over, it wouldn’t fire up. He tried different things under the hood, but to no avail. The huge car park was now empty except for that gallant Anglia when a sudden thought struck him! We had lots of petrol but the question was whether or not it was getting to the engine. He opened up the line to the carburetor, waited a couple of seconds for the fuel to trickle through, coupled the line, turned on the ignition and bingo - all was well with the world! Apparently there had been an air lock in the fuel line!!
One of the most beautiful sites was driving to Snowdonia. The mountains were absolutely breathtaking and I remember feeling emotionally overwhelmed and spiritually moved by nature. I also remember that around the same time, I had seen the movie "The Sound of Music" and feeling like I was in the Swiss Alps - a trip I yearned to make - a dream I thought would never come true, until years later!
On another occasion, while at the Abbeyford Holiday Camp, I remember Uncle Jack (mum's brother) coming to "visit"; and bringing his old grey Austin for Dad to fix - while we were on vacation no less.
On our way to Rhyl and just after we cleared the Dee Estuary and hit Port Sunlight, we came across one of the biggest delays - the traffic was stop and go with the accent on the stop! Dad remembers the huge roadside sign which read "You would be there by now, if you had gone by train!" (I think it was one of those delays were mum got out the primus stove and brewed up a pot of tea!)
It was also on this trip that whilst enjoying our beach day, a couple of kids shouted to Dad to get their ball which was floating in the water. Seeing the large beach ball floating away, Dad, being a strong swimmer, took off after it, but for some reason, couldn't seem to close in on it. To his dismay when he turned around, all he could see was a number of tiny figures on the beach waving their arms and shouting something. It then dawned on him that both he, and the ball, were being carried out to the Atlantic Ocean tide. Thankfully, he made it back to shore safely, but not without tremendous effort on his part, for which I am personally, very, very grateful! And, no, he never did retrieve the ball!