My Mother’s Trip – Back in London – June 21 – Day 13

The previous day was so full with the trip to “Shakespeare country” and then the play back in London.  They got up late.  They took the bus down to American Express (to check the mail?) and then went shopping in Liberty’s.  They had a delicious lunch at the Cheddar Cheese.- meat pies – she didn’t care for the ale.  After linch, more shopping – on Bond street horribly expensive.  They met up with their  friend Levy who had been on the trip the day before to Shakespeare Country.  Had dinner in Quo Vadis in Soho.  They tried to walk home but got soaked.  They got past Selfridges, the Grosvenor Hotel, Green Park but were so wet they had to finally take the bus.

green-park-map-maxf52f573c479b1e9ba3ae4234d9e3ba36 Getty image – around 1934?


Hyde Park London

My Mother’s Trip to Europe -Wednesday June 20, 1934

Again a man from American Express by taking them to Paddington Station where they boarded the train to Leamington.  She remarks on the beautiful and peaceful English countryside.  They visited Kenilworth Castle and then had a good lunch at The Porridge Pot.  After which it was on to Warwick Castle.  Very impressed by all the beautiful items exhibited. Saw Shakespeare’s birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Saw the magnificent estate of Charlecote.  She walked around Leamington while waiting for the train back to London.  They went to see a Noel Coward play – Conversation Piece with Yvonne Printemps and Pierse Fresnay.. Adorable.  The music was especially good.  The attendees were beautifully dressed.

(They covered a lot of territory on this day in Shakespeare Country – they must have had a guide and or private coach??)

(The play had been running in the West End since February – a hit!)

220px-Conversation_Piece  scene from Conversation piece, courtesy of Google

Day 12 – First Day in London

Up bright and early for a good breakfast.  And then my mother set forth to find the American Express office.  She writes that she felt lonely and lost.  Here is what she saw – the East End, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, the Olde Curiosity Shop, Tower of London She spent quite a while touring the Tower before stopping for lunch in a Lyons.  She enjoyed seeing all the fancy goods in Fortnum and Mason.

(It’s not clear how much of the day was spent walking and whether they were in a tour bus part of the time.  They covered so much ground they must have been in a bus with stops at key places, e,g. the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.  What threw me off was her writing that while waiting for the bus she walked around a bit.)

In the afternoon she went around (presumably walking) around the West End – Mayfair, Green Park, St. James’s Park, Hyde Park, Selfridge’s, Harrods, Houses of Parliament, Poet’s Corner. Westminster Abbey, Bond Street, Regent Street.  She walked home through Green Park.  She was simply dead tired.  (I’m not surprised).


image courtesy of Google Images 2019

From Day 11 Onward – Arriving in England

Most of the day was spent in doing the usual round of deck and gym activities.  Getting ready to land just after 6 p.m.Now we shift to land based activities.  She hated to say goodby to her many onboard friends.  She is very sorry the boat trip has ended and it takes a day or so to move on and enjoy getting acquainted with England via Liverpool and London.

She and Libby were met by a representative from American Express who took good care of them.  There was a boat train from Liverpool to London.  (A forerunner of my experiences 60 years later in the 1990’s of the boat train which carried Irish Ferry passengers from Dublin to Holyhead in Wales.  The train went to coastal destinations in northern Wales and and then in a southeast direction to England – finally arriving in London)

The rail trip was enjoyable – pleasing interesting scenery.  They arrived in London at midnight and again were met by someone from American Express who guided them to their hotel.  Very comfortable spacious room.  American Express had 3 letters for them..

liverpool yrain google image     train for a Cunard liner arriving in Liverpool


By chance I have come across a photo of my mother and her sister Libby on a cruise in 1974 – 40 years on from their Cunard trip to Europe in 1934

2019_03_24_17_09_15.pdf000 St Lucia, 1974    Libby the woman in the white blouse, my mother beside her

(and a third sister, the woman with the white handbag, Alice)

(And that’s me with the 3 little boys)

Liverpool approximately 1907