Doris Mankerts' 1929 Diary - Part 4
Trip Start Sep 22, 2009
13Trip End Sep 27, 2009
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June 14th 1929
As the morning was fine we took an advantage it to go to St Boniface
Down. We started very early, walked by the old Church and turned off on
to the Downs following the Bridal Path to Wroxall Downs. We found out
by experiment with the thermometer that “altitude effects temperature.”
We went on climbing the Down until we got to practically the highest
point. Here we noticed our direction and could clearly see the coastal
plain. We descended the slippery face of the Down to Ventnor gathering
rock rose, milk-wort and wild thyme. The rain began to fall heavily but
we were fortunately able to get the bus to the door.
After lunch we wrote our diaries, and then, as the sun was trying to
shine, we walked through Chine Avenue to Rylstone Park, and thence to
the sea front where we paddled. As it rained heavily in the evening, we
attended to our press-books and pasted pictures in our diaries.
Our Ninth Day
June 15th 1929
Saturday was “All Round The Island Day”. The motorcoach came for us at
10.00 am and after that off we went travelling through the beautiful
Landslip and Undercliffe as far as St Catherine’s Lighthouse. The sun
shone, larks sang, roses in cottage gardens, white clover in wide
fields scented the air and we realised how beautiful England is on a
June morning. Our first stopping place was Shorwell Church. We looked
at the stone pulpit, the hourglass and the copy of the Great Bible
(1541). We noticed that the church was lighted by candles and learnt
what “Poppyheads” are (poupé).
Passing through Freshwater we saw Farringford, Tennyson’s home. At
Freshwater Gate – the gap in the Downs, near the source of the Western
Yar – we saw where it is feared the sea wall will one day break through
and change the western peninsula into an island.
Then came the climb down into Alum Bay and the exploration of its
coloured sands. We filled our bottles with strata and some of us found
cuttle-fish while the sun shone gloriously. Those of us who walked as
near to the “Needles” felt pygmies as we stood at the foot of the giant
cliffs that refuse to submit to the forces of the waves.
At Yarmouth we were reminded that it was the crossing here that inspired Tennyson to write,
“Twilight and evening bell
And one clear call for me,
And may there be no sadness of farewell
When I set out to sea.”
At Shalfleet we went into the old Norman church built before the Domesday Book was made.
The liner Montchalm was steaming out of Southampton for her voyage to
Quebec and ships of all sorts dotted the Solent. A member of the King’s
Yachting Club told us that owing to the King’s illness, he would not
visit for Cowes Week.
All along by the Medina, we sped to Newport wherein the Parish Church
we saw the marble monument of Elizabeth, daughter of Charles I. By way
of Ryde, Brading and Sandown we returned home.
Our Tenth Day
June 16th 1929
Our second Sunday was passed very pleasantly. We walked past the Old
Church and turned to the right unto a wood where we picked many wild
flowers (spotted orchid) and saw rabbits darting across our pathway,
and cheeky little Robins flying very near to us. We climbed the
Shanklin Downs to a high point and from here we saw plains, coastal
plains, valleys, gap coastal line, peninsular, headland, bay, cliffs,
horizon, mainland and the Solent. We wended our way home through the
lane with its flowers to the High Road and thence to Ingersley.
The afternoon was spent in letter writing, and in the evening we again
went to Church where a blind man from St Dunstan’s spoke to us, and a
man with a beautiful tenor voice sang to us.