Jul 25, 2008
Sep 18, 2008
We left late in the afternoon and drove towards Aylesbury, near Thame to find Thame Road, Dinton where we found the house "Endsleigh" that my great Grandfather, William Piddington had built himself
. It was somewhat overgrown, and the owner came out seeing strangers taking photos, but after an explanation he was very pleasant and pleased to hear some history of the house. He now runs free range geese, ducks and hens and had a sign out for the eggs. We were then heading for Sonning on Thames and "The French Horn" where my grandparents stayed for 5 nights. It cost eight pounds in total as the invoice said that Mum still has in her possession. After 90 years it is 100 times more expensive. The hotel is on the bank of the Thames in a beautiful setting (Like Wind in the Willows) and as we entered through the elegant old foyer and lounge, the warmth and smell was inviting. We then saw what we thought were chickens being roasted on the spit in front of the fire, but were told they were ducks and the hotel's specialty. We had a most delightful meal - Graham had Pate de Foie Gras (duck pate) and the roast duck and I had crab from Cornwall as an entrée (delicious) and then grouse - both delicious and tender with superb service.
Jayne's Grandmother and my Grandmother were sisters, and we spent a wonderful morning and lunch into the afternoon with Steve and Jayne, their daughter and husband (Sarah and Nathan) and Jayne's Mum and Dad (Ivy and John). Ivy had brought her family tree and we were able to swap family information. My Grandma, Gertrude Olive Piddington, left England 1918 as a war bride, marrying an Australian serviceman, John Maquire Hamlyn. She was 18 when she set sail for Australia, never to see her mother and father again, but did return to see her two sisters - one of whom was Ivy's mother, Jayne's Grandma. Once again it was sad to say goodbye after being made so special, but we were heading to Sonning on Thames where 90 years ago, before Grandma and Grandad left for Australia they had their honeymoon.