60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday August 26, 1952:

Bong! Bong! Bong! Someone was beating on a tin pan in the hallway. I came out of a deep sleep with a big jerk. Today will be full of goodbyes to our group that would be returning to the United States. For those of us who were left we would be touring some of the Scandinavian countries. Yea! I’ll be traveling on to more countries.

I quickly jumped into the tub. I’ll always remember England for the wonderful hot water and luxurious baths I’ve had every morning in my private bathroom. My cute room had a desk and bookcase with a little heater built into the wall. My bed wasn’t the softest in the world, but surely good enough for sleeping.

I threw everything into my suitcase and it was really a miracle that I could get it closed with all the additional books I had purchased. I pushed the elevator button, but there was no movement below, so I took the stairs two at a time. There were bags sitting in the room off the lobby, and my bags joined them.

Across the courtyard there was a crowded breakfast room. Most everybody there was busily eating. After running around I managed to get a breakfast together at the breakfast room with bacon and beans for the main course. Unfortunately, I forgot my last two sugar cubes at the hotel.
After breakfast, we all congregated for farewells and put a few coins in a box for Mr. Tester, our guide. We said goodbye to Mr. Tester and my what a weeping good time we had. While the bus was waiting outside Hermine said the prayer. I tried to get in the emergency door with no luck.

Now we’re in the bus and all set to go. We conjectured on the number of chimneys in London as we headed for the Liverpool Street station. Dr. Rogers passed out various kinds of tickets for the reserved seats on the train we would be going on.

The train station looked kinda like the Victoria Station that we pulled into Thursday night. We found our tags on reserved seats with a table in between with even numbers on one side and odd numbers across from them. I tried to finish up my English air letters, so they would be ready to mail before we left England. As we went through customs I got rid of and mailed one of my letters to Marilyn. The official who checked me promised to mail it for me. Then I finished a note to Caroline on the window of the dining room and handed it to a uniform at the top of the gangplank. He took it off the boat for me and with luck the letters will get to their destination.

At Harwich, England we were going to journey to the hook of Holland on the Princess Beatrix. We checked bags by leaving them in a pile in a hallway in a hold area. I guess anyone can’t get very far with the luggage, because they’re just too heavy.

It was kind of windy on deck, so we parked ourselves just inside the lounge. But not for long since then there was dinner call. And seeing as how we had such a huge breakfast (not), we were really hungry. We filled a table with our happy faces on. There wasn’t much choice on the menu so we ordered the cheapest meal. We got thin slices of rare meat on huge silver platters which were surrounded by vegetables. The meal cost one dollar. Whatever the meat was it turned out to be just a little rare. Meanwhile, we had to twist their arms in order to get some water. And I almost got my water for free because the waiter just skipped me and I had to wait and wait and wait. Then I about forced my money on him for the water.

All of us just got settled in the lounge again and an announcer stated that we needed to get our passports checked down in the dining room. Outside and halfway around the boat we finally found the door he wanted us to go in. We were practically the first ones there. We discovered we didn’t need our customs declarations after all. I’m confused because we had so much money with us. It seems that part was skipped also.

As we ventured upstairs again we acquired some cockney boys. At first they were interesting, but they soon became pests. Margaret H. found half a dozen boys and amongst them was a Canadian kilt wearer. We took the opportunity to take pictures. In the little shop downstairs I drooled over the Dutch delft (Dutch blue and white earthenware) and trinkets. I was trying to compare prices with other stuff we had seen. I ended up purchasing a post card of the boat with my few coins.
After the boat arrived in Holland we traveled on the train to Amsterdam. American Express waited to take us to the Schiller Hotel and it was just like coming home. My top floor room had a shower. Yea! Then we endeavored to find something to eat.

Visit to England Winds Up interesting Accounts of Touring BYU Students

Editor’s Note—Here given is the account of the visit to England of the group of BYU students who have toured seven countries of Europe under the sponsorship of the BYU language departments. Dr. Max Rogers directed the tour and Dr. Arthur Watkins was the guide.

Mrs. George H. Hansen who has sent interesting letters describing some of the places visited preceded the last letter home, arriving early Monday morning. Asked for a statement. Mrs. Hansen enthusiastically declared. “It’s so good to be home. My head is all in a whirl, and I haven’t settled down yet.” Mrs. Hansen and members of the group report the food while away was very good as a whole, especially for tourists and the accommodations, the best.

By Mrs. Afton Hansen
Letter to the Editor

Dear Friends,
Who could do justice to “merry old England” in a page or two, except to say that the places of so much interest which we have heard about for so long are now to us real. London Bridge, but it is not falling down; the tower of London, with its gruesome tales, most likely true; Banbury Cross, with no lady on a white horse; Picadilly Circus, a large street square; Leicester Square, Windsor Castle, River Thames, No. 10 Downing Street, Ye Old Curiosity Shop—which is old, but in good upkeep; the romantic cottage of Ann Hathaway; Shakespeare’s home, with the baby tender before the fireplace, his school desk, and the papers he wrote, these and many more are there. We saw, touched and felt the pulse of London and vicinity in action.

Perhaps one of the best places, to hear and see London in verbal action is Hyde Park, a large area of which one corner is used as a civic safety valve. On Orator’s Corner, anyone with a gripe, grievance or message can go and shout to his heart’s content and be assured an audience.

Thousands of people were walking, standing sitting or lounging on the grass, while listening to any one of about 25 speakers going at the same time.

The LDS group had an interested audience as well as an irritating professional heckler. Other recognized groups were the New House of Israel whose representative wore a long reddish brown beard, and attracted about 50 people; a Negro welfare organization; and a Communist leader shouting for peace and socialism.

One man standing on a step-ladder, with years of time showing on his unshaven face and with a toothless half cynical grin was shouting, “Do you know what—I been around a long time and I know that the dead don’t go up, they go down.” Touching the rolled up sleeve of his faded blue shirt he said, “See this shirt, it hung on a line, but I don’t believe in hangings, so I took it down, when nobody looked. It ain’t a sin to steal, its a sin to get caught.” Hearing the click of a camera shutter he turned to Dr. Max Rogers (our tour director) and said “You took my picture, who said you could? I’ll sue you.”

Another man standing on a box claimed to be a woman and was demanding in a squeaky masculine voice “We women must stick together.”

An English gentleman insisted that Englishmen are snobs, full of class distinction. But we saw very little of this, partly because our lodgings for the short week in London were in Halliday Hall, a student hostel, where meals were good, rooms were very comfortable and personnel very accommodating.

At famous Oxford University with its twenty-seven colleges with only three for women, we sat in the chairs of the graduates, listened to stories about former students, and caught the delightful inward chuckle of English humor.

One student had a disliking for a professor and his easily remembered lines are still quoted “I do not like you Dr. Fell. The reason why I cannot tell, but this I know full well, I do not like you Dr. Fell.”

Stories about English royalty of course are many. Edward VII who was fond of shooting in the forests around Blenheim, one day lost his way. Inquiring his way of a man whom he chanced to meet, the man offered to take him to town. Chatting as they walked along Edward VII remarked that he had heard the king would be at the tavern that evening.

“Well,” said the man, “I think I shall go, I’ve never seen the King. But how will I recognized him?”

“Everyone removes their hats when they see the King. So the only man with a hat on will be the King,” said Edward.

Later at the tavern, there were two men with their hats on—, the king and the gentleman of whom he had earlier inquired his way. Said Edward VII, “Both of us can’t be King, we’d better toss a penny to see who is the King.”

A similar story of royalty not being recognized is when the Prince of Wales first attended Christ Church at Oxford. An older student welcomed him with a slap on the back saying, “A new student. Pray tell who you are.”

Said Edward, “I’m the Prince of Wales.”

Not believing him, the student replied, “Well, I’m the King of England.”
Later at meal time, the Prince of Wales was invited to sit with the big noises at the head table. As he passed, he slapped the friendly student on the back and said “Hello Dad.”

England’s countryside which is not occupied by royal estates or forests is divided into small sections of picket handkerchief size, hemmed with hedges of ivy, privet or laurel. The larger squares are fringed with those beautiful spreading chestnut tress, the mighty oak, or huge maple trees beginning to show traces of autumn color. In the Windsor forest are still many potential Windsor chairs.

Britishers are anticipating a host of world visitors next summer when in June, the coronation of the new Queen is held.

Near the end of this summer’s rich experience we find ourselves, slightly immune to fortresses, castles, museums and art galleries, even though England has much to offer, which we have not neglected, it seems we would almost rather go shopping for linens, china or Royal Doulton figurines. But even this has lost some of the savor; partly, because the shelves are almost barren. The export ships must have been heavily laden.

Theater entertainment and stage shows were extra good however. Our group spread themselves around to see Mary Martin in South Pacific, Waters of the Moon, The Love of Four Colonels, and Katherine Hepburn in The Millionairess and Noel Coward’s witty comparison of American and English personality in Relative Values. A universal undertone of international understanding seemed to run through most of the shows, as was expressed in the line of a song in South Pacific sung by Lt. Cable—”You’ve Got to be Taught.” . . . “From four in six to eight, you’ve got to be carefully taught to hate, —from voices you will hear, you’ve got to be carefully taught to fear.”

Judging from a series of newspaper articles in the Daily Express, Londoners have the same crowded condition in their schools as we have at home. “The Big Squeeze” heads the article, with a sub-heading of “Are the schools wasting our money?” At present there are 1000 teacher vacancies in London, with the same cycle of not enough money equals not enough teachers equals poor results for the student, and causes the author to end the article with “Why Make Guinea-pigs Out of Today’s Children.”

To a criticism of today’s schools, a professor gave this comment, “Education is a tool in the hands of a student. It equips the student for the last effort which he himself must make.”

From London, part of our group started for the good old USA, while 18 of us sailed across the North Sea to Scandinavia for one more adventure.

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