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.


60 Years Ago Today

Monday August 25, 1952:

After breakfast we purchased tickets for the South Pacific play the hard way by waiting in long lines. Then I was off to shop with L.O. on Oxford Street. I tried to get my shoe fixed unsuccessfully and then we were off to the British Museum, which had collections of history and culture. At the museum we saw famous musicians and writers. It was such a thrill!

At the museum I examined documents and writings by Matthew Arnold’s Sonnet on Shakespeare in his own writing; Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet; Henry James, American-born writer; R. L. Stevenson, Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer; Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet; William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet and playwright; Keats, an English romantic poet; and Shaw, a Scottish architect; Kipling’s poem Recessional, an English writer and poet; Hyperion, novel by Friedrich Hölderlin; When the Lamp is Shattered by Mary Shelley, a British novelist. I found letters by Carlyle, Scottish satirical writer; letters by Darwin, English naturalist; original expedition diaries by Captain Scott, an English Royal Navy officer and explorer; manuscript by Beowolf , an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet; personal log book of H.M.S. Victory, Horatio Nelson; small box of victory containing human hair; and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, father of English literature and greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. I ended up buying a post card of Shaw’s work.

Soon after I identified historical autographs of the Royalty: Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, rulers from Mary Queen of Scotts to Queen Elizabeth, Benjamin Disraeli, and Queen Victoria. Finally, I got to look over the seal of Royalty, Magna Carta from 1215, Shakespeare deed, marble statue of Shakespeare, Paleolithic Art, Stone Age art from England, recent acquisitions from recent diggings in Yorkshire, weapons from Indonesia, Java masks, Turkish pottery, Persian arms, Rosetta stone, model of the Pantheon Iris, beat up statue showing battle between the Centurion and the Lapith in mythology, and sword and scabbard from Romans advancement into Yorkshire. Wow! That sure was interesting.

Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, ruled England and Ireland from 1533-1603. The Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England. This offensive did not succeed.

Later on Charles I was King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1600 until his execution in 1649. And Louis XIV reigned France from 1638-1715 and it was the longest documented reign of any European monarch.

Cromwell was one of the commanders of the New Model Army which defeated the royalists in the English Civil War. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658. A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, and Charles II was invited to return to Britain and ruled till 1685.

After James II ruled from 1685-1688, the English Parliament offered the Crown to his Protestant daughter Mary in 1689 who jointly ruled with her husband, William II. However, Parliament started to become the ruling power during these events and slowly over time started to limit the power of the English monarchy.

In 1707, the flag, the Union Jack, was chosen for the soon to be unified Kingdom of Great Britain. And the United Kingdom came into being with only one crown. In 1760 George III became King and led for 60 years to 1820. At this same time the Industrial Revolution began in Britain and spread to the rest of the world during the 18th and 19th century. Then the American Revolution began with a political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire. These colonies became the United States of America in 1776. This revolutionized British Colonial policy. William Pitt was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during this time. George IV became King of Britain from 1762-1830.

After the museum we found a funny little cafeteria café. Unfortunately, Carol had left her camera at the hotel. I tried to call American Express to see if we had any mail and can you believe the phone was out of order. After several tries we gave up and caught a bus downtown to Piccadilly to see for ourselves.

On the bus we met lots of our crew with their arms full of purchases. Carol and I caught another bus to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Works. Carol bought some chips and offered them to a lady inside. She was quite thrilled when she found out what they were. Going back we jumped on the bus and it pulled off before L.O and Carol could get on to return. They caught up with us later.

Afterwards, we cued up for the South Pacific play. The music and play were well done. Then we went “home” past Covent Gardens. During this time L.O. and Carol took my shoe to see if they could get it fixed with no luck.

60 Years Ago Today

Sunday August 24, 1952:

Today we indulged in a double-decker bus ride and experienced the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. It was an impressive ceremony which lasted for one and a half hours. We stood on the steps opposite the Changing of the Guard for over two hours. We talked to Americans from New York who mentioned that our English was better than theirs.

Next we visited Westminster Abbey. We caught the services there and the voices of the choir which were so beautiful. Then our next stops were the National Art Gallery, which was an art museum on Trafalgar Square, and the National Portrait Gallery, an art gallery which houses portraits of historically important and famous British people. Our last visit was to the Nightingale Lane Church which was so lovely.

60 Years Ago Today

Saturday August 23, 1952:

Today we started a guided tour of London, which was 698 square miles. There were bombed out buildings with all the debris cleared away. First we saw Trafalgar Square, National Gallery of Art, Savoy, Bush House, statue of William Gladstone, St. Clement Eastcheap Church, building of Lesser Courts, Fleet Street, and Cheshire Cheese. Strangely it was legal to drive on the right hand side of the road and so different than what I am used to. Crazy!

On our tour, Tom Collins was our guide and we passed by more bomb damage, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Cannon Street, an old London stove, a narrow winding street, East Cheap Street, Tower of London, and All Hallows-by-the-Tower Church where John Quincy Adams, the U.S. sixth president was married.

We emptied the bus to stand in line to see the Crown Jewels. It was the real deal with the largest cut diamond in the world at 513 carats. There was a round display case which was built to a point. We viewed the Royal Scepter, Imperial State Crown with a Cullinan II Diamond, Black Prince’s Ruby, Queen Elizabeth’s Crown for the Queen Mother, Queen Mary’s Crown, and St. Edwards’ Crown which was less bejeweled with only a few earlier monarchs crowned with it. Later, it was used only for display at the coronations. Unfortunately, in 1649 a.d. Cromwell confiscated and melted down most of the Crown Jewels.

As our tour continued we saw an ampulla, which was a small nearly globular flask or bottle with two handles. It contained oil which the sovereign was anointed with. Then there were salts which were placed on a coronation banqueting table where people would sit in front of or behind according to rank. Then we viewed the Maundy dish, which originally were six silver dishes used to hold the gifts. Now Maundy money, specially minted, was distributed to the poor of Westminster.

Next we learned about the Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348 a.d., which was the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. And there was a legendary old 13th century wall that the English didn’t even know existed till World War II bomb damage revealed it.
We arrived at the Tower of London, the bloody tower where untold unofficial executions took place. And from the 3rd century to 1820 there were many political prisoners there as well. Sir Walter Raleigh spent 30 years there in prison under James I and was visited by Prince Henry.

Finally, he was executed at the Palace of Westminster in 1618 a.d. Archbishop Laud, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 a.d. to 1645 a.d., was held in the Tower of London. He leaned out from the Tower of London and blessed Charles I Earl of Stratford.

At the Tower of London, Beefeaters were ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London and acted as tour guides. The walls of the White Tower were 15 feet thick and earlier it was used as a prison. On display was the uniform coat of Duke of Wellington, an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, who was one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, was tried for treason with trumped up charges and beheaded at the Tower of London. Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, died in childbirth. Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, was also tried for treason for committing adultery while married to the King and was beheaded in the Tower of London as well. Lady Jane Grey, who was a prisoner at the Tower of London during her nine day reign was convicted of treason, let go, and died later in the Wyatt’s Rebellion.

The ravens of the Tower of London comprised of at least seven individuals (six required, with a seventh in reserve). The presence of the ravens was traditionally believed to protect the Crown and the Tower. A superstition suggests that “If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.” It was pointed out how the Tower Bridge center rises to allow boats to come through.

After the Tower of London, we headed to Tooley Street while we learned that the population of London was 8,300,870. Then we went down Duke Hill Street and to Nancy’s Steps that led to the London Bridge. Next we caught sight of the English stock market, Bank of England in Windsor, Princess Street, Moorgate Street, garden at the bottom of bombed out building, St. Gill’s Church where Oliver Cromwell was married, a congested area, Cheapside Street, a bombed out warehouse, and an office building section. We also observed the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral which was architect, Sir Chris Wren’s, masterpiece. There were eight scenes painted on the dome showing the life of St. Paul.

There was a book which holds 28,000 names of U.S. military men who had lost their lives in military operations from the British Isles. There were pictures of a presentation of a book to Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower which was dedicated on July 2, 1951. Continuing on there was a statue of Queen Anne in front of a building that used to be at St. Paul’s Cathedral. At this time a fire engine buzzed by us.

At 1:30 p.m. we were at Trafalgar Square and started off to St. James Park, Buckingham Palace, statue of Queen Victoria, Queen Mary’s house, Marlboro House, Hyde Park corner, War Memorial, and Park Lane. Benjamin Disraeli, a British Prime Minister, lived at Grosvenor Square, a large garden square. It was the end of the morning tour.

In the afternoon, our tour resumed to Dickens Old Curiosity Shop, Lincoln’s Inn, Covent Gardens, Long Acre Street, Little America, Roosevelt’s Statue, Oxford Street, Wallace Collection Museum, and Marble Arch, which was built to be a white Carrara marble monument entrance to Buckingham. It now stands on a large traffic island on Oxford Street. Soon after was the smallest house in London where special smaller furniture had been made for it. And in Hyde Park there was a dog cemetery.

Then we drove by Kensington Gardens, Serpentine swimming pool, Prince Albert Concert Hall, Albert Memorial, Royal Palace of Kensington, Queen’s site gate, University of London, Science Museum, Natural History Museum with a petrified tree in the garden in front of it, Sloan Street, Edgar Allen Poe’s school where he went, park for old soldiers, Chelsea Barracks, apartment houses for workers, fashionable Dolphin Square, St. George’s Square, apartments for workers with all different colored doors, Tate Gallery, Parliament with a picture from Lambeth Bridge, St. Thomas’ Hospital, Big Ben, County Hall, red brick Scotland Yard, and Statue of Richard the Lionhearted.

We ended back at Westminster Abbey and waited for a few minutes before we could go through. Since services were being held the choir was singing. Then a prayer was said, organ music was played and everyone stood. Kipling, Handel, and Scott were just a few of the many distinguished literary people that were buried there. Oh, oh! There were no shoes inside the church. Oh well! What can one say. It was too late.

Then we ended up on 10 Downing Street where the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom works with over 100 rooms. There was a British red telephone booth on the sidewalk. I forgot to push the buttons. We called Halliday Hall about getting tickets, but no soap.

Later Lucile, Betty Lou, Carol, Elo, and I squeezed in for standing room only for The Millionairess staring Katharine Hepburn. When it was time to go home, we got on the tube. After awhile we wondered about being on the wrong train, because we were the only people left except for one other man.

Finally, a conductor came up to us and told us we would never get home this way, because this train was going to bed, I guess. We hadn’t heard him call to change tubes. So he told us exactly which train to take to get to Clapham South. After following his instructions, we made it back to the hotel safely for a good night’s rest.

60 Years Ago Today

Friday August 22, 1952:

In the morning our hotel included a big breakfast. Afterwards I dashed down the street to see about tickets with L.O. and just barely made it back in time for our tour. I left Betty feeling low.
Our guide told us that there were definite class distinctions with many British born snobs. First on the agenda was Oxford. It was a pretty town and the university had 27 schools or colleges with buildings scattered all over town. I took pictures at Christ’s Church College, one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. John Wesley (1636–1678) was an English nonconformist minister who was a student at Oxford.

Next was the Trinity College which was another college at Oxford and I snapped some pictures of it. I viewed the first work of Christopher Wren. He studied at Oxford and was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. Soon after we saw the Bedouin Library with broken bottles on the walls. Each student bedroom had a sitting room.

As we left Oxford we drove by Blenheim Palace, the home of Sir Winston Churchill. It was in a small town, Woodstock, that was eight miles northwest of Oxford in Oxfordshire, England. The palace was 2700 acres and walled. I noticed a vegetable garden between the wall and road with scarecrows and unusual haystacks.

Later we stopped for pictures of the countryside in Warwickshire. We also discovered thatched roofs which had lasted over 400 years and one church that had shrubs in the shape of bottles. Back on the road I caught sight of flax fields and a waterfall that was a miniature Niagara.

We learned one of the earliest discoveries of England was by Pytheas of Massalia, who was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony around 300 B.C. During this time the Celts, which had inhabited most of Western Europe, arrived in England. The Celts were fair haired and wore bright colored clothes with brilliant colored necklaces. Also, Druidism, a religion, was practiced by offering human sacrifices at this time.

In the middle of the 2nd century Rome conquered the Celts and built big walls to keep the Picts and other enemies out of England. In the 5th century Roman’s military withdrew and left Britain open to invasion primarily by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Hoards who initially settled in the eastern part of the country. The Hoards wiped out Christianity, but it was reestablished in the 6th century by Augustine, a Roman philosopher and theologian. In the 580 A.D. King Ethelburt was the first English king to convert to Christianity.

During 871-899 A.D. Alfred the Great was noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings. Danelaw was used to define the treaties, boundaries, and kingdoms between the English king, Alfred the Great, and the Danish warlord, Guthrum. Then from 1042-1066 Edward the Confessor was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England that helped to restore order. He was the founder of Westminster Abbey which was later demolished in 1245 A.D. to make way for Henry III’s new building, which still stands today.

Before his death in 1066 A.D. Edward the Confessor mishandled the succession issue of whether William the Conqueror or Harold II of England would ascend to the English throne after his death. Harold II ended up taking the throne, but Edward’s dangerously indecisive actions contributed to the eventual Norman conquest of England by William the Conquerer at the Battle of Hastings.
During William the Conqueror’s reign he built the Tower of London with the Gothic arch which had been started in Northern France. At this time Charlemagne reigned and united much of Western and Central Europe. In the 14th century Joan of Arc, a peasant, heroine of France and a Catholic saint, was burned at the stake by the British in Rouen, France. She paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII through her divine guidance in many important victories in the Hundreds’ Year War. Charles VII crowned at Reims, France helped remove the English elite and replaced them with a new French-speaking aristocracy. And their speech had a profound and permanent effect on the English language.

Soon we arrived at the 14th century Warwick Castle with a moat and drawbridge. There was a picture of Warwick on the grounds and in the chapel of the castle there was a blind guide who was a war veteran. The oldest piece of painted glass in the window near the rear of the castle. Then I saw a Virgin Mary painting by Perugino, an Italian painting of 14 bishops, and a portrait of Lord Warwick’s family in the hall.

There were portraits of the Earl’s great great grandson, Lord Brooke by Morrison, and of the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837, who reigned the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In the dining room there was a portrait of Charles I by Van Dyke at other end of the great hall. I glimpsed swords, armor, tapestries, a long table, Italian carpet, chairs, Oliver Cromwell’s helmet and carvings and a painting by Rubens. The last royalty to use these rooms was the Countess of Warwick.

As we continued through the Warwick castle, I identified a portrait of Frances Evelyn, an Italian marriage chest, an English bottom drawer, an American hope chest, a cedar drawing room, and an Italian decoration. There were Van Dyke paintings with the middle painting taller than the others. I learned that Robert Rich had been Earl of Warwick in 1918. The green room was the music room and there were Rubens portraits and paintings of Princess Margaret, Lady Brook, Richard Dumbleby, a Spanish warrior, and Earl of Stratford.

Our tour progressed to Queen Anne’s bedroom with paintings of her over the mantle piece and bed. There was a replica of the crown at the head of the bed. She weighed 14 stones or 308 lbs. and had 17 children, who all died before her death. Next was the balcony and a painting by Hobey of Henry VIII at age 45 hanging over a fireplace. I noticed a little clock which had belonged to Marie Antoinette and a bronze. There was a little round painting located through the wall and down some stairs.

Then on to Stratford-upon-Avon where Anne Hatheway, 26, and Shakespeare, 18, got married. It was the third birthplace we have visited of some of the greatest writers. Previously on the trip we saw the birthplaces of Goethe and Dante. Along with Shakespeare’s living room, there was a museum in what used to be his father’s workshop. This was where Shakespeare’s printed works, early quartos, and folios were put together.

With a Holy Trinity Church nearby, an old ferry traveled across the River Avon. There was a U.S. Army Field Band giving a concert in front of a new theater.
Next on the tour we saw the Memorial Park and extra iron ore sitting in the middle of the field. There was a spot for tea and cakes where we found another bus load of kids. We had punch and banbury cross buns. We all sang, the bus load of kids sang, we sang, they sang, we sang. They clapped and we clapped. It was so much fun! I spotted a new kind of car which was a one seater. What a great day!

From 1154-1189 A.D. Henry II, who was born in France, brought reformation as he ruled as King of England. At various times, he controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Richard the Lion, the next English king, had a great reputation as a great military leader and warrior. In 1191 A.D. he took 8,000 of his men to Palestine to help a family friend to try and retain the kingship of Jerusalem. Then around 1649-1660 A.D. there were six Stuart monarchs who ruled both England and Scotland as well as Ireland.

In 1215 the Magna Carta was the first document that was forced upon a English king by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons. It was an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. In total fifteen Plantagenet monarchs, including those belonging to cadet branches, ruled England from 1154 until 1485. It was a royal house that originated in France. King Edward I of England, who ruled from 1272-1307, gave his son Prince Edward, later King Edward III, the title Prince of Wales. Wales was subsequently annexed by England under the Laws in Wales Acts in the 1500’s. Then King Henry VIII ruled from 1509-1545 A.D. During this time Martin Luther challenged the Catholic Church and helped provide an atmosphere for the Church of England to flourish. Also, from 1523-1534 A.D. a Medici, Pope Clement VII, was Pope.

60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, August 21, 1952:

While ever so happy about a bath in our hotel room, I noticed it was still raining for our last jaunt on this continent. We had a lecture on England en route to Dunkirk, France.

Now back to the drive we saw Belgian soldiers on field maneuvers. We stopped near Bruge, Belgium to see a windmill, elevator bridge, and Ostend Cathedral. It was a beautiful, lacy cathedral. Then I caught my first glimpse of the North Sea coast. We stopped for pictures at the lovely beach where I caught sight of a land soil boat among the war fortifications along the coastline of sand dunes and grass. Farther on I noticed an overgrown graveyard with crosses.
I spotted a hotel that was built like a boat amidst the sand dunes by the shore of the North Sea. At 3 p.m. we said goodbye to Belgium and hello to France. As we left the Belgium border it was a cinch with no red tape at all.

Then at the French border I observed an inspector looking over some meat which was hanging in a big truck. The French border was just as easy as the Belgium border due to a little grease on the job by American Express. The inspector came on the bus and looked at Andre’s passport and asked if we had ours. Andre asked him if we could get out of their country and up went the gate. And we got through fairly easy with no bags opened. Andre was happy to be back in his own country and the mob livened up as we greeted Marseille, France.

Then we reached Dunkirk where the British had been pushed into the sea. Under blue skies Dunkirk still looked like it was at war. There were rows of houses with red tiled roofs as we stopped by a monument to Dunkirk and had our last dinner on the bus. We indulged with a can of pickles that we have had since Venice. Remember how some of the sailors we met there had given us food from their ship? We also had a big surprise: cookies. We cut bread and made sandwiches on our laps as per old times.

We reached Calais at 1:30 p.m. A Liberty ship had collided with another ship farther out in the channel and was sinking in the harbor. Part of the ship had drifted and the other half sank. After we got out of the bus some French Marines posed for pictures for us. At the dock there were touching good byes to Andre, our bus driver. I shed a couple of tears.

Touring Students Near End of Extensive European Journey

(Editor’s note: This is another in a series by Mrs. Afton A. Hansen of Provo on her experiences with a group of students touring Europe.)

Dear Friends,
The small countries of Holland and Belgium are none the less significant in European history and must have been important to those ambitious Romans who seem to have preceded this Brigham Young University tour by several years, and left their mark in statuary and stone as well as in ideas and laws. In every country, thus far, we have heard the story of “when the Romans were here.” Of course, it took the Romans nearly 900 years to achieve their purpose, while ours has been done in three months.

Entering Holland from Germany, we were immediately aware of the verdant beauty, which plenty of water brings, and the comfortable looking homes which come from economic stability. Large brick homes, many with thatched roofs, are surrounded by spacious gardens and groves.
Amsterdam in Holland is a thriving, homey city, called the Venice of the north because of its canals and waterways throughout the city. In a large glass-topped motor boat we made our customary inspection of the city and found everything to be clean, ship-shape and in good working order. That is, everything but the pulley bars anchored to the fancy gables of some of the older homes. They were used in times past to hoist merchandise from the waterway to the third floor storage room. It seems that it was a very good way to avoid those narrow, steep stairways inside the house.

One typical house, with red shutters and a light burning in the second story window, was said to be the place where Rembrandt lived. This revered old gentleman stands alone in the park just across from our hotel. Right now a pigeon is resting comfortable on the top of his artist’s beret.
Because Holland is below sea level, the dykes are strong and wide enough to support our big blue bus as we travel out in the country for a better view of the windmills. It is somewhat strange to see the land so low on one side while the sea is higher on the other side. Across the green fields can be seen the black and white cows grazing and the white sail boats apparently sailing on the pasture. From the distance the water in the canal is not visible. The slow moving arms of the windmill indicate that water is being pumped into the canals which carry it to the sea, whence it came.

There are no bridges across the larger canals, but a ferry-boat transports people, cars and our big blue bus on our way to the Island of Marken, where the inhabitants retain old traditions in living and in dress. For work and for dress up—the men wear long black bloomer-like pants made of heavy woolen with a tight skirt of the same material. Wooden shoes of course, are part of the picture but not everyone wears them. The ladies and children wear full, dark skirts, colorfully decorated above the hemline. A white blouse, colored bodice, a white lace cap and wooden shoes complete their costume.

A little old man, leaning on the close bottom half of his door, seemed to invite us, with his toothless smile, into his house, which like all the houses on the island is built on piles. On the walls of his cozy, but simply furnished room, were hung a collection of plates of which he was most proud. He was a man after my own heart, so to speak, for I have been collecting plates too. You may come to my home most any day now to have pie and see my plates and spoons.

“The Hague” is the capital of Holland. In passing through this beautiful clean city where in the Peace Palace, the World Court of Justice convenes, we could only wish for a longer stay. Of necessity we had to hurry to Rotterdam, where we were to leave our heavy bags, until going aboard ship for the return voyage.

Brussels in Belgium is a crowded city of 1,300,000 population much like any crowded American city. Kind, availability and prices of merchandise are also about the same as in America.
That , which in Belgium is most unique is the delicate and beautiful hand-made lace, which may soon become a lost art, because the young girls do not care to learn this intricate skill. With needle, bobbin and hand loom, the deft fingers of older women produce designs with linen thread which are called Rose Point, Pearl Point Dutchess and Princess. It is quite expensive.

Brussels is also crowded with huge, massive, impressive buildings in a variety and conglomeration of style and architecture. Statues of royalty and nobility have their story to tell, as well as the statue of the brave young mother who led the resistance movement during World War I, and when shot by the Germans, so bravely said, “I’ll show you that a Belgian mother is not afraid to die.”

Stopping at the gates of the Palace of King Leopold III we saw the changing of the guard. Through the pickets of the iron fence, during a rainstorm, a few pictures were taken. The formality and stiffness of the ceremony almost equaled the stiffness of the fence. True to form, however these girls tried to catch a movable expression in the faces of the handsomely uniformed guards. From the bus, they waved and smiled, with not a flicker of an eye cast from the guards, until in order to get out, we passed them the second time, and then the lone sentry outside the gate responded with a vigorous wink of one eye, much to the delight of the girls.

Parks and driveways around Belgium are beautiful with castles, cathedrals, formal gardens and a great variety of trees—beech, walnut, chestnut, elm, oak and maple. There seems to be as many windmills in Belgium as in Holland.

At Ghent in Belgium we held a farewell party for Andre, our French bus driver who chauffeured us through traffic thick and thin in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium.

Whenever anything irregular happened Andre’s appropriate remark, with his French accent, was “experience.” Leaving him next morning at Calais, over the border in France was a sad “experience,” as he sped on to his home in Paris and we took the steamer across the English channel to Dover and thence to London.

See you there,
Afton A. Hansen

As we got on the boat we were handed a white slip to fill out for English Customs and directed to “D” deck in the third class section of the ship. We went across the Straits of Dover in a pretty little white ship. It was beautiful weather with a lot of English marines aboard.

As we approached England, the White Cliffs of Dover were not quite as white or as high as I had imagined them. At 5:20 p.m. we landed in Dover and had no trouble with customs.

My first glimpses of the English country side was from the train as we rode toward London. It was pretty and green with lots of orchards. But there were so many chimneys. It seemed there must be one chimney pot for each room on the roofs of the houses. I watched red roofed cottages, green countryside between smoky tunnels, and huge apartment houses. I could see the Thames River and the train station. Then I noticed double-decker buses driving on the wrong side of road. Crazy!

An American Express bus came to the train station to pick us up. A big fat driver took us to our hotel. He had never heard of the hotel and had a rough time finding it. Halliday Hall, the hotel, was in a residential area where there were separate rooms and baths. Alice, Elo, Carol, Alene, and I left the hotel pronto to find London via the tube. South Clapham Station was not far and it took only 12 minutes from the hotel to get to the center of London. We explored Piccadilly Square and the vicinity surrounding it as we ate hot dogs.

60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 20 August 1952:

In the morning we were off to see Brussels in the bus. As we were sightseeing from the bus there was a 50th anniversary for one monument and 100th anniversary for a large exposition building from 1930’s. At the Royal Palace of Brussels the Changing of the Guard wasn’t too showy. However, the Palace of Justice building was a huge monstrosity with almost every architectural style combined in one building. While driving around it was hard for me to resist the beautiful lace and linens in this city.

Then we left for Ghent which was much older looking than Brussels. When we arrived about 5:30 p.m. it was still raining. We found Hotel Flandria where we stayed and went out to buy stuff for our lunches. Later we had a farewell party for Andre in a nice café down the street from the hotel. He had a beer while everyone else ate big beautiful banana splits. Thankfully each of us gave him a dollar while the directors gave him ten dollars for his navigating and driving efforts.

60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday. 19 August 1952:

It was gray and drippy as we left for Belgium the next morning. We traveled through the Holland Tunnel again, along a large dyke, and by a 21 Windmill section. All of us ate Dr. Rogers’ apples as we crossed the Rhine again and the North Sea Dykes.

We reached the Belgium border around 2 p.m. There was a beautiful tree-lined road with big houses and thatched roofs. Later on there were lovely fields of begonias. We drove into a Flemish speaking section of Antwerpen where there were narrow buildings and a big opera house with a Rococo decorated arch. Then we got to see the Royal Palace grounds with guards all around it.

Next we continued driving to Brussels, which was two hours from Antwerp, where we were to present a program for LDS members at 8 p.m. However, I had a sore throat and wasn’t feeling too hot, so I decided to goof off. So instead of doing the program, I enjoyed a nice rest in the hotel room.

60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 18 August 1952:

At 6 a.m. the hotel desk called us too early. Horrors! We scurried back to bed till 7 a.m. or so for more sleep. Breakfast was at 7:30 a.m. and we didn’t have time to shower, but the kids on the top floor did however.

Then it was time to decide whether we wanted to go on a boat trip at 9:15 a.m. or an art museum at 10 a.m. I decided on the latter along with Elo. With our extra time we trotted around trying the doors of shops until we finally found one open. I purchased a pencil, which I’m using right now, and a little tablet dealy.

Elo and I got a clue about Rembrandt’s house so we proceeded to try and find it. We picked up a guide at the Clock Tower and as a result got there in a round about fashion. I identified a likely spot where Brother Avery might have gone barreling in the mossy brine of the canal. Along the way we passed canal barges loaded with junk scrap metal. At the market place they sold all kind of junk instead of food like most others we had seen.

As Rembrandt’s house was closed when we got there we gazed at the outside, which was quite unpretentious. Then we got rid of our guide and looked for a spot to catch the trolley and ended up at Neve Market. After we caught trolley 11 and thence transferred to trolley 7 we got off practically at the door of the museum with 10 minutes to spare.

We caught sight of Virginia down the street gazing in a window, so we ducked in a doorway and stood there grinning from ear to ear when she came by. We had to wait a few minutes to get in the museum, so we walked through the big archway to see the back of the building.

It was a pretty big museum. As a crowd was waiting to get in the museum we saw that several other members of our mob found their way here too. The famous paintings we saw inside are listed in the back of my Amsterdam guide book.

During the tour we unfortunately discovered that the Van Gogh paintings were in another museum, Stedibjk Municipal Museum to be exact. Our time was almost gone as we hurriedly tried to find the other museum according to the guides information. However, there were many buildings behind the museum and we didn’t know which building it was. I asked a couple of ladies, but they turned out to be tourists too.

Then we found a lady that wasn’t a tourist. She didn’t understand at first, but soon we came to a mutual understanding and she directed us to the right building. It was a miracle. We found it! So we had a running jump through the museum, but not clear through it. Though we did see most of the Van Gogh paintings and some other important artists.

A girl at information directed us to a trolley. We were already ten minutes late so we ran to catch the trolley when we discovered it was going the wrong way. The next trolley going the right way came soon after. Here we were right across from the Kursael or Concert Hall. It seemed like an awfully slow trolley. When we finally came running and puffing into the dining room most of the kids were on their second course. At any rate, due to the good timing by the waiter, with a delay in serving desserts for the rest of the mob, we ended up finishing at the same time together.

At about 1 p.m. or shortly thereafter we were off to Rotterdam. We stopped at American Express across from the Royal Palace. Bev had a letter from Elder Elton about tapestries, but he had been transferred. We picked up Ione at the Hague. The Hague which means hunting grounds, was the capital of Netherlands and the seat of the World Court.

Ione was waiting with Claire right by the Peace Palace. I ran over and stuck my nose inside the Peace Palace which was built in 1913. A man wanted us to pay even for that small privilege. A donation was given by Carnegie for the overall cost of the Peace Palace. He gave 1½ million to help build the beautiful gardens, marble staircases and an elaborate lobby. It is older than the League of Nations. Over three million people live around the Hague.

As we came into Rotterdam we passed through a large housing district and sighted our hotel before we had wandered half as far as we usually do. We were staying at the Atlanta Hotel, but first we had to deal with our baggage problem.

Afterwards, we found out there was an American Express just down the street. I thought I was following Herr Rogers and Watkins to the said American Express, but I found myself down the street in the wrong direction. An accommodating young man helped to get me started in the right direction. In fact, he practically walked me to the door. Just for kicks, I asked for mail in the mail depot. Well, whatta ya know! A big fat surprise with a letter from the Hoyts.

Then I found my way back to the bus. Not everyone was there, but we went anyway. We traveled through the Maas Tunnel which was a fine example of Dutch engineering skill. There were six tunnels with two tunnels each for cars, bikes, and pedstrians with each tunnel going one way.
En route we ran into a little unexpected difficulty as Andre came close enough to almost hit a little girl either on foot or on a bike. When our baggage problem was finally taken care of we went back to our “neaty” hotel. There was a bathtub in each room. Yea!

From our short travels through Rotterdam I could see that the heart of the city had been completely destroyed by Hitler and vast reconstruction was in process. This was the birthplace of Erasmus, a classical theologian scholar and celebrated philosopher. We ended up at an open cute little restaurant, Erasmus, which was not far from the hotel. There was an Erasmus statue in front of the restaurant and I had a fish dish called Erasmus. Funny heh? Near the hotel I noticed An American in Paris was playing at a movie theater. Then I lost one of my one ounce copper earrings and went back to the cafe looking for it.

60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 17 August 1952:

In the morning I bathed standing in a little round wash basin as I cleaned the bottom half of me. And then I cleaned the top half of me sitting on a marble table around a bowl. Afterwards, I felt quite clean. Then it was off to breakfast for a delicious meal which was similar to the breakfasts we had on the Sibijak. I noticed LO came to breakfast in peddle pushers.

Then we were off to church at 10 a.m. Our 10-15 minute walk turned out to be a 25 minute stroll past canals and leaning buildings. We met Clara Borgeson and Grace Lam. We gave our program in a good sized hall with a piano and organ which was used for church services. Members were friendly, but not quite so prone to shake hands with everyone.

The Dutch seemed quite easy to understand, so it wasn’t too difficult to sing the hymns in Dutch. In class one of the missionaries answered our questions about Holland and socialized medicine. We learned that a collector came around each month to collect money for health services. Also that Dutch school was compulsory till age 14 and four languages were taught in school: English, Dutch, French and German.

Unfortunately, there were many inactive LDS members in Holland. And the converts to the LDS Church came from people who had fallen away from other denominations. Most Dutch were narrow in their ideas and felt comfortable in ruts that they didn’t want to be disturbed. And while the missionaries served in Holland, they tended to gain weight, because of the good food here. Holland had special lanes for bikers which the missionaries used to get around.

Afterwards, we caught trolley 16 back to the hotel for dinner and another big delicious meal. I finished with a big bowl of fruit for dessert.

Next we were off to Marken Island with uncertain weather. On the ride out I glimpsed windmills, houses, and other sights. Some canvas came loose and started flapping in the breeze so we had to stop in order to fix it. While we were stopped, I snapped a picture of a windmill in the distance. I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself. I spotted ships on a dry dock on the way to the island.

Our bus drove onto a ferry to cross a big canal. I noticed curtains in the little boats along the canal. When we got to the island we parked the bus and the mob spent money for Dutch chocolate ice cream with windmill spoons.

A small motorboat chugged across Zuiderzee Bay. In ten years or so this will all be land and canals.

Then it started raining cats and dogs. The streets were deserted except for a couple of boys standing near the buildings. That was quite frustrating since our main purpose for coming here was to see people and take pictures of them. Instead we strolled around in the rain.

As the sun tried to shine a little we got a few pictures of typical Dutch costumes and houses. Inside a quaint little shop was an old withered lady in native dress where I bought a souvenir. There were lamps with lace shades and cracks in the wall. Then I had great difficulty in getting shots of the Dutch men, because they would turn away. It was hard to tell little boys from little girls. I heard a guy expanding on the differences in their costumes.

So many tourists were running around it was almost impossible to get pictures without one of them in it. I discovered that a few of the children were dressed like those in America. Some people wore wooden shoes and others had regular shoes on. A man, who was dressed just like anyone else, strolled along with two little girls in native costumes in each hand.

When it was time to go back we had more rain. But where was the bus? I stopped in a souvenir shop and saw blue and white jewelry, wooden shoes, and little costumes. There were painted black caps and aprons which weren’t quite so colorful. We strolled over to the cafe next door to the WC. It was jammed with people, mostly tourists, I believe. There was a Dutch sailor who had had several drinks and was in high spirits.

Henry started waving across the street in order to gather the mob. I had gotten off on the wrong street and heard the big wingding in a café. There were costumes, music and dancing. Finally I followed the brick streets along the canal to the bus. I don’t know for sure how Andre got here or how we found him, but we were all together again. Yea!

Missionaries called back from a souvenir shop to tell “them” (Dutch members) that we would be late for church. We were scheduled to give a program–good thing to let “them” know. We did go to the church first, but it was already too late by the time we arrived. We didn’t even go in and headed back to the hotel.

At the hotel L.O. and I jumped out of the bus and dashed down to see if we could get tickets to Heidelberg Romance. Yep! After buying tickets, we hurried off to dinner. Gee! I could really gain weight on these types of menu. We had delicious cream soup again and all the rest of the works with luscious ice cream for dessert.

I got a good start on packing before the movie. My, my, I didn’t realize I had collected so much literature on the trip. We had to pack so we can leave our big suitcases at Rotterdam. Afterwards, as we walked down to the movie we were met by throngs of people coming from the earlier show. They took over the street like we do on the hill road at Ricks College off of the upper campus between classes. Only there was so much more people. About the only thing I spotted getting through this crowd was the big trolley.

At the theater there was a small man from the night before that was ushering the second door and he recognized me. As we entered the theater we were greeted with clouds of smoke from people smoking. This was much different from our experiences in America. Our seats, which were the cheapest we could buy, turned out to be almost on the stage and up the side wall it seemed.
At first I had to fight to stay awake because it was so warm. Still we were able to enjoy the movie immensely despite the heat, smoke, and seats. In the movie we got to see the famous sights which included the Heidelberg castle, former old bridge, and Red Ox Inn. We even got to see the famous Heidelberg fireworks.

Back at the hotel I ended up packing until almost 2 a.m.