The Auntie Doris Years: 1907

Liverpool to New York in less than a week. In the lap of luxury all the way. Ok, so the Germans had done it half an hour faster, but not in the lap of ruddy luxury they hadn’t, Britannia ruled the waves, simple as that. The Lusetania! A fabulous ship, with ballrooms and banqueting halls, and swimming pools and all sorts on board. We were knocking them out like nobody’s business. It was soon joined by the Mauritania, which if anything was even more luxurious. Of course, it wasn’t for the likes of my family, but when my grandmother saw the pictures of it, she really believed that one day she would be able to travel in similar style, if liberal politics prevailed and we got more equality in the country. Of course, she never ruddy did, but we can all dream. She did go on a trip out around the Scarborough bays on the Coronia just before the second war, and she felt that that was almost as good. But half a mile out into the North Sea from Scarborough was the furthest she ever got from England, and she was heading in the wrong direction for getting to America any road. Not that she ever really wanted to go to America. “All film stars and Hamburgers” she used to say. Nowt much has ruddy changed over there since she said it in my opinion.
The holiday in Scarborough was in her twilight years, on a charabanc trip run by the local Derby and Joan Club. Back in 1907, she might have dreamed about Transatlantic cruises, but the nearest she got to a holiday was an occasional day out at the local park, with a ride on the boats, and maybe an ice cream. Extravagances like that didn’t happen too often neither. Not with the family having developed a liking for cheese and meat. My mother used to tell me about those days out at the park though. They were like little holidays. Having their sandwiches under a tree, watching people riding bicycles around, they even used to buy postcards and send them to their friends, or even just send them back home to themselves. If they posted them early enough and stayed out long enough, the postcards might even get home before they did. In those days there were a few collections and deliveries every day, it was even possible to have a small conversation with someone in a day with postcards, like they do these days with their mobile text telephones.
They would feed the ducks, look at the floral displays and have a rare old time. Then the next day, it would be back home and plenty of work to do in and around the house, and she was a hard worker, my grandmother. Her front step was always ruddy spotless.
Auntie Doris’s top pop hit of 1907: “Rum Tiddly Um Tum Tay – Out for the Day” by Helen Trix. She was an American Girl, but she captured that feeling of having a day out away from the stresses of work and home.

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