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Burradon Memories Part 3: The Lights

I had wanted to be able to tell the poor souls who couldn't go to Blackpool all about “the lights”

Photograph of Honor Weightman

Honor Weightman

Editor’s Note:
Some of Mrs. Honor Weightman’s memories of a life in Burradon written down and kindly contributed by her daughter Lindsey. These memories have been split into seven separate parts because they have so much rich material in them. If you’d like to read the whole story you’ll need to read Burradon Memories Parts 1 to 7. They cover many aspects of life in Burradon and offer a fascinating insight into village life.

Part Three – The Lights

I came across an old photograph, taken in 1937, and boy what memories it conjured up for me. As if it were yesterday I could remember everyone on the picture, I could even hear them laughing and joking, such a happy occasion. To have a picture taken in a studio just showed how affluent we were. I don’t remember paying anything towards it. Mrs. Guthrie came to ask if I could accompany Betty on a trip the next day, to Blackpool, a place I’d heard about where they had something called “the lights”. It was free because two passengers, who had paid their fare, had to drop out and couldn’t claim the money back. Well, at the mere thought of going to a place called Blackpool (it might even be in another country), the blood pounded in my head. When my Mam said “Oh that would be nice, how kind of you to think of Honor”, I was dizzy with excitement and couldn’t sleep for thinking about “the lights”. Whatever could they be?

Betty and I had to go and stay with Mrs. Guthrie’s sister, who lived in Westmoor, the trip was from Westmoor club. We stayed the night with ‘wor’ Lena (who I thought was beautiful) and her two brothers Pete and Les. Lena baked and packed a large basket with all kinds of very tasty food, enough to feed an army. Eight o’clock in the morning we boarded the bus, me yawning my head off. “Eh”, somebody said, “She’s tired. Oh well she’ll sleep on the bus”. However we sang and Mr. Patton played his tin whistle all the way. People even danced in the aisle. There were crates of beer for the men, who certainly did justice to them and later we had to keep stopping. Guess why. Yes! There were certainly some pennies spent that day. The journey took so long we twice picnicked. I thought we must be in another country now. How important I felt and what tales I would tell my family when I got home. To help you understand I must mention here it took at least six hours to journey to Blackpool.

Well, to cut it short, we arrived, went immediately to have a picture taken then, sat down in the sunshine. I must have fallen asleep and someone put me back in the bus and laid me on the back seat. I didn’t wake until the passengers were getting back on the bus to go home. Imagine, I’d missed “the lights” and could only listen to the wonders seen by the rest of the company before they drifted off to sleep. They slept the whole way home. They snored and I wept  ‘cos I had wanted to be able to tell the poor souls who couldn’t go to Blackpool all about “the lights”.

I’ll try to put into words exactly what I believe and hope it will be to someone’s benefit. Everyone should leave at least one thought behind. I believe and advise, “Always look for the best possible interpretation of people’s behaviour. Usually the faults we see in others are our own faults”. The people I admire most are seldom great in worldly goods, but are certainly great in heart.

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