Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Three Days in Beaumaris - The Final Chapter of our Trip to England and Wales

After the Old Blues left us on Tuesday, September 4th, RVPainter and I stayed on in Beaumaris until Saturday the 8th. Over those three days, we enjoyed our accomodations at the lovely Churchbank Bed & Breakfast; we wandered around the town (it's small, but very charming as you'll see); visited the castle and the Old Gaol; sat on the pier, drank mochas and ate treats from the Castle Bakery; shopped for gifts; and just generally enjoyed ourselves. We hoped that, before we left, we would learn the name of the woman Mom lived with in Beaumaris - all the mysteries had been solved except this one. Did we? Read to the end to find out ....

Beaumaris Castle - a castle with a moat even! Right there in the middle of town. Very cool!

Our Inn - straight across - the white building.

St.Mary's Church, right across from our Inn
When Mom was in Beaumaris, on Sundays, all the students from her school put on their uniforms and marched through town like a parade to attend services at St. Mary's Church. When I booked our accomodations, I didn't know the church would be right across the street!

The streets of Beaumaris:

Along the Menai Strait - In her essay ( a few posts back) My mother described jumping in the cold water early in the
morning, and the view of the mountains across the way:


The house where Mom lived: 4 Green Edge - it's the one with the white door.

On our first full day in Beaumaris, we got word that Jackie from the town council office thought she had found information for us about the woman with whom Mom had lived. The town kept records of deaths by address, and there was one that seemed like it might fit the bill. Jackie gave us the location of the woman's grave in the town cemetery, and we went to take a look. But the grave listed the names of children, and we knew the woman that Mom lived with had been a spinster. It didn't fit.

On our last evening there, we strolled once more past 4 Green Edge. Lawrence Roberts, who lives at 3 Green Edge, was outside, staining a bench. We'd met Lawrence and his wife Mildred (the lady in the gray pansuit in the previous post) at the luncheon with the Old Blues. Lawrence is a former mayor of Beaumaris, and that day he'd pledged to see what he could learn for us.

When he saw us walking by, Lawrence called out, "OH! I thought you were gone! I have information for you."

 He gave us the name Alice Ridsdale, a spinster who had lived with her maid, Harriet Jones at number 4 Green Edge. In fact, Alice was Lawrence's godmother, though I had the sense he didn't remember her. This fit perfectly with my mother's description of having lived with "an old lady and her maid."

Lawrence and Mildred gave us a tour of their lovely house at #3 - #4 would have been exactly the same except in mirror-image. This gave me a sense of the home Mom had described and I looked through the third floor bedroom windows at the views of the Menai Strait that she would have opened her eyes to each morning with delight.

So, yes, the questions were answered! All the mysteries solved! Our trip to England and Wales was perfect in every way - including the beautiful sunshine we brought them - our friends there say it has rained incessantly ever since we left! But most importantly, we got to see dear old friends and make dear new ones. We were so cared for all along the way, and it was a lovely feeling. Sometimes we feel so much like we are out there on our own, taking care of things, so when suddenly we are being taken care of, it is both a surprise and a delight.

I'll close with one more view of the Menai Strait on a sunny day in Wales:


  1. What a wonderful story Melissa...I love the part about looking out the window at the Menai Strait view your Mom would have seen each morning upon awakening. What a way to see through another's eyes...journeying on the still alive trail of their past.

    1. Shelley - it was just wonderful - perfect in every way, everything I hoped for. :)

  2. I'm so glad you were able to tie up all the loose ends, and walk in your mother's footsteps. And these photos have been wonderful.

    1. Thanks Annalisa, I am still a bit in awe of how it all played out -like Mom was leading me, and also having a bit of fun with it!

  3. Dear Melissa, this travel series, connected to that essay your mother wrote, has brought me so much contentment. Somehow, the knowledge that 73 years after your mother's journey, you could revisit and see what she saw is comforting to me. Peace.

    1. Thanks Dee - it's brought me peace too. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Ladies' Home Journal is interested in a memoir article if I can find the right angle on it. So I'll be working on that. It was a wonderful trip in every possible way.

  4. A great journey for you. I'm so glad you found the answers you were looking for.

    1. Thanks Paul - it's all a bit miraculous - small miracles all along the way to put all the pieces of the story together.

  5. Hi Melissa .. it does sound as though all the i's were crossed and the t's dotted - I'm so pleased for you - what a lot of fortunate coincidences ...

    It just seems such a cathartic journey for both of you - so pleased you could do it together and have those memories too ..

    With many thoughts - cheers Hilary


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