First trip to Stonehenge

These days I think of Stonehenge as ‘just down the road’. Or at least I did until the road past the monument was closed. The authorities have managed to almost hide the old monument away and now those who really want to see it have no option but to pay the price to go in. Just as a matter of interest, members of The National Trust or English Heritage get in without further payment. And visitors can get short term membership which makes a visit much cheaper.

I cannot tell you what it cost when I first visited in the early 1960s. This would have been on one of my first trips out of the south east corner of England. We had no car until the very late 1950s and the first ones were elderly. But my dad got a job that involved travel and a brand new vehicle was bought – a Bedford Dormobile which served as family car and also holiday home HQ.

The trip past Stonehenge was en route to a camping week in South Devon. The photo my dad took of his three children does amuse me just a bit.

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I’m the little boy on the right wearing the sandals my parents thought were good for my feet. My brother, on the left, 18 months older than me is determined to look like a hard guy with dour face and thumbs in pockets – but the sandals probably rather let down that image. My sister, in the middle, has discarded any footwear she might have had and is bare footed. She is keen to look like a demure young lady – no longer under the thumb of parents.

Actually, I know we were all thrilled to be at Stonehenge for it had seemed almost as remote as the North Pole until then. It was a place you read about, saw pictures of, but didn’t really expect ever to be there. Yet there we were, amongst the stones. It looks as though it was a fine day and I know it was in a Whitsun school holiday. It’s amazing that it was possible to get a shot with just us and no other people in view.

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