Kathryn and Ken's European Vacation

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Day 8: Doncaster
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Day 8: Doncaster
Day 9: Doncaster
Day 10: Edinburgh
Day 11: Edinburgh
Day 12: Alfreton
Day 13: Medway

United Kingdom




Sunny with a high of 23°C

Day 8: Tuesday, September 12, 2006     Doncaster, England

They are Nice People in Yorkshire

We started the day early and went to Oxford.  Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and lays claim to nine centuries of continuous existence.  Most North Americans arriving at Oxford, ask “Where's the campus?”  That's because Oxford University is made up of 39 colleges sprinkled throughout the town.  To see the university, you have to experience the bustling and crowded city which is also Oxford.  There seems to be a never-ending stream of buses and fast-flowing pedestrian traffic.  While Cambridge is a small university town, Oxford feels more like London.

Cornmarket Street, Oxford, England

We then headed north to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.  Stratford is a touristy town with everything Shakespeare.  We enjoyed walking around the city on this beautiful day.  We saw Shakespeare's birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.  We had lunch and then set out for our hotel, the Travelodge in Doncaster
We dropped off our luggage at the hotel and headed northwest to the city of Bradford to visit some friends of Kathryn's dad.  This is an interesting story.  Kathryn's dad Fred was stationed at Lynton-on-Ouse, an air force base north

Ken standing in front of Shakespeare's birthplace

of York during WWII.  He was in a pub one night and missed the bus back to the base.  The waitress told him that he could come back to her place.  Being a shy, single man from Bashaw, Alberta, Fred didn't know what to say.  “No problem” says Ann, the waitress, “My husband and two sons are at home.”  Thus began a life-long friendship between the Lowthers and the Robinsons.  Anne's son John married Pauline and it was her we were going to see. 

We got lost a little – you try to find #1 Green St., Low Moor, Oakenshaw, Bradford.  Pauline had sandwiches and tea ready for us when we arrived.  Before long, Pauline's daughter Bev and her husband Ian Baker and son Adam dropped by.  Adam's girlfriend Helen had a salsa dance class but even she stopped in for a few minutes to “meet the Canadians”.  After reminiscing about Kathryn's previous visits to Bradford and Pauline and Bev's visits to Edmonton 20 years ago, I mentioned something about wanting to buy a soccer or rugby jersey as a souvenir.  The next thing I know, Ian, Adam and I

Kathryn, Bev, Pauline and Ken

Adam, soccer-head Ken and Ian

are in the family van.  It turns out that Ian is a field manager for the Bradford Bulls Rugby League Team (see http://www.bradfordbulls.co.uk/ for more info on the Bulls).  We drove right down to field level at the Stadium at Odsal (now called Grattan Field).  We then whipped over to their house where Ian and Adam started giving me gifts.  Ian gave me a Bulls jersey, his last year's team jacket and a couple of programs including one from two years ago when Bradford won the Rugby League World Championships.  Adam, who is a fan of the neighbouring Leeds Rhinos, gave me a Rhinos shirt signed by all the
players and a Newcastle soccer ball.  They say that the people in northern England are much friendlier that those in the south and, after an evening with Pauline and the Bakers, I whole-heartedly agree.

Click here for a slide show of Day 8 photos.

Day 9

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