Fa – the name of the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian

Cities (suburbs), Towns and Villages I have lived in:

  1. The very first place I ever lived was Horfield,  Bristol. This is where my family lived when I was born.  We  lived at 59 Chedworth Road. Incidentally, Horfield was also home to Archibald leach and his family. Archibald later changed his name to Cary Grant. Even after becoming a world-famous actor and film star, he often returned to visit his roots in Bristol.
  2. From Horfield we moved to  a part of Bristol which was known as Russell Town. It was the area on Lawrence Hill to the east of Old Market, where we stayed until 1952.
  3. While my family stayed at the place on Lawrence Hill, I was sent to live at the Jan Christiaan Smuts Home for Children at Burnham-on-Sea. I stayed there for less than a year before returning home to my family on Lawrence Hill.
  4. in the summer of 1952 we moved from Lawrence Hill to Henbury, (The river Hen) a suburb in the northeast of Bristol about 5 miles from the city center.
  5. Soon after  I left school, I went to live in the village of Cromhall near Wooten-Under-Edge in Gloucestershire. I moved there to work on The Pierce Farm while attending a what was then, a community College at Hartpury. I stayed there for a little while before realizing that there would not be much future in Agricultural management. I reached this conclusion because of the dwindling farms in England and my lack of connections to the moneyed-people who made up country-life
  6. I moved back to Bristol and for a short while lived in the village of Westbury-on-Trym (the River Trym). I lived in a house where I rented a single room and shared bathroom facilities with other tenants.
  7. I moved a couple of times renting rooms in Clifton, moving again, this time to another suburb. 
  8. I stayed in Redland For some time while I worked in various places in Bristol. In June of  1962, I had a little money saved and I decided to explore Europe. I did this mostly by hitch-hiking, that is, standing on the side of the road and requesting a ride from passing motorists and truck drivers. When I got to Dover, I took the ferry to Calais. This was not my first trip to France as I had visited Paris during one Christmas when I was 16. I did not speak much French at the time relying only on what I had learned in school from my two excellent teachers Mr. Daniel Kelly and Mr. “Fez’ Parker. My hitch-hiking took me from Calais  to Lille and Armentieres where I stayed overnight with a truck-driver’s family. The next day they sent me on my way to Le Bizet on the border with Belgium. From there I made my way through Brugges and Ghent to Brussels. From Brussels I went to Antwerp, Rotterdam to Amsterdam. I continued on through Amesfort, appeldorn into Germany, then on through Koln to Bonn, Koblenz nd down the Mosel valley to Trier and then into Luxemburg. From There I went south through Metz, Nancy, Epinal, Belfort, Besancon, Dijon, Macon, Lyons, crossing the Alps to Turin, Milan and Genoa. From Genoa along the coastby motorcycle to Bordighierra and  then into to Nice, Monte Carlo  and then to Frejus, Narbonne, Perpignan,   Carcassonne, Agen, Bergerac. In Bergerac one of my French teachers, Mr. Parker had given me a contact  in case I needed to find work. That contact gave me the name of the owner of a  Hotel in Tremolat.
  9. I was offered a live-in position at theHotel du Vieux Logis in Tremolat(La Dordogne river) where I stayed for some time.Mostly I worked odd jobs, cleaning the grounds and helping in the restaurant bussing tables and in the kitchen helping Claude, the Chef de Cuisine, etc. The Maitre d’hotel was an Algerian by the name of Leon. he was a micro-manager and life under his supervision was quite unbearable so I deceided to leave. I did so with less than F20.00 to my name and returned to Bergerac.
  10. In Bergerac (la Dordogne river) I asked for work at the Grand Hotel de Londres where I was offered a position as Commis de Cuisine aassisting the Chef de Cuisine prepare the lunch and dinner menus for guests staying at the hotel. Since the hotel management did not offer me any lodging I stayed at the local Auberge de la Jeunesse (Youth Hostel). Since I had no money to pay for my daily fee, I agreed to take on the duties as “Pere Aubergiste”  supervising any arriving guests, registration and other duties such as cleaning and maintenance. In mid September I travelled with the chef de cuisine to his uncle’s property in Libourne where we went off to work in the grape harvest or “Vendange” as it is called in French.
  11. We went to work and live in Pomerol   at le Vieux Chateau Certan  in the St. Emilion wine making area, . We stayed here for about two weeks until close to the nd of September when the “vendange” was complete.
  12. We then moved further north to the town of Malaville.in the Department of Charente.  In Malaville all of the grapes are pressed and the juice fermented before being distilled into Cognac.   As with Pomerol, the work was completed in about two weeks and I prepared myself to return home to England for the  winter.  From Malavile I returned to Bristol via Angouleme, Paris, Calais and Dover.
  13. I stayed in Bristol through the winter. A friend of the family and a senior manager at the Bristol Airplane Company recommended me for a position with a small subsidiary airline of British European Airways called Cambrian Airways. It was billed at the national carrier of Wales. The Cambrian fleet comprised about 6 DC-3s and 4 Viscount turbo-prop aircraft. I began working as Flight-staff working as a cabin-attendant. Our routes took us on both domestic and international routes. We flew two daily flights to Paris from Rhoose Airport via Bristol and Bournemouth
  14. Rhoose was a distant suburb of Cardiff and the closest place with enough land where runways could be built. Although I worked at Rhoose airport I travelled there each day.
  15. I lived in a rented room In a small town on the Severn estuary by the curious name of Llantwit Major. I stayed with Cambrian Airways for about two years.
  16. During my time with Cambrian I moved from Llantwit Major to the village of Rhoose for about three or four months and then
  17. To Barry Island but eventually as I saw no chance for promotion I decided to leave and go back and try hitch-hiking around Europe once again. This time I went by train and took the ferry to Le Havre. Once in Le Havre I walked about to get my bearings and a feel for the town. However, something curious happened. I simply lost interest in going round Europe again and the next day I boarded the ferry back to England. I’ll digress a little to tell you something which has a bearing on what I did next. The situation in England was a little unstable insomuch the troubles between the Catholics and the Protestants in Northern Ireland were causing some talk of reintroducing National Service otherwise known as conscription. Since I came from a family with quite a long tradition of military service, I decided to join the army. The next day I visited the Armed Services recruiting office on Colston Avenue in Bristol and enlisted in the 3rd Royal tank regiment. 
  18. The next day, together with another enlistee, Frank E., I went to Temple Meads station and     caught a train to Caterick (the Swale river) in Yorkshire to begin my basic training. I stayed in Caterick until May of 1965 at which time the entire regiment was moved  to Germany.
  19. In Germany we moved into Oerbke barracks on the outskirts of the town Bad Fallingbostel ( Boehme, Aller and Weser rivers)this was to be my home for the next three years.
  20. However I was posted to Dortmund temporarily while I attended the army language training school.
  21. When our tour of duty in Germany was complete we returned to England. Our next posting was to the town of Tidworth in Hampshire located on the northern edge of Salisbury plain best known for the ancient site of Stonehenge which was less than 5 miles away. In total I served just over four years with the 3RTR and on leaving the service I went to work and live near Heathrow Airport.
  22. The suburb of London I went to live in was called Hounslow. My job with Lufthansa, the national airline of Germany took me to Hamburg on a temporary basis, after
  23. which I returned to the London suburb of Hammersmith.
  24. Eventually I moved to  Chicago, Illinois I worked at O’Hare airport for about five years.
  25. During this time we moved into a new house in the city of Hoffman Estates. but soon I took another position with Air New Zealand the national carrier of New Zealand. After about a year I was promoted and  accepted a position which took me to Los Angeles. Once again I lived in several suburbs including Santa Monica, San Gabriel  and eventually I purchased a house
  26. in the new and growing suburb of Diamond bar. I stayed there until my wife and I separated at which time I went to live in Los  Angeles proper. I joined a friend in a small business located on Topanga Canyon Boulevard and because the hours were long I moved to Canoga Park. After about a year, we sold the business and I moved once again; this time  to San Francisco.  I stayed in san Francisco for about a year. However, I was visited by a former business associate from my Air new Zealand days who invited me to join his company in Richfield, Minnesota.
  27. So with U-Haul loaded to the gills I took off on Interstate 80 and headed east over the Donner Pass to Reno, Salt lake City, through the states of Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa to Bloomington Minnesota. I stayed in Bloomington until 1983 at which time I found a new position with Ask Mr.. Foster Travel and I moved to Van Nuys, California. I only stayed there for a year.
  28. When my position was eliminated I packed up our house again and moved to Dallas, Texas; this time to be closer to my wife’s family. In Dallas I applied for a position with Braniff Airlines. The formerly bankrupt carrier had been purchased by the Pritzker family  owners of the Hyatt Hotel chain. My appointment as District Sales Manager for northern California took me to San Leandro, California. However, Braniff did not operate for very long and so it was time to move again.
  29. In 1984 I joined a Boston based Travel management company called Woodside management systems. I was to be their new Program manager for Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa and the Middle east. Officially, for payroll purposes I joined Hogg Robinson Travel. Hogg Robinson had an office on Kingsway, just round the corner from Covent garden. I bought a house in Raynes Park, (the Thames river) one railway station beyond Wimbledon
  30. I remained in the London area until 1987, traveling often to Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain and many of the eastern European cities. My travels also took me to Greece, Egypt and south Africa.. I was approached by a headhunter who presented me to a travel destination management company and tour wholesaler. I joined it and continued to live in Raynes Park for another year. Then one day the Managing Director informed me that he would like me to go to Florida. In Florida
  31. I began my new assignment in the offices of Ocean cruise Lines in Ft. Lauderdale. I moved my household from Raynes Park to Coral Springs. A curious thing happened in Coral Springs. I decided to build a house as I expected to be staying for  a long time. In looking around different areas especially at new housing subdivisions, my wife and I found a area and a builder.  Coincidentally the builder who would build my new house also built the house I had lived in, In Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
  32. Again, out of the blue I received a phone call from the managing director with a curious question; “Who did I know in Japan”? My new mission was to find a potential customer for a 60 day period from July 1st until August 31st who would charter one of our ships in Asia. The outcome was yet another move. This time we found ourselves in Tai Hang Hau Village, Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong. My office in Hong Kong was located at Ocean Terminal and it was from there that I covered the area.My geographic area of responsibility stretched from Japan in the east to India in the west and from northern China to Indonesia in the south. My work in Asia was extremely interesting and it required a lot of travel. That is until the day when it was announced that we were to close up the remote office in Hong Kong and manage sea operations from the London office. My household was packed into boxes and moved back to Minnesota.
  33. Since I liked the Minneapolis-St. Paul area I moved to the southeast suburb of Inver Grove Heights (the Mississippi river) and this is where I have lived since 1991.

 

 

 

 

To be continued …..