Monday, January 29, 2018

I've never been to Symonds Yat ...

but I have been to Snotengham.

One day of Spring was quickly followed by a day of torrential rain during which we were travelling to the Midlands, to Nottingham, to see Uncle's grave.

It's nearly a year now since he died and we'd had the headstone altered so it seemed a good time to go and check it out and leave some flowers. (We also had to fit the weekend away in so it didn't clash with Six Nations rugby, which begins next Saturday.)

Uncle's friend, Jane, lives in Nottingham so we'd arranged to take her out for a meal in the evening and she took us to Gino's, an old haunt of Uncle's. The proprietor, Fred, remembered Uncle well. 'He was a great character,' he said.

He was indeed.

On the journey we pass Symonds Yat and, as the weather was pleasant when we left Ruddington, the little village we were staying in, I suggested that we call in there on the way home as we were in no particular hurry.

When I was a child my mother worked for South Wales Transport so was always first to get the latest timetable of summer coach trips. My gran and one or more of her sisters would fall eagerly on the brochure and peruse it before deciding which coach trips they'd enjoy that year. Would it be to Tenby? Or to Hereford? Or to my favourite, the exotically-named Symonds Yat?

I never went with them, you understand. My tendency to be sick on coaches made me a less than ideal travelling companion so I never ever found out what was at Symonds Yat that made it a highly desirable destination. But there had to be boats, right? Something called Yat must have boats. A marina perhaps or a seaside resort.

When at some much later point I first travelled to the Midlands and passed a sign for Symonds Yat - in the middle of the countryside! - I was stupefied.

Of course by the time we reached Symonds Yat yesterday the weather had changed and as we didn't have appropriate clothing for a nature ramble in the rain we came straight home instead. So I still haven't discovered the delights of the place.

One day, one day ...

P.S. Apparently it was named after a Mr Symonds and yat means gate or passageway.
P.P.S. In the eleventh century Domesday book Nottingham is called Snotengham, meaning the settlement of Snot's people.


nick said...

I was regularly car-sick as a child. But neither parent had a car so we went everywhere by train. I finally grew out of my car-sickness when I went on a 1,500 mile road trip round Scotland with a couple of schoolmates. It was either stop being car sick or miss a fantastic trip.

I think I'd keep well away from the settlement of Snot's people. It might be a bit unsavoury.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I thought Symonds Yat was a place in the middle of nowhere and nothing there ..Maybe a small.roadside cafe .. I think I have been .

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Why was your uncle buried in the Midlands ..thought he came from Wales.