To ask you to help me recall a memory

(186 Posts)
user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:04:37

Hi all! Posting here for traffic. Sorry my username isn't a bit more scintillating.
I'm from the States, but back in 2004 my parents and I spent some time in and around London. We stayed at the most lovely bed and breakfast, and I would dearly love to find it online and show pictures to my DH, but neither of my parents seem to be able to remember so much as the name of the area we were in. I was only about ten years old, but I have some of the happiest memories of that trip.

Here is what I do remember! It was a very large, very old house. At least it seemed very old to me as a child, though I do seem to remember hearing the owner talk about its history. I remember being very impressed by its size and grandeur! It was owned by a woman. I believe she had a husband and children as well but I never saw them. Her elderly mother lived there also. It seemed like it was quite a long drive from where we got off the ferry after crossing the Channel. It wasn't terribly far from London, but far enough that we only stayed there a few nights to recover from jet lag before proceeding to a hotel from which we went back and forth to London. I think it was probably quite a standard village; I remember stone houses, horseback riders, children in school uniforms, etc all of which were of course quite novel to me!

I realize this is barely any information whatsoever, it certainly hasn't been enough for me to turn anything up via Google. Even though it's a long shot I am so hoping it rings a bell for someone! We had disposable cameras along but only a few blurry pictures were taken, though I can see it all clearly in my mind, and I'd love to revisit those memories with a bit more information.

LeonardInTheArgosBag Sat 17-Sep-16 04:12:38

So large, brick B&B/hotel, somewhere outside London? That really could be anywhere! I think you'll need to ask your parents again. Could they describe something in the area - a park or a museum or a specific feature?

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:14:38

you need some more info from your parents...

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:15:21

I know it! I'm not holding my breath for a magical discovery haha. It was stone, actually, and probably quite rural though it didn't seem so to me as I was from farmland.
I have asked and asked my parents. They remember "it was nice" and that is all. We didn't do a thing in that village, just stayed at the B&B until we'd recovered from jet lag enough to proceed.

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:16:02

what colour was the stone of the houses?
Not that that would really help but might pinpoint it a bit more.,...
'Outside London' could be just anywhere in the south east really.

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:19:59

Gray, I think.

It utterly baffles me that my parents can't even recall the name of the town. Maybe it will just niggle in the back of my mind forever. I really do think about it quite regularly!

isthistoonosy Sat 17-Sep-16 04:20:13

Do you know the route you were on? Where did you arrive in the UK and which aide of London did you stay on?

isthistoonosy Sat 17-Sep-16 04:21:33

What were the school.uniforms like? Maybe a distinct school tie could help.out with the location?

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:21:48

Gatwick or Heathrow?
If Gatwick then possibly somewhere in Sussex?

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:24:19

We arrived on the ferry after driving through the Netherlands and France. I don't know if it gets off at more than one place? I do remember we drove past the cliffs of Dover on our way from the ferry to the B&B.

The first place we went was the London Eye so we must have been staying near whichever side of the city that is. Unless it's in the middle! blush

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:26:29

They were plaid skirts/white shirts. I believe they were green and navy because I had one just like them! Informative, eh? Haha! Bless you for trying! smile

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:27:30

Possibly you disembarked at Dover....So somewhere in Kent or Sussex........

LeonardInTheArgosBag Sat 17-Sep-16 04:27:58

Have your folks kept any mementos of the trip? Train tickets, that kind of thing? Emails they never deleted?

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:31:22

Not a thing! We have a few blurry photos. They are massively unsentimental, and a bit forgetful now atop that.

All the things that stood out to me as a child from the Midwest of the US I imagine are fairly standard; narrow lanes, cobblestones, small, close together houses and shops. For some reason I loved it there though. I would love to go back someday if only I had the faintest idea where it was.

Sootica Sat 17-Sep-16 04:32:57

Green and navy plaid (tartan?) is reasonably distinctive that might help
Everything else is totally ubiquitous

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:33:51

OK I am thinking Lewes in East Sussex. Steep, narrow cobbled lanes, stone houses, old looking shops?

Sootica Sat 17-Sep-16 04:34:50

Can you remember any of the shops? How many shops were close together? If you remember shops and there were a fair amount of kids I'm thinking a town not a village. Cobbles are not that common so we might get somewhere. Did the kids in uniform look like secondary school kids ie 11+

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:35:02

Although as Sootica said, many towns look like that. Could equally have been Arundel or Midhurst AFAIK.

LeonardInTheArgosBag Sat 17-Sep-16 04:40:36

Well, I haven't the foggiest. But my final suggestion is to post the best of the blurry pics here. Even if they're crap, you'd be surprised at what MNers can do with just a few clues.

Good luck!

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:42:29

We didn't visit any shops. We stopped somewhere to eat, drove around to look at the scenery/houses (dad is a builder, that's his point of interest!) and slept, mainly. A bit of a boring stay but I have always remembered snippets of it so vividly! Probably because it was small town life, which I was familiar with, but in a way diametrically opposed to what life was like for me. The children were around my own age or older; 10+ I would say.

There seemed to be something of a town square that wasn't steep or narrow but the roads and paths near the B&B, which was a small distance out of town, were small and surrounded by tall hedges.

This probably sounds to you as it would to me if someone tried to describe generic small town USA. blush To me it was so amazing and awe inspiring though.

BillSykesDog Sat 17-Sep-16 04:43:21

You wouldn't go through Sussex to get from Dover to London. It must be in Kent, but could be anywhere.

Do you know where the second hotel was? Might give an idea how much further into Kent the first hotel was.

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:43:59

Pictures might be worth a try! I think they are all indoors and have me front and center blush but I will ask my parents to scan and email them to me!

user1471734618 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:44:37

I know .....just grasping at straws....

user1471451355 Sat 17-Sep-16 04:46:12

No, I don't know where it was. It was a Holiday Inn on a very main road, a freeway or highway, and then we took the subway from there to London which was maybe a 45 minute trip.
I seem to have a knack for remembering the unhelpful details in vivid color and the rest is a fog.

Charlesroi Sat 17-Sep-16 04:49:32

Does tunbridge Wells ring any bells?

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