I mentioned in an earlier post that my wife Barbara had recently had a book published that covered her mum Gwenda’s travels around North America in the 1950s. Gwenda Brady (now Gofton and married to a vicar – and still board surfing in her late 70s!) set off, with her fried, Pat, for Cleveland, Ohio, in 1957 after seeing an advert in a nursing journal for nurses wanted at £90 per month (a fortune to her then!). The book, called “Bedpans & Bobby Socks”, covers their nursing exploits but also (and more significantly) their road trip adventures with three other nurses around all the states of the US and into Canada, Mexico and even Cuba. A great read even if I am biased! And available in all good bookshops and on line, with an audio book just released with Barbara and Gwenda singing “You’ll Never Get to Heaven in an Old Ford Car” (they travelled everywhere in an old Ford V8 nicknamed “Flatus”)!
The link with Reynard Collectables (apart from the family connection of course) is that some of my US and Canadian guide books, roadmaps, matchbooks and ephemera were used as montages for the inside covers of the book (I actually designed these montages and should have been credited for this but will definitely be for the reprint I am told). I have lots of this ephemera, with also a stock for sale of period items for Great Britain and Europe. It is fascinating to browse through these items, in particular old tourist and town guides, each with fine period adverts, refereences to long gone hotels and companies, glimpses of the fashions of the time etc. Plus collections of old matchbox tops from long defunct coffee bars, cafes, lounges (does anybody have any pictures or information on the Summit Cafe on the Alaska Highway, milepost 392, from the 1950/60s?).
I have added a few images below to give a flavour of what is available in this interesting collecting area, which can also occasionally help with family history searches: while browsing a 1921 Crawley & Horsham Blue Book I found an advert for my Nan’s Aunt, Miss EM Garry, who moved to Crawley in 1920 to open a stationers. My Nan followed her down from Durham to help in the shop – and to meet her future husband, my Grandad Clifford Raymond Fox.