1971: May 27, Hornchurch – Harwich

Thursday
Left home at 7.0pm thinking it advisable to leave plenty of time to get to Harwich – and how right we were. First of all it took us ages to get to Mrs Perryman’s with the cats, as one of the roads was closed, so we had to go round the Essex lanes for hours. Then just as we were getting a move on towards Colchester, clouds of steam came pouring out of the car, fore and aft… A car pulled in behind us with 2 women who were extremely helpful, getting some water from the next garage. Part of the hose in the water circulation system had come off, fortunately that seemed to be all. So, on we went wondering what on earth could happen next, and hoping it wouldn’t. We arrived thankfully at the quay at 9.0pm, had to wait for hours to get on the boat, all longing for the loo! Eventually we were allowed on – some cars had to back in – into a very small area, everything being tightly packed in. We got our cabin, very nice, Sarah and David in the top bunks, Gareth and Andrew sharing one of the bottom bunks. We put them to bed – after a procession to the loo! – and then went to the bar for a much needed brandy, followed by a ham roll and coffee, and a visit to the duty free shop where we got a bottle of gin and some perfume for Muzz [my grandmother]. Boat was full of school children all racketting around and no one in sight in charge of them. Adjourned to bed exhausted – at least the sea was calm.

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