An elusive Hoopoe; exhausted on Chesil Beach; a Glow-worm in Grove Road; an all-British Women’s Final; meeting a hero; Barry runs a mile; a small extravagance; questions from Julian, and little figures strike the hour.
Gran makes her way into Southampton en route to a field trip in Dorset on June 4th 1961, and a roadside sight, relatively unusual in those days, upsets her: “A sad sight at Bassett was a beautiful Badger lying dead beside the road, evidently killed by a passing car during the night”. She continues:
…. I dashed into Aunt Em’s to tell Mother I would be late back tonight and found Brother there. He imparted the startling news that there was a Hoopoe at West Wellow and he saw it last weekend with Doreen Peters, who I am to phone tomorrow in the hope that she can show it to me one day this week!
This is another birdy event, much like Gran’s putative Melodious Warblers, that has gone down in family history, Norris, on this occasion, apparently nearly ending up in a ditch in his excitement when he first glimpsed this rare visitor while driving through West Wellow. Why he did not alert Gran to its presence at once, we never heard. Doreen Peters picks up Gran in her car on June 7th. Gran says of the bird, “it was on a grassy patch close to the road by a heath on the Brockenhurst Road out of West Wellow. We were, however, unlucky and did not see it…” It will be many years until Dad shows her her first Hoopoe, at Portland, and I look forward to reading of Gran’s excitement on that occasion!