'Cultural Trip' to the Continent (Northern France) - Easter, 1963
Led by Walter and Rosemary Edge and Gareth Rogers
Place your cursor over a face to display a name.
Photo provided by Bill Grove.
For many years Walter Edge (and Rosemary) and Gareth Rogers used to take about 30 lads on
Easter 'cultural' trips by coach to the continent. I went three times and the routine
involved an overnight drive to Dover, breakfast by the harbour at the Dover Stage Motel (long
gone), then embarkation to Calais or Boulogne. As we look quite perky, this picture was
probably taken after breakfast, just before we drove to the ferry port.
Peter Salmon writes:
I remember the trip well - although not this particular photo being taken. I recognise lots of
faces but can only put names to the following:
16 - Malcolm Gratton (I think)
21 - Alan Griffiths
30 - me (56 - 63)
From memory, the coach broke down on the first day in Northern France, but the driver who was a
great guy, fixed it and we went on our way.
The highlight of the trip was the visit on day 2 to Moet and Chandon ( I seem to remember that
Cliff Edge had a connection with one of the Directors there which helped! We drove up a long
gravel drive to their impressive HQ in Reims and there was a Jaguar 3.8 saloon belonging to
Cliff's contact parked outside - it looked like an ad from a glossy mag!). I drove through
Reims about 5 weeks ago but could not recognise the site - it was a long time ago!
After a guided tour around the caves we sampled our first glass and then piled into the coach
to go to Epernay, where their vineyards and more importantly(!) at lunchtime the banqueting
hall was located. We were met by the President of Moet no less, complete with black beret and
cloak - he was a charming 85 year old and in his best English told us about how on that very
spot, Moet had been developed by Dom Perignon many years earlier.
We then had a wonderfully straightforward and tasty lunch with as much champagne as we could
drink!! I think we paid a nominal 10 old francs (or less) - I remember that we were told
afterwards that 55 bottles had been drunk amongst the 57 or so who sat down - there were about
15 - 20 Moet people who joined us.
At about 4pm lunch was coming to an end and we wandered outside into sunshine. Two or three of
us started to talk to the President, who told us about the progress that he had seen as a young
man during one particular week of the first great war - pointing out where one group moved to
on the hill opposite and the other side's subsequent reactions etc. It was absolutely
fascinating and a day I shall never forget.
Sorry to have rambled on a bit - its difficult to stop when you have memories of such a
Somewhere I am sure I have 35mm slides of the trip - it might just encourage me to find them.