I was a British Airways Junior Jet Club Member. I proudly carried my Junior Jet Club Member Passport on every flight. Every time my family flew to England or flew home to New Jersey, I anxiously waited to get my passport signed by the pilot.
Not to sound like an old fogey but it was different in the 70s and 80s. The door to the cockpit was never locked. If you sat at the front of the plane, you would often see the pilot, co-pilot, and navigator sitting in the cockpit chatting to the flight attendants. I never saw a male flight attendant back in those days. Security was more relaxed. You could carry pretty much anything onto the plane.
Once we landed after a long and very turbulent flight, it was off to my grandmother’s house in the north of England. She lived in a small town called Chorlton-cum-Hardy on the outskirts of the city of Manchester. Chorlton-cum-Hardy…could that name sound anymore English?!
My grandmother was only able to visit us in New Jersey once, so more often than not my mother, sister, and I flew to England for the long summer vacations. My dad would join us for the last two weeks of our visit. When we weren’t visiting, my mother would send my grandmother a snapshot or two of my sister and I.
After recuperating for a day or two with jet lag, it was off to visit relatives. The photo to the left is of me (brown hair), my sister, and my uncle somewhere in the north of England. My uncle lived close to my grandmother’s house. My mother would arrange to meet him on the weekends. This photo might be the Lake District or a stately home…I’m not sure. One thing I know for sure is that we are dressed for an English summer. You can see that my uncle is wearing a jacket while my sister and I are in long sleeves, pants, and windbreakers. It was probably July! Brrr!
Now that I look closer at the second photo (below) I can see that we met my uncle at a restaurant for lunch. Aren’t old photos an amazing memory jogger? We might have gone on a nature walk before lunch…not sure. The restaurant was on a train. I have a vague recollection of being a bit grossed out by the dirty carpet on the train. Perhaps it was hard to get a vacuum cleaner on-board? Who knows! The food was good though. Hearty British food. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Stodgy but good!
I cannot NOT comment on the clothing in this photo. I will not call what we are wearing “fashion.” My uncle in probably wearing flared dress pants with his blazer. My mother looks like she is wearing a denim pants suit. The collar! Can we talk about the collars on 70s shirts? My sister is rocking a pink top and matching pants. Garanimals? Carters? Healthtex? I’m wearing my then-favorite pale blue windbreaker coordinated with flared pants that seem not to fit parameters of the photo! The 70s have a lot to answer for in the fashion arena!