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|For many, the 1950s were the golden age of British motoring.||0:00:02.00||0:00:05.68|
|Back then driving was leisurely, liberating, and fun.||0:00:05.68||0:00:11.00|
|SCREECHING, HORNS BEEP||0:00:11.00||0:00:13.88|
|Yes, things have changed a bit since then.||0:00:13.88||0:00:17.32|
|But perhaps it's still possible to recapture some of that old magic.||0:00:20.16||0:00:25.08|
|I'm setting off on six of the best drives from the 1950s,||0:00:28.00||0:00:32.48|
|as recommended by the guidebooks of the era.||0:00:32.48||0:00:36.16|
|And I'll be driving them in some of the decade's most iconic vehicles.||0:00:36.16||0:00:40.84|
|I've gone into reverse.||0:00:42.40||0:00:45.52|
|I want to find out if these routes still thrill and inspire.||0:00:45.52||0:00:50.04|
|This is a spectacular road.||0:00:50.04||0:00:53.40|
|And how in 50 years Britain itself has changed. Oh, for God's sake.||0:00:53.40||0:00:58.80|
|They wouldn't have thought to come here without a sat nav.||0:00:58.80||0:01:03.80|
|I'm sure they wouldn't.||0:01:03.80||0:01:05.40|
|People don't value each other as much as they did then.||0:01:05.40||0:01:07.48|
|It was a different type of life, wasn't it?||0:01:07.48||0:01:10.60|
|"Britain has no range as high as the Alps or the Pyrenees,||0:01:23.80||0:01:27.92|
|"yet its mountain scenery on a miniature scale is as impressive.||0:01:27.92||0:01:32.88|
|"The mountains of Wales have a real character of their own.||0:01:35.88||0:01:38.96|
|"A rugged grandeur and an intimate beauty||0:01:38.96||0:01:42.32|
|"out of all proportion to their actual physical height."||0:01:42.32||0:01:46.32|
|# Come on, pretty baby let's a-move it and a-groove it... #||0:01:51.32||0:01:55.28|
|So, here we are in North Wales,||0:01:56.88||0:02:00.52|
|driving a Ford Zodiac.||0:02:00.52||0:02:04.72|
|1957 this car was made.||0:02:04.72||0:02:09.40|
|Because it was made in 1957, you are exempt from wearing seatbelts.||0:02:09.40||0:02:16.12|
|When the Zodiac was launched onto the British roads in 1955||0:02:17.12||0:02:22.12|
|it must have seemed like it was from another planet.||0:02:22.12||0:02:25.52|
|Gone was the usual British reserve, replaced with exciting, brash, futuristic stylings||0:02:25.52||0:02:32.04|
|inspired, of course, by America.||0:02:32.04||0:02:35.32|
|And, for the time, it was pretty racy.||0:02:35.32||0:02:38.92|
|This model had a top speed of 90 miles per hour.||0:02:38.92||0:02:42.52|
|Although I don't think I'll be pushing it quite that far.||0:02:42.52||0:02:46.88|
|The steering is just a little bit unresponsive.||0:02:46.88||0:02:50.80|
|Turn the wheel to turn and it actually takes a couple of beats before it actually does it.||0:02:50.80||0:02:58.52|
|It's a little bit confusing.||0:02:58.52||0:03:02.12|
|I'm in North Wales to drive a route that in 1959 was reckoned a must for any motoring tour of the region.||0:03:02.12||0:03:09.76|
|A round trip from Caernarfon and its castle that'll circle Mount Snowdon,||0:03:09.76||0:03:14.44|
|a drive which my guidebook promises||0:03:14.44||0:03:17.56|
|"reveals much of the finest scenery of the mountains,||0:03:17.56||0:03:21.40|
|"several of the most handsome lakes, and the most impressive of all the passes."||0:03:21.40||0:03:27.92|
|Although these antiquated publications can't always be totally trusted.||0:03:27.92||0:03:34.04|
|According to my '50s guidebook||0:03:35.56||0:03:38.32|
|this modern looking bridge here was a road bridge.||0:03:38.32||0:03:43.24|
|You could actually drive along here and into Caernarfon.||0:03:43.24||0:03:48.28|
|So the guide book of the '50s is way out.||0:03:48.28||0:03:52.08|
|However, they do say this is the best view of Caernarfon Castle||0:03:52.08||0:03:57.76|
|and it is splendid.||0:03:57.76||0:04:00.80|
|All my guidebooks, of course, recommend a visit to the castle, and very impressive it is.||0:04:03.96||0:04:09.80|
|But Caernarfon Castle doesn't have entirely happy associations for the people of Wales.||0:04:09.80||0:04:16.48|
|I've arranged to meet author and Welsh language expert Bethan Gwanas to find out more.||0:04:16.48||0:04:23.56|
|But despite my obvious reluctance,||0:04:23.56||0:04:26.28|
|the director seems obsessed with filming in the most precipitous possible places.||0:04:26.28||0:04:32.28|
|- You'd think with a driving show, heights won't come into it!|
|And I don't quite know why he's so amused at the thought of me plummeting from the parapets!||0:04:37.04||0:04:43.60|
|That's a funny image. I'm rocking back with laughter!||0:04:46.00||0:04:51.16|
|At least you'd lose your bloody job.||0:04:53.48||0:04:56.48|
|So, Bethan, here we are in Caernarfon Castle above the cloud line.||0:04:56.48||0:05:03.00|
|Isn't it true...I heard from a guide today that the Welsh weren't allowed in this castle?||0:05:03.00||0:05:09.80|
| - No.|
- That's extraordinary.
|I know. Edward I built this castle when his soldiers killed our last crown prince, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd,||0:05:11.88||0:05:19.44|
|- and as you can imagine that depressed us a bit.|
|And then Edward I, nasty man, went round building all these castles||0:05:23.56||0:05:27.56|
|to keep the Welsh in check, and then all the Welsh had to live outside the castle walls.||0:05:27.56||0:05:33.16|
|They were not allowed in. Inside here in the 13th century and onwards would be only English people||0:05:33.16||0:05:38.76|
|so that made us feel quite inferior, you can imagine can't you.||0:05:38.76||0:05:41.76|
|- It's amazing.|
|Edward I wanted to stamp out the Welsh language, because...||0:05:43.48||0:05:46.56|
|I can see his reasoning. If you have your own language, you've still got that pride, haven't you?||0:05:46.56||0:05:51.64|
- So if you just stamp it out...if you just, you know...
|..assimilate us, make us English as well.||0:05:55.68||0:05:58.84|
|But he didn't succeed, did he? We're still here!||0:05:58.84||0:06:00.96|
|You're still here and talking Welsh.||0:06:00.96||0:06:03.28|
|Yeah, and we're allowed in the castle now as long as we pay.||0:06:03.28||0:06:06.12|
|But it seems Edward's dastardly dream almost came true.||0:06:08.48||0:06:12.64|
|Even 50 years ago the Welsh language was still on the back foot.||0:06:12.64||0:06:17.00|
|A touring motorist like me might have heard Welsh being spoken,||0:06:17.00||0:06:21.48|
|but they'd have been hard pressed to read it anywhere.||0:06:21.48||0:06:24.96|
|If you had been driving around here in the '50s, English would still have been the official language.||0:06:24.96||0:06:30.32|
|All the signs, everything, you know, menus, whatever, would have been in English.||0:06:30.32||0:06:34.92|
|The fact that they're Welsh now is quite a recent thing 'cos I'm not that old,||0:06:34.92||0:06:40.00|
|and I remember it was quite difficult to buy a birthday card in Welsh.||0:06:40.00||0:06:44.84|
| - Oh, really?|
- Yes, it really was, because everything was in English.
| - Even in the '50s?|
- In the '50s and '60s, even the '70s. It was very recent.
|Basically we've got more pride now. Would you like a lesson now?||0:06:54.96||0:07:00.32|
|- I could teach you how to say Caernarfon Castle in Welsh.|
- Oh, right.
- Castle is "castell".
| - Castell.|
- Hey, you've just got the hardest sound in Welsh almost right.
| - Castell.|
- The double "L", you just put your tongue against the back of your teeth, just there.
|- Say it again.|
- You put your tongue...
- No, no...
|Say the name!||0:07:21.44||0:07:24.00|
| - Castell, castell.|
| - No.|
- Castell... Castell Caernarfon.
| - Castell Caernarfon. |
- Is that what I sound like?
|'Clearly, I've got some way to go before I master the Welsh language,||0:07:35.00||0:07:40.00|
|'so Bethan has offered to continue my lesson en route to the next stop on my journey,||0:07:40.00||0:07:46.16|
|'Llanberis, the gateway to the mountains.||0:07:46.16||0:07:49.80|
|'Little does she realise what she's letting herself in for.'||0:07:49.80||0:07:54.00|
|You're taking your life in your hands!||0:07:54.00||0:07:56.48|
|After 30 years of driving automatics I've discovered||0:07:56.48||0:08:01.16|
|that me, hills, and classic cars aren't exactly the perfect mix.||0:08:01.16||0:08:06.60|
|Did they have roundabouts in the '50s?||0:08:06.60||0:08:08.40|
| - Er, I don't suppose they did.|
| - Right, I'm glad you're having such a good time.|
- I'm sorry!
|We have blast off!||0:08:22.96||0:08:25.68|
|When you meet somebody, you'll want to say hello, won't you?||0:08:29.96||0:08:33.96|
| - Yeah.|
- That's quite easy. Round here you would say "helo".
| - Helo.|
- With a...
|That's, er, Welsh... Helo.||0:08:39.04||0:08:41.36|
|How are you is "shw mae".||0:08:41.36||0:08:43.00|
| - Helo, shw mae?|
- Helo, shw mae? Hello, how are you?
|Yeah. "Da" is good.||0:08:46.68||0:08:49.48|
|Da. "Da" is good.||0:08:49.48||0:08:51.76|
|- And very good is "da iawn".|
- Da iawn?
- Yeah. OK. So you ask me how I am.
|Er, er, er, er...||0:08:56.72||0:09:00.04|
|Helo, shw mae?||0:09:00.04||0:09:02.24|
|Er oh, helo shw mae?||0:09:02.24||0:09:04.12|
| - You can just keep going like that.|
- Helo, shw mae?
| - Oh, helo.|
- Helo, shw mae?
- Helo, shw mae?
- Your accent is perffaith.
|What is the Welsh for tailback?||0:09:15.28||0:09:17.60|
|Um, I would say cynffon, which means tail.||0:09:17.60||0:09:20.52|
| - It's not bad.|
- It's about two miles.
|'I can safely say it's not the easiest language in the world.||0:09:24.04||0:09:28.04|
|'So it's with some relief that we reach our destination.'||0:09:28.04||0:09:31.60|
| - Now this is Llanberis, we're here. |
- We're at Llanberis.
|'Just in time for a downpour.'||0:09:36.20||0:09:38.80|
| - Oh, look it's pouring. I'm sorry. |
- Are you kicking me out in the rain?
|I'll give you a... I've got a bus table, a bus timetable somewhere here. Er...||0:09:42.32||0:09:48.20|
|'Of course, my guidebooks had warned me about the weather.'||0:09:48.20||0:09:51.00|
|"In the mountains a few miles can make a big difference.||0:09:54.16||0:09:58.04|
|"The rainfall at Llanberis for instance is close to 100 inches a year.||0:09:58.04||0:10:03.68|
|"At Caernarfon, less than ten miles away, it is not much more than a third of that."||0:10:03.68||0:10:08.68|
|'It's into those unpredictable and dramatic mountains that I'm now heading.||0:10:11.44||0:10:16.00|
|'And the next part of my drive brings me face to face||0:10:16.00||0:10:19.84|
|'with a sight as awesome today as it must have been 50 years ago.'||0:10:19.84||0:10:25.56|
|Extraordinary view of the vast slate quarry here.||0:10:25.56||0:10:31.68|
|It stretches for miles.||0:10:31.68||0:10:33.80|
|"One of the most conspicuous features of Llanberis||0:10:42.28||0:10:45.04|
|"is the great Dinorwig slate quarry,||0:10:45.04||0:10:47.40|
|"on the opposite side of the lake.||0:10:47.40||0:10:49.36|
|"It rises in step-like terraces for some 1,800 feet.||0:10:49.36||0:10:53.36|
|"And the smoke from the locomotives as they ply along the galleries||0:10:53.36||0:10:58.32|
|"affords one of the best indications of the immensity of the task."||0:10:58.32||0:11:02.52|
|'Dinorwig was one of the largest slate quarries in the world||0:11:12.24||0:11:17.16|
|'and 50 years ago the valley would echo to the great explosions that freed the slate from the rock.'||0:11:17.16||0:11:23.24|
|'At its height, 3,000 men toiled on the side of this great mountain.||0:11:27.12||0:11:32.04|
|'And not surprisingly the quarry dominated life in the local communities.||0:11:33.56||0:11:39.56|
|'In 1959, local lad Derek Jones was doing his apprenticeship here,||0:11:41.68||0:11:47.08|
|'just like so many of his friends, neighbours and family had.'||0:11:47.08||0:11:51.76|
|Your father, and your grandfather and everybody was still working there.||0:11:53.28||0:11:57.68|
| - It was in the family.|
| - So when you were at school, did you think of doing anything else? |
- Well, no, to be honest.
|I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and be a quarryman, to be honest with you.||0:12:04.12||0:12:08.32|
| - Right, and was your grandfather a quarryman?|
- Yes. He was, yes.
| - Right. And was it a dangerous job? |
- Oh, yes, quite dangerous, yes.
|There was many accidents.||0:12:16.88||0:12:18.48|
|'And it would appear some of the dangers may have been due to quarrymen trying to cut costs,||0:12:18.48||0:12:24.20|
|'and when you discover why it's hardly surprising.'||0:12:24.20||0:12:27.48|
|You had to pay for everything.||0:12:27.48||0:12:29.32|
|- You had to pay for your powder and fuse, while you're...|
- Oh, yes.
|Even your tools, you had to pay for them.||0:12:35.60||0:12:38.00|
| - What, the company sold it to you? |
- Aye, yes.
|And when you wanted your tools sharpening, like your knife||0:12:41.04||0:12:45.72|
|or your chisels and things, you'd take them to the smithy||0:12:45.72||0:12:49.92|
|- and you had to pay him even for them to be sharpened up for you.|
|Yes. You even had to pay for the rope||0:12:54.40||0:12:57.96|
|that the quarry mill would hang you from. Aye.||0:12:57.96||0:13:03.44|
|Because it cost so much, the fuse,||0:13:04.92||0:13:08.72|
|- people try to make a short cut sometimes, you know.|
- Which was very dangerous.
|Yeah. If they could have got away with using a shorter fuse,||0:13:14.84||0:13:19.28|
|- which meant you'd have more for the next time, you know.|
|- It would have done, but...|
- Yes, yes.
|It's surprising they paid you at all, really, isn't it?!||0:13:24.60||0:13:28.20|
|But Dinorwig is no longer the hive of activity described in my 1950s guidebooks.||0:13:28.20||0:13:35.32|
|In 1969, after 200 years, the quarry was closed due to falling demand,||0:13:35.32||0:13:41.52|
|leaving this breathtaking, but eerie site.||0:13:41.52||0:13:45.60|
|When the quarry closed it must have affected the amount of work available.||0:13:46.60||0:13:51.24|
|Oh, it did. Yes, yes, yes.||0:13:51.24||0:13:53.88|
|There were so many people hunting to find work after that, you know.||0:13:53.88||0:13:57.96|
|Thousands would be out of work.||0:13:57.96||0:13:59.64|
|Well, yeah. It affected the community as a whole, to be honest with you.||0:13:59.64||0:14:02.64|
|- You might as well say it killed the community life in the village.|
- Yeah, yeah.
|- Because it was such a happy place to work in, you know.|
- Yeah, yeah.
|- Although it was hard work, everybody knew one another and they were all happy together, you know.|
|'The great Welsh quarries, like so much of Britain's heavy industry, are pretty much all redundant now.||0:14:19.96||0:14:26.56|
|'But what's interesting is how,||0:14:26.56||0:14:29.00|
|'although it was tough, dirty, often gruelling work, people still look back on them fondly.||0:14:29.00||0:14:34.80|
|'These huge employers, it seems, acted like a glue that bonded whole communities together.||0:14:34.80||0:14:43.12|
|'Leaving the quarry behind, I'm now headed for one of the highlights of my drive,||0:14:43.12||0:14:49.72|
|'the mighty Llanberis Pass.'||0:14:49.72||0:14:51.96|
|I can see the path ahead, now.||0:14:51.96||0:14:54.28|
|It does look quite dramatic.||0:14:56.64||0:14:58.68|
|"The finest mountain road in Wales.||0:15:07.52||0:15:10.48|
|"Shattered masses of every form, which have fallen from the heights, lie in strange confusion.||0:15:10.48||0:15:17.00|
|"On the sunniest of days, it is a wild scene.||0:15:18.52||0:15:21.80|
|"In cloudy or stormy weather, a scene of utter desolation."||0:15:21.80||0:15:26.08|
|The rock looks as though some sort of giant has come along and chipped it all up,||0:15:31.88||0:15:37.20|
|it's just millions of individual rocks.||0:15:37.20||0:15:42.24|
|I suppose it's been like that since the glacial times.||0:15:42.24||0:15:46.36|
|Everything looks like it's just strewn with rocks.||0:15:46.36||0:15:51.36|
|'Not surprisingly, the area is popular with climbers||0:15:52.88||0:15:56.40|
|'and many believe that modern rock climbing was born here in the 1950s.||0:15:56.40||0:16:01.76|
|'I've come to meet an extraordinary chap, who knows these mountains like the back of his hand.||0:16:06.48||0:16:11.80|
|'Solo climber and base jumper, Eric Jones, a man for whom safety ropes are a mere trifle.'||0:16:11.80||0:16:19.40|
|And so, how old are you, if you don't mind me asking?||0:16:19.40||0:16:22.16|
| - I'm now 71.|
| - Yes.|
- And are there lots of 70-year-old climbers?
|Not very many, no.||0:16:29.12||0:16:31.48|
|If you fell now, you could do yourself serious damage.||0:16:31.48||0:16:35.12|
| - Don't tell me that!|
- I shouldn't.
|Is it harder going down than going up?||0:16:38.48||0:16:40.48|
|Yes, yes. It hard to see your feet.||0:16:40.48||0:16:43.64|
|Cos you've got to look backwards?||0:16:43.64||0:16:45.72|
|Especially on this rock where the holes tend to be a bit sloping.||0:16:45.72||0:16:49.16|
|- So what sort of rock would you call this?|
- A big rock.
|Oh, my goodness.||0:16:54.20||0:16:56.72|
|Have you always got three bits of your body in contact?||0:16:58.24||0:17:03.64|
|That's the way when you learn to climb.||0:17:03.64||0:17:06.68|
|That's the system you use, always have three points of contact.||0:17:06.68||0:17:09.76|
|But if you don't know how to climb, that's not possible always.||0:17:09.76||0:17:13.80|
|Maybe you've got just one hold, and then just launch yourself.||0:17:13.80||0:17:17.16|
|So, the three point of contact rule is only for beginners.||0:17:17.16||0:17:20.72|
|'Back when he was a mere slip of a lad at 61, Eric base jumped form the world's highest waterfall.||0:17:22.96||0:17:29.52|
|'Just one of his many achievements.||0:17:29.52||0:17:31.44|
|'He was also the first British climber to solo the north face of the Matahorn.||0:17:31.44||0:17:37.64|
|'He's conquered the the Eiger on his own and naturally beaten the hardest climbs in the mighty Llanberis Pass.'||0:17:37.64||0:17:45.04|
|Well, danger seems to spring to mind quite a lot.||0:17:46.56||0:17:49.72|
|Is danger an adrenalin buzz for you?||0:17:49.72||0:17:53.12|
|Yes, I must admit it is a factor.||0:17:53.12||0:17:56.72|
|I think it is for everybody or most people who do these sports.||0:17:56.72||0:18:00.36|
|If climbing was safe, or if parachuting was safe, it wouldn't be as popular.||0:18:00.36||0:18:04.92|
|I'm sure. And did you start around here?||0:18:04.92||0:18:07.92|
|I started down the years in the Llanberis Pass, yes.||0:18:07.92||0:18:11.12|
|This place has real special memories for me. They were magic days.||0:18:11.12||0:18:16.20|
|Yes, yes. Amongst climbers, is this a testing area, North Wales?||0:18:16.20||0:18:21.60|
|Oh, for certain, yes.||0:18:21.60||0:18:23.28|
|I think I'm biased, but I would say it's the best area in the country.||0:18:23.28||0:18:26.52|
|Although, Scottish climbers would disagree, I'm sure, but it is pretty unique.||0:18:26.52||0:18:30.12|
|'What a remarkable chap Eric is.||0:18:41.72||0:18:44.48|
|'I mean, having to drive without a seat belt is enough of an adrenalin fix for me,||0:18:44.48||0:18:49.24|
|'let alone dangling by my fingertips from the top of these mountains.||0:18:49.24||0:18:53.92|
|'But I can understand why Eric's heart belongs here.||0:18:53.92||0:18:57.24|
|'Quite apart from its obvious challenges,||0:18:57.24||0:18:59.68|
|'it really is an enchanting place and a stunning drive.'||0:18:59.68||0:19:04.72|
|So instead of all this rock, we now have green lush hills.||0:19:13.76||0:19:20.32|
|I think it's time to get out and have a look.||0:19:34.48||0:19:36.52|
|As far as you can see are sheep, little dots of sheep.||0:19:38.32||0:19:44.32|
|Up here, all the way down the valley.||0:19:44.32||0:19:48.96|
|I don't feel prone...||0:20:09.64||0:20:12.72|
|to say anything else...||0:20:12.72||0:20:15.32|
|..other than bloody lovely.||0:20:17.16||0:20:20.60|
|'My route now takes me down the long valley of Nant Gwynant towards a famously pretty village.'||0:20:54.72||0:21:02.40|
|"Bedd Gelert rivals Betws y Coed||0:21:02.40||0:21:04.84|
|"for the honour of being the loveliest village in Wales.||0:21:04.84||0:21:09.32|
|'But nowadays, the villages of Bedd Gelert are encountering||0:21:11.92||0:21:15.60|
|'a uniquely 21st century problem, unimaginable in the 1950s.'||0:21:15.60||0:21:22.08|
|Well, of course in this modern day we've got these monster trucks, monsters that come here.||0:21:22.08||0:21:27.72|
|And these roads weren't built for that.||0:21:27.72||0:21:30.52|
|- So why do they come this way?|
- The old "sat naff" as we call it - sat nav!
|- Oh, sat naff.|
- Sat naff - they send them this way.
|- So they send them here?|
- They do unfortunately.
|And they wouldn't have thought to come here without a sat nav.||0:21:41.36||0:21:44.48|
|I'm sure they wouldn't have picked up a map||0:21:44.48||0:21:46.96|
|and looked which route to come through the mountains of Snowdonia.||0:21:46.96||0:21:50.88|
|They think it's a short cut, but it's not.||0:21:50.88||0:21:53.80|
|They get stuck in every corner going, I think.||0:21:53.80||0:21:55.92|
|The bridge gets battered about a bit.||0:21:55.92||0:21:58.32|
|It does unfortunately. These two bridges in Bedd Gelert||0:21:58.32||0:22:01.88|
|are some of the most beautiful bridges in Wales. Listed buildings.||0:22:01.88||0:22:05.24|
|These monster lorries, they pull them down. Destroying them.||0:22:05.24||0:22:10.44|
|It very, very sad.||0:22:10.44||0:22:12.68|
|'Perhaps there's something to be said for navigating the old way.||0:22:12.68||0:22:17.20|
|'No need for a map to my next destination, though,||0:22:17.20||0:22:19.64|
|'Bedd Gelert's famous ice cream shop||0:22:19.64||0:22:22.84|
|'with its seemingly limitless choice of flavours.'||0:22:22.84||0:22:27.76|
|- ..passion fruit sorbet?|
- Sounds beautiful.
|OK. Hi, could I have a passion fruit sorbet, but could I have two cones?||0:22:34.04||0:22:39.36|
|Would you mind? I want to split it.||0:22:39.36||0:22:41.40|
|That's right, two small ones.||0:22:42.92||0:22:45.00|
|- What one do you sell most of?|
|RICHARD LAUGHS See?||0:22:54.56||0:22:57.52|
|I'm sharing it with Ian and the camera here.||0:22:57.52||0:23:00.48|
|Have you tasted it yet?||0:23:00.48||0:23:02.72|
|Who would like to share a raspberry pavlova with me?||0:23:06.72||0:23:11.12|
|I wasn't going to have any ice cream, I ended up having two.||0:23:16.44||0:23:20.24|
|C'est la vie. It is Saturday.||0:23:20.24||0:23:22.32|
|'The final part of my route leads through even more glorious countryside on the home leg||0:23:22.32||0:23:28.08|
|'back towards where I started in Caernarfon.||0:23:28.08||0:23:31.76|
|'But rather than end my journey there, I decided on a little detour||0:23:31.76||0:23:36.32|
|'in order to take three ladies on a trip down memory lane.'||0:23:36.32||0:23:40.52|
| - Are you going our way? |
- Good morning, ladies.
|I think you'll have to tell me where to go.||0:23:49.16||0:23:51.64|
|Linda, Nora and Doreen all worked at this holiday park,||0:23:51.64||0:23:55.40|
|back when it was the pride of Billy Butlin's empire 50 years ago.||0:23:55.40||0:24:01.16|
|# Good night, campers see you in the morning... #||0:24:01.16||0:24:03.84|
|- And that was over the tannoy?|
- No, no, no. Wherever you were. The ballrooms.
|'Butlin's Pwllheli dominated the holiday industry in 1950's North Wales.||0:24:09.92||0:24:16.12|
|'And on weekends, the roads would frequently be clogged||0:24:16.12||0:24:19.60|
|'by coaches filled with thousands of holiday makers in search of that special Butlin's magic.'||0:24:19.60||0:24:26.60|
|Everybody who came to Butlin's came to have a good time. And they did.||0:24:26.60||0:24:30.84|
|And we were here to make sure they did.||0:24:30.84||0:24:33.88|
|It was real good innocent fun.||0:24:33.88||0:24:36.04|
|Do you remember the times we used to have down here?||0:24:36.04||0:24:40.76|
- Oh, yes. Knobbly knees.
|- Knobbly knees?|
- Glamorous grandmothers.
|There was knobbly knees for men.||0:24:47.44||0:24:49.88|
| - Yes.|
- And was there lots of romances amongst the staff?
| - Oh, yes.|
- Oh, yes, yes, I think so. Yes.
- During the season.
|I think there were seasonal affairs, you know.||0:24:56.00||0:24:59.08|
|Maybe re-kindled or maybe move on, you know.||0:25:01.36||0:25:04.04|
| - With Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and Ringo Starr. |
- Ringo Starr was here was here.
|Yes, with his old band, though, before he joined the Beatles.||0:25:10.00||0:25:13.88|
|- Oh, right.|
- I actually went out with Ringo while I was here.
|What could have been, you see, what could have been.||0:25:18.72||0:25:21.48|
|It's my claim to fame.||0:25:21.48||0:25:23.60|
|We used to have parties on the beach.||0:25:23.60||0:25:26.44|
|- Yes. What, at night?|
- Yes, midnight.
|- Midnight parties.|
- Midnight parties, yes.
|Sometimes you went swimming at night, which, really, I suppose was quite dangerous.||0:25:31.92||0:25:37.40|
|- No skinny dipping?|
- I can't admit to doing that, no.
|But I won't admit to doing it.||0:25:41.00||0:25:43.96|
|Well, you might have.||0:25:43.96||0:25:45.76|
| - We might have.|
- We might have, but I can't remember that far back.
|- Neither can I.|
- Of course we didn't.
|'The girls clearly had a ball working and living on the camp.||0:25:52.76||0:25:56.20|
|'And like so many of the people I've met on my journey so far, they have a real affection for the 1950s.'||0:25:56.20||0:26:03.56|
|You all seemed to have had a very good time. You enjoyed yourselves.||0:26:03.56||0:26:07.36|
|We didn't have much, but what we had we all enjoyed. It was a fabulous time.||0:26:09.20||0:26:14.56|
|We made the most of what we had.||0:26:14.56||0:26:16.44|
|Would you say that the '50s were a better time, by and large?||0:26:16.44||0:26:20.64|
|Yes. It seemed safer.||0:26:20.64||0:26:22.68|
|There wasn't the worries about leaving people or meeting people.||0:26:24.32||0:26:29.44|
|So it was, you know, a lot nicer in that respect.||0:26:29.44||0:26:33.32|
|People didn't want their designer things,||0:26:33.32||0:26:36.56|
|they just got what they could afford and made the most of it really.||0:26:36.56||0:26:41.44|
|Cos we're talking, really, the '50s, we were still recovering from the war.||0:26:41.44||0:26:46.48|
|- Cos you were very young then.|
- Er, yes.
| - Don't remind us.|
- Sweet 18.
|As a little memento for your trip here in your vintage car,||0:26:54.96||0:26:58.72|
|that's a Butlin's holiday camp badge from 1958.||0:26:58.72||0:27:02.92|
|Oh, that's lovely, thank you very much.||0:27:02.92||0:27:05.48|
| - That's a little memento for you. |
- I'll put that on.
|There you are. You're a camper now.||0:27:09.36||0:27:11.60|
| - Hi-de-hi. |
- Not a camper van, a camper.
|I better find a chalet.||0:27:17.20||0:27:19.64|
|'Despite the fact that back then we were obviously less well off,||0:27:24.20||0:27:28.64|
|'it seems that the spirit of optimism and that very real sense of community||0:27:28.64||0:27:33.44|
|'that the girls truly cherish from the '50s.||0:27:33.44||0:27:36.64|
|'Something, I suppose, epitomised by those Butlin's glory years.||0:27:36.64||0:27:42.20|
|'It's true to say that much of that has faded over the past half century.||0:27:42.20||0:27:47.00|
|'But this trip has also shown me that it would be naive to consider all progress bad.'||0:27:47.00||0:27:53.64|
|Well, that's the end of our Welsh drive.||0:27:55.20||0:27:58.96|
|One of the best drives in Britain, there's very little doubt about that.||0:27:58.96||0:28:02.20|
|I think the thing you take away from here is this scenery, the wonderful Welsh scenery.||0:28:03.76||0:28:09.28|
|The other thing I'd take away is that although it was many years ago when I was here last,||0:28:09.28||0:28:13.96|
|there seems to be much more pride in the country than I remember. They've got every right to be.||0:28:13.96||0:28:19.80|
|It's a very beautiful country and it's been a very beautiful drive and certainly one of the best in Britain.||0:28:19.80||0:28:26.64|
|Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd||0:28:45.12||0:28:48.16|