This anecdote has been submitted by Elizabeth Milne for her granddad, Charles SMEED’s birthday.
During my first trip to England, with Mum, I had my 21st birthday which at the time was still a pretty big deal. One evening a few days after that we were staying at Aunt Cicely’s in Dormansland, where Grandad was then living. Just after dinner Grandad stood up, got his cap, and said to me, “Come on, let’s go to the (Royal) Oak.” Mum got up to join us and Grandad told her to sit down, that he and I were going out that evening, just the two of us. We went to the Oak and after a drink (or two) Grandad looked at the time and decided we had time to make it to The Old House at Home before closing time. He took off across the playing field in the pitch dark with me trying to keep up with him. We made it too!
The attached photo might even have been taken that same day, it was certainly taken during that trip, in August/September 1972.
[Note: Even in his late 80s, Granddad didn’t walk anywhere. He always moved at a brisk trot.]