Guy at the Bar – Brompton on Swale

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I lived in Brompton in the late sixties/early seventies. I’d love to list the names of the kids I went to school with and hung out with, but there’s a thing called privacy. They might not like the exposure.
I wrote “Guy at the Bar” about ten years ago. My husband travelled a great deal with work and I had a lot of time on my hands. When ebooks became popular, I released my first writing attempt on Amazon, also published a paperback. I was pleased with myself. I’ve always loved to write, and there I was, a (self) published author. I didn’t make any money from the book, maybe just covered my expenses, but it got the story out of my brain. Right after Guy at the Bar, I wrote “Girl on the Beach”, which I also released as a short story.

SandraBookCoverGhostsOnTheSandNow, as a more experienced writer, I’ve re-written both of these books and put them in a compilation of short stories called “Ghosts on the Sand and other Chilling Tales.” The third story in this compilation is called “Camera.” The creepy events of Camera take place on Richmond Road near Easby Abbey and then by the river Swale.

I’d love to share my stories with the folks who inspired me to write them. Thanks to Alan Bond, (oops, mentioned a name, hope that was OK) I can.  He invited me to join Brompton-on-Swale Banter. I love being part of that group and reconnecting with the village life I loved.  Even met up with a long-lost friend on my last trip to England. I currently live in Colorado, but am retiring to Abruzzo. in a few years. Always been in love with Italy, so I may as well spend my last few years there. Where better to write that in a small Italian village?

I hope this blog gets to the folks in Brompton, please pass it on if you read it. My stories are ghost stories set in the North of England. They are all based on real events that happened to me. Seems I’m open to visitations and it’s not something I can control. I’m not looking for sales, just tell folks about me. I’ll be sending some paperbacks to those of you who’d like one. The ebook will be for sale on Amazon, and very cheaply. I’d love to make money (who wouldn’t), but more than anything…I love to write. If you want to connect with me, you can IM me on Facebook.

About four years ago I published another book “Dead of July” I actually made some money on this one so for now, because I’m pleased with myself, I’m giving this book away on Amazon.

Take a look at it, and my bio. It will give you an idea of what to expect.

Dead of July – Amazon

Take Care folks!

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

The CrownWhen I was young I needed only my dreams and ambitions. As I aged I needed my husband and my daughter. I still had dreams and ambitions of course.

Now as I’m approaching old age. Yes, I said approaching, I’m not quite there yet, I need my old friends. Those folks I haven’t seen in 30 years or more. Is it because as I stroll towards my sunset years I need to say goodbye? I don’t think so. I just want to reconnect with the people I had so much fun with before responsibility took over.

I’m taking a trip down memory lane this year. Visiting my old haunts, rekindling my teen age years. Names have changed, people (like me) have moved far away, but hopefully one or two of my old friends remain.

Can’t wait to introduce my daughter and her new husband to faces and places. London, Birmingham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

It’s not to say goodbye, but to say “hello again.”

If anyone out there remembers me I’d love to see you. I’ll be in Richmond, North Yorkshire December 26, 27 and 28th.

Easby Abbey – North Yorkshire

On August 13th 1977 I was married here, in Easby Abbey Church, North Yorkshire. My daughter was christened here too, in 1984. The Reverend Stegall (god rest his soul) performed both ceremonies. I was happy to take my daughter back to this lovely old church a couple of years ago. If I never see it again, I will remember it. It will always be in my heart. My home is here in Colorado, but I can’t forget my past, it made me who I am.

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My first novel is available as and eBook or paperback by clicking on the book cover. Learn more about me and where I came from, Easby Abbey just scratches the surface. 

 

Back to Cabo San Lucas

CIMG0478The last four years have literally flown, I can’t believe it’s already October 2013.

Where have I been what have I done? There have been good times and bad times since my last visit to Cabo San Lucas in December 2009, but I choose to just remember the good.

In August of 2010 we went to Rome. I have had a love affair with Italy since I was five and tasted my first Italian Ice Cream.  After many trips to various places in that magical romantic country, I still want more.

So the Spanish Steps get a little crowded sometimes, who cares, the atmosphere is unbeatable.

In 2011 we took a trip back to England, first time in quite a while. We visited old friends and old haunts.  I’d forgotten how green and beautiful it was. The poppies growing in the grounds at Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire were gorgeous.

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Where was my next photo opportunity? I believe it was Thanksgiving in Vail in 2011.

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Whats this? Why a frozen fountain of course, its Vail, things like that happen.

In May 2012 we made a return trip to the gorgeous Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, where we were treated like royalty.  It is one of my favorite hotels.

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2012 was a good year, we also went to Steamboat Springs. Once in August and once in November. What a delightful mountain town.

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2013 has been busy, but we enjoyed a couple of days in Keystone.

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A long weekend in San Francisco

And now, unexpectedly, I am going to relax for a week in Cabo San Lucas. I hope it’s as beautiful as i remember it.

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Dead of July (Small)

The Glory of England

My Childhood Home

My Childhood Home

My mum worked here as a housekeeper.

My mum worked here as a housekeeper.

Many long happy days were spent on the farm

Many long happy days were spent on the farm

Easby Abbey - Richmond In 1977 I was married here.

Easby Abbey – North Yorkshire. In 1977 I was married here.

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle

Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Richmond, North Yorkshire.

 

Preview Dead of July

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STOP TALKING TO ME

 

 

 

 

Before I publish my book ‘Dead of July’, I am taking a trip down memory lane and remembering what made me the person I am today. My Childhood was spent in the North of England. When I visited my old haunts a couple of years ago, I realized just how beautiful it was, and how lucky I was to have started my life there. Over the next month or so, I am going to share more images of my past. I hope you enjoy them.

Sandra Thompson interview.mp4

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My Favorite shots

Cabo San Lucas - December 2009

Cabo San Lucas – December 2009

Flowers at Richmond Castle - England 2011

Flowers at Richmond Castle – England 2011

Rome - 2010

Rome – 2010

Puerto Vallarta Sunset - 2012

Puerto Vallarta Sunset – 2012

Puerto Vallarta - 2009

Puerto Vallarta – 2009

My back yard - 2010

My back yard – 2010

Steamboat Springs - Colorado 2012

Steamboat Springs – Colorado 2012

New Orleans - 2018

New Orleans – 2008

 

I love to travel, I love to take photographs and I love to write.

My new book ‘Dead of July’ will be released  later this year. Watch out for it.

Follow me on Facebook and hit the like button. Trying to get 100 likes this month.

Preview Dead of July

Check out my other blog – STOP TALKING TO ME

Happy Easter – In Loving Memory of Ethel and Wilf

Both of my parents died in the spring time. My dad died in 1988, and my mam in 2002. It seems like yesterday.

When Easter comes around I think of them both.

My dad was buried over the Easter weekend. 

Easter in England is a time of family picnic’s, walks, gatherings and pub lunches. I miss my parents the whole year round, but particularly at Easter.

Love you Mam and Dad. I hope you are together for Easter.

In loving memory of George Wilfred Newman

and Phoebe Ethel Newman.

Easter in England

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Brompton Church

When I think of you both, I think of the beautiful English countryside and our Sunday ‘outings’. I hope you are both proud of me now. I am following my dreams and becoming a writer. It took long enough.

The Wedding of the Century – the planning continues.

It does feel like I am planning the wedding of the century. When my family from England arrive, they will think I have lost my mind.

Back in 1977 my wedding and reception was a fairly simple affair. The reception took place at the Scotch Corner Hotel in North Yorkshire.

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It took a couple of months to plan, all by myself because my parents were on vacation. I think they were trying to get used to the idea that their daughter was marrying a Jamaican. Times were different, but when they got to know him, they loved him.

I had three bridesmaids who wore blue dresses. My wedding dress cost around $150.00. The cake was made locally and cost $60.00.

The wedding was at the church on the grounds of  Easby Abbey, just down the road from Richmond, North Yorkshire. It was beautiful.

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It was a warm humid August afternoon. Something old, was my pearl necklace bought by my mother, something new was the wedding dress of course. I can’t remember what was borrowed, but something blue was my underwear.

I walked down the aisle to where my future husband waited for me.

When I stood by his side he looked and me and said “Your nose is sweating” Yes he is a romantic type of guy. Because of a football injury he had trouble kneeling while Rev. Stegall performed the ceremony.

That all happened 36 years ago. We are now planning our daughters wedding here in Colorado, in Estes Park. It will be a beautiful day full of warm memories. We have wedding planners, make-up artists, hair stylists and a Momofuku naked wedding cake. How things have changed.

Oh and the price we will pay for my daughter’s wedding dress would have paid for my whole of my wedding back in 1977. Now that’s what I call inflation.

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The photo above is where the ceremony will be performed. Isn’t it beautiful? The reception will be just as spectacular, and hopefully a wonderful party for 125 close friends from all over the country (and the world).

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Stand by and watch my antics as I help arrange this event. I am sure there will be plenty of tales and mishaps as the plans progress. Maybe you can learn from them.

 

North Yorkshire at Christmas

RichmondwinterThe photograph above is taken just outside Gilling West, which is very close to Richmond. My Step Dad lived here and I visited his lovely home often before he and my mother were married. Isn’t this beautiful!

Richmond Market Square

Richmond Market Square

I lived in Brompton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire from 1967 until I got married in 1977. I wish I had appreciated its beauty more. Now I live in Colorful Colorado and share its majesty with you often. Today I would like you to see Christmas in Richmond, North Yorkshire, and its surrounding areas. It will make you eager to visit and see it for yourself.

Richmond Market Square in its cobbled Christmas Splendor, was a meeting place for young and old. The Saturday market over Christmas was a bustling fun place to be. 

Fairy Cake

Fairy Cake

Cupcakes have become the ‘in thing’ over here in the US, but in England, we called them Fairy Cakes. They were a Sunday treat.

You knew it was Christmas when the Friary lights were switched on.

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Richmond Christmas Shop

It looks like a storefront from days gone by, but this is a  Christmas shop in Grassington.

Oxford Street - Harrogate

If it weren’t for the lights, this street could be right out of a Dickens novel. Harrogate was a favorite shopping place at any time of the year, but during Christmas, it was beautiful.

From my home to your home, may you have a very Merry Christmas where ever you may be.

The Ghosts of Richmond Castle

Easby Abbey

(Article courtesy of Great-Castles.com)

As I shared my photos of my recent trip back to England with you, I decided you might like to read a little history about the places I visited. Easby Abbey (where I was married and my daughter was Christened) and Richmond Castle are very close to each other. I read the attached article on great-castles.com and though you would find it interesting. I  did!

Rising above the River Swale, Richmond Castle was built by Alan the Red between 1070 and 1086. The castle was constructed for the purpose of defending the Norman estates against dispossessed Anglo-Saxon nobility who were defeated during the Norman Conquest of England.

Evidence suggests Richmond Castle was originally built from stone, unlike most Norman castles, which began as wooden motte and bailey castles and later evolved to stone fortifications. The castle also lacks earthworks common among castles of the period.

Richmond Castle

Residing as one of the largest estates in medieval England, Richmond Castle still possesses a wonderful, intact 12th century keep, as well as, partially ruined curtain walls. Although the castle did not serve a significant role in English history, it holds a few secrets …

Legends suggest secret underground passages exist between the castle and Easby Abbey, located a few miles down river. Stories of a ghostly drummer boy still playing his drums surfaced after he disappeared in the hidden tunnels long ago never to be seen again.

Richmond Castle is said to serve as the resting place of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Presumably, they lie sleeping below the castle walls in a cavern awaiting the day when they will come back to defend the realm in England’s greatest time of need.

An additional legend relates to King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table.

There once lived a man named Potter Thompson whose wife was somewhat of a harridan. To escape her carping one day, Potter went for a long walk where he eventually found himself along the River Swale, just below Richmond Castle. As he stopped for a rest, Potter noticed an opening in the rocks below the castle. Upon investigating and peering inside, he noticed a long passageway with a faint light in the distance. Potter entered and proceeded towards the light, where he found himself in a cavern surrounded by a sleeping king and his knights who were dressed in full armor. Potter instantly recognized the royal figure as King Arthur due to the horn and legendary sword Excalibur, which were both resting on a nearby table.

Excited by his find, Potter decided to take Excalibur so he could prove to everyone that his story was true. However, as he started to remove the sword from its scabbard, the sleeping knights began to stir. Consequently, Potter became scared and quickly decided to leave the cave. Upon his departure, he heard a sorrowful voice say:

“Potter Thompson, Potter Thompson
If Thou hadst either drawn
The sword, or blown the horn,
Thou wouldst have been the luckiest man
That ever yet was born”

Once outside and able to regain his composure, Potter turned back towards the entrance for another attempt, only to discover the entrance disappeared. He frantically searched the rocky banks of the castle but never located the secret entrance once revealed to him.

 

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