The Islands in the 1950s have been brought to life in the travel diaries of a midwife who visited on holiday.
A family friend has published the meticulous record of Jean Ritchie’s travels to Scilly in 1956 in new blog ‘Travels with Jean’.
And Islanders and visitors may recognise themselves or some of the colourful characters encountered on the trip.
After the death of her father, Jean, her mother and her half-sister Ethel started taking short trips across Britain and Europe at a time when holidays were a luxury.
‘I always envisage them as three Miss Marples, only without being sidetracked by crime!? says Rebecca Hobbs, whose mother was Ethel’s god-daughter.
She has created a blog from Jean’s diaries to share them with other people. ‘I feel this is the perfect way to share Jean’s experiences, not only her words but the artefacts she used to illustrate them,? she told ScillyNews.
‘Jean kept meticulous hand-written holiday diaries which she had bound on her return. She would illustrate her writing with EVERYTHING from their trip ? tickets, postcards, receipts!? says Rebecca, who works as a comedy writer and motorsports PR in Derbyshire.
All except three of the journals were destroyed on Jean’s death from breast cancer in the 1960s. One, named ‘To The West and the Isles of Scilly’, is the story of their four-night stay at the Atlantic Hotel.
The trio’s adventures on the Islands included a bus tour with Vic Trenwith and boat trips on the Kingsley, Nemo, Golden Spray, Vanguard and Kittern ? as well as encounters with one-legged town crier Wilfred Tonkin and a boatman named Horace.
‘They are all so astonishingly good-looking, these Scillonian fishermen, that we lose our hearts afresh every time we board another launch. They are all the most courteous AND ABOVE ALL HAVE AN IMMENSE SENSE OF HUMOUR!!? Jean writes.
‘I hope people will be interested in the blog as a piece of social history. It is wonderfully nostalgic but as you read you also learn something of the time and post-war sentiment,? says Rebecca, 33.
‘It is even little things Jean gets so excited about - the extravagance of three electric light bulbs in one room! For local people or those who know the area I hope they may be able to see a further glimpse into their own past.
‘If anyone recognises people or even themselves I would love to know. I would especially like to find out more about Vic the bus driver, he sounded a real character!?
The blog is non-profit but Rebecca has added a link if people want to make a donation to the Tommy Charity for newborns, a cause she feels Jean would have appreciated.
She has never been to Scilly but says she would ?desperately like to.?
‘I would love to actually follow in Jean’s footsteps and see if I could recreate her journey and how it differs today,” she says.
“I saw the Countryfile programme on Scilly earlier this year and that was wonderful as I recognised so much from Jean’s diary.?
Check out the blog at http://beki.typepad.co.uk/travels_with_jean/