05 – 06 May 65 : A quiet week – general chit-chat : Gadsden, Alabama, USA

Wednesday 5th May 1965

Dear Family,

Well, here we are in Alabama and the temperature has been near 90 degrees since we arrived, and will go up!! It certainly doesn’t seem that hot though – it’s more of a dry heat I think and quite pleasant.

Our motel room is beautifully air-conditioned and down to a cool 67 degrees which is very pleasant. Also the two fellows we are working with each have an air conditioned car (very common down here) so we travel in their car whenever possible as ours as gets like an oven.

We are here in Gadsden for about a week then we go south, and the other two go north.


1965 05 05 Holiday Inn of Gadsen Attalla
Tony’s postcard, captioned: Holiday Inn of Gadsden-Atalla. 801 Cleveland Avenue, Atalla, Ala.  100 Units – Swimming Pool – Patio – Restaurant – Air-Conditioning, Free TV, Meeting and Banquet Rooms to accomodate 276 persons.


We have some terrific places to go to – two jobs in Florida right on the coast, one in Mississippi and lots over southern Alabama. One is in Selma – not so good, but all is quiet at the moment so here’s hoping it stays that way.

(Note: In March 1965, police attacked peaceful marchers protesting for the rights of black Americans to vote – an event known as Bloody Sunday.)

We come home a bit earlier these days and have a swim in the pool which is great, it’s right outside our door and very cold and refreshing.

The accents down here are amazing – it’s almost like another language and very often I can’t understand them. Even our boss has a real southern drawl and he’s terribly slow – typical of Southern people.

The other fellow we are working with started when we did and has spend all the winter in the south in Florida and Texas, but I don’t think he has travelled as much as we have.

He’s a very nice fellow and terribly keen – he wants to get a job with SKF. I should think he is ‘in’ as he really is a very clever fellow.

I don’t think I told you that we have had to put our watches back another hour due to the fact that we are now in Central Standard Time and this makes us two hours behind Philadelphia and seven hours behind you in England.


Colin in a motel pool (actual location unknown)


We learnt today that we have an additional job to do in Panama City, Florida, a supposedly fabulous place right on the coast so we are looking forward to that very much.

I have just posted a long letter to Mr Dickinson at SKF Luton telling him of our progress, so that long-awaited job has been done at last.

By the way, do you get a letter from me every week? I post at least one a week. The reason I ask is because there is an awful lot that you don’t seem to comment on at all. It doesn’t matter that you don’t, but it does make me wonder if you have received the letters. Let me know will you?

We are due for a heatwave here with temperatures of over six to eight degrees above normal, which should make it pretty warm.

Last week we lost both our pay cheques – a total of $280. We left them in a motel in envelopes addressed to our bank. We assumed they would post them on when they found them, but to be on the safe side we informed the company who ‘stopped’ the cheques.

It’s a good job we did, as they still haven’t turned up. The company is issuing us with new cheques so we haven’t lost anything, but I imagine someone, somewhere, thinks they have found a fortune.


Tony in a motel pool (actual location unknown)


Thursday 6th May

Had a letter today, and also a letter from Mam too. Yours was brighter than usual and much more newsy, and I assume that this is because you are feeling better. I am very glad that it is nothing too serious, and I hope that by now it will have cleared up altogether.

To be continued… 

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