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Confessions of a Bus Geek

24 Mar

The Urban Dictionary defines a bus geek as “someone who rides Public Transportation for purposes of entertainment”. Apart from the American term public transportation (we have public transport in the UK) this pretty much defines how I spent my Saturday.

There was no logical reason for my friend Chris and I spending just over five hours sitting on buses today, it just seemed like a fun idea. It was a coincidence that I was able to visit and photograph one of the places on my genealogy hit list along the way (more about that in a future post).

In fact the whole journey was a bit like a family history tour, passing through so many places in my family tree. Unfortunately we didn’t actually spend time off the bus anywhere other than Tunbridge Wells, but it was good to be travelling through the landscape of my relatives none the less.

The journey itself was a round trip (otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting at home writing this) of about 90 miles, mainly through East and West Sussex, but also crossing into Kent and Surrey.

For the fellow bus geeks reading this the bus routes were:

  1. Horsham to Brighton (17, Stagecoach)
  2. Brighton to Tunbridge Wells (29, Brighton and Hove)
  3. Tunbridge Wells to Crawley (291, Metrobus)
  4. Crawley to Horsham (23, Metrobus)

I have travelled on these routes before, but never the complete routes. I don’t think I have ever been to Tunbridge Wells before, by any mode of transport, but I will definitely be heading back there again. Not least because of the famous Hall’s Bookshop.

I was delighted to find a memorial below to Air Chief Marshall Dowding in Calverley Grounds (the park where we sat and enjoyed a sandwich in the sunshine). This was a perfect piece of genealogical synchronicity because he was born in Moffat, Scotland, the same town as my 3x great-grandfather Thomas Kinghorn.

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The Wanderer Returns

28 Nov

I have just returned from a week away in Scotland and whilst enjoying myself in the capital city Edinburgh I couldn’t help wondering about the Scottish connections in my family tree.

Edinburgh, Scotland from Arthur's Seat

My 3x great-grandfather Thomas KINGHORN was born in Scotland or at least he seems to have been. His father (and presumably his mother) was living in Moffat at the time of his birth, although his baptism took place in Carlisle, south of the border.

I find it hard to see this situation as a rightful claim to Scottish ancestry, rather that he was probably born to English parents who happened to be living in Scotland at the time, although this wasn’t just a one-off, because Thomas had five brothers and sisters all born and baptised in the same circumstances.

At the moment I don’t have any good evidence about where Thomas’ parents came from, but my best guess would have to be south of the border, due to a lack of evidence on the Scotlands People website.

It seems likely to me that a few generations back I will find definite Scottish roots. The surname KINGHORN sounds particularly Scottish to me, probably connected to the town of Kinghorn in Fife. Of course it is dangerous to leap to such conclusions, the only way to be certain is to work backwards in the traditional manner, another project to look forward to when time and money permit.

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Wordless Wednesday: Chalk Stone Trail, Cocking Hill, West Sussex

16 Nov

Chalk Stone Trail, Cocking Hill, West Sussex (1st October 2011)

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Wordless Wednesday: Cuckfield Church, West Sussex

26 Oct

Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield, West Sussex

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Wordless Wednesday: Singleton Church, West Sussex

19 Oct

The Parish Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Singleton, West Sussex

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Wordless Wednesday: Feeling chuffed

12 Oct

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Wordless Wednesday: Pendean Farmhouse from Midhurst, Sussex

14 Sep

Pendean Farmhouse from Midhurst, Sussex now at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, West Sussex.

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