Letters from Harold and Heather Gilmour [1945–1950]

We are off on our travels again, and have sold up here in Halifax. We are setting off to New Zealand in early July with the intention of re-settling there again. We expect to have made the move by the end of July.

We have not settled in Halifax, and originally thought that moving into a new apartment would give us a peaceful way of life.

That has most certainly not been the case, and we know that apartment life is not for us. All the residents in this new development have had untold problems with the developer, and getting him to correct errors is a nightmare. Of course, once he has your money, you have no hold over him. Also, living in such close proximity to 23 other residents, and being able to hear just about every time they open a door or sneeze, is no way to live. Enough of that.

We really want to be nearer to our daughter, Melissa, and know that if we do not move now, we will move there in the near future; so it might as well be now.

We will be staying with Melissa for a very short time, then look for somewhere to rent before deciding on our future home, whereever that might be.

We will let everyone know when a more permanent address is sorted out.

As you will see from the above, we have returned to live in New Zealand. We have been here just over 12 weeks now, and our household goods arrived just 2 weeks ago, including our Personal Computer, which is now up and running. In all there were 79 boxes.

We sold all our furniture before we left Halifax, and have been very busy searching the shops here to find what we wanted. There is only a headboard for the second bedroom to be delivered, and new curtains for the lounge/dining room and No.1 bedroom. They are due in a week or two.

We became very unsettled at the apartment in Halifax. There were far too many problems associated with flat-dwelling which we certainly did not foresee when we decided to go for an apartment two years ago. We did make some very good friends there, but we are glad to be away from the difficulties we all suffered with the builder. Some other residents simply have no idea how to live in an apartment complex with 23 other families, and they make life very difficult for others.

So, we were determined to leave there, and thought carefully about where we should move to. England has changed such a lot in recent years, what with the increased number of people and cars, that we finally decided that being nearer to our daughter, Melissa, was becoming very important. Therefore, we decided to return here.

We very quickly bought a bungalow, similar to the one we had before, but a bit smaller, and with a smaller garden. It is less than 2 years old and is in excellent condition. The large double garage would make our friends at the apartment quite envious.

Well, that’s the news. We are now looking forward to the NZ Summer; we are just into Spring and it is getting pleasantly warmer now. We see Melissa reasonably often, and it is good to be able to pop over to see her, and Don, on the odd occasion. She lives 45Km away which is only about 35 mins by car, and, taking the back road through the countryside, we might only see 5 or 6 cars. The fields are full of lambs and calves just now, and the driver can even find the time to look at the scenery without being run into.

If you have access to the internet or wish to send the odd e-mail then please click here.

The following addition was made to the letter:

During our time in York and Halifax we renewed our friendship with John Lord, and visited him often in his caravan. Also enjoyed some good lunches in the local hostelries.

Co-incidence: our address ‘Tauranga Place’ has the name of Tauranga in the N. Island where John’s sister Margaret visits one of her sons occasionally. Heather and I visited Tauranga a few years ago for a short holiday — the coastline is beautiful with excellent beaches. A lot of retirees go to live there for the benefit of the pleasant climate. It suffers from the young ‘rowdies’ around Christmas time when they take over the beaches and drink more than we ever did in our youth, to say nothing of the drug scene!

Best wishes to you all.