The lads found bread rolls, six bottles of Orangina and some butter and they went to their rooms. They put on their swimming costumes under a pair of shorts and light tee shirts.
Shirley and Alison quickly made sandwiches and placed them into a Tupperware box.
The packed everything into a bag including beach towels and carried it down stairs. They got onto the coach after paying for the excursion which was only twenty pesetas each. The coach had to pick up from other resorts along the way but it did not detract from the atmosphere women were singing on the bus as it sped along and everyone joined in. There was cold air blowing out from above them from these small nozzles that you could turn.
The two hour trip to Alicante showed off the beautiful countryside and its coastline.
They got talking to a couple called Maureen and Keith Ritson who told them that they were members of an archery club back in England. Maureen was an archery coach and Keith helped to run the club as Chairman. He had been a Steel inspector in the ship yards and was now retired. They told them that they had a villa in Torrevieja and that they had been coming to Spain for over fifty years now. They had three children who were all grown up now and married so there was nothing stopping them from Jetting off together for most of the year. Keith had a good pension as did Maureen who had been an English teacher. They asked if they were married and Tom replied that they were just courting.
“Young love’s dream said Maureen; I remember when Keith and I met he was very shy in those days. I was out with my friend on a picnic at Scarborough with my parents when Keith was standing in the fish and chip shop. He was looking at me then when I looked back he would turn away.
My friend went and asked him if he was going to the fair that afternoon and he said that he was. I was seventeen and he was eighteen. We agreed to meet later that afternoon and spent the whole day together; didn’t we dear.’
Keith smiled and then nodded.’
“I knew then and there that Keith was the man for me and we have been happily married fifty years.’
“We have been together ten months said Shirley; we met at a church dance.’
“Oh how romantic; I was a good ballroom dancer in my day and we have danced in the ballroom in Blackpool.
“How did you become involved with the archery club?’
“We went along one afternoon after Keith had been playing golf with a friend. He told me that it would be fun to go along so off we went. I liked it straight away after I hit a gold with my third arrow after some brief instruction from Timothy Jones who was the coach. Poor man passed away at the age of only forty eight with cancer.’
“Well I carried on and played in national competitions and was on the British Empire team in the 1930. The Games were held in Hamilton Ontario in Canada and Archery was just a spectator sport really, but it soon became competitive. I beat them all to reach the final and won it beating the Australian Yvonne Myers. But because it was not a recognised sport then I only received a token medal not the gold like the other competitors. I had to wait until 1950 before the sport became a recognised event.
I won the silver medal after being narrowly beaten by Catherine Lamb from New Zealand in the final.’
“That is excellent.’
“No it wasn’t; I wanted the gold. I had come for the gold medal; to me silver is second best.’
“Not many of us can say that we have won a medal in the commonwealth games.’