Wonderful guests and a Marlborough connection

After six and a half years of welcoming guests, every day is still a joy as I meet and make new fascinating friends from all parts of Britain and all over the world, and from every walk of life.

From time to time I take guests on walks round the city centre, or we enjoy a drink together in one (or more!) of my favourite pubs, but best of all, most days, we enjoy long chats over breakfast for once the cooking’s done I can sit and join fascinating conversations.

This last weekend was very special when some guests breaking a journey back to Dorset from London, Geoff and his wife – both keen historians – took a close interest in family photographs I have.

Geoff, an expert on military transport, seeing a photo of very early veteran cars gathered for an army parade in an English country town, but unidentified, offered to track down it’s date and location.

Within 72 hours he has comeback with details so precise that I now know the exact place and date and how my grandfather John Alexander Holder was involved.

This is part of a very fine print showing the newly formed Motor Volunteer Corps on its first manoeuvre at Marlborough on 12 September 1903. This was the beginning of a week’ camp and movements. This was one of the first military exercises with cars, here 43 of them volunteered by grandfather (Lieutenant Holder with a Napier) and others, including Captain Charles Rolls.

With Geoff’s help I will soon be in touch with the author of a book on the Motor Volunteers.

Now I am hoping for new guests who might be experts on other aspects of early motoring history.

So, many thanks to Geoff and Sally.

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