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Banbury Cross

Peter and Pam

The Barwells, with the Barwells and the Barwells.

Barwell town

Billys, the place to go to at Barwell.

High Street, Barwell

The famous bream

All the photos on this page are from our week-end trip to see Peter and Pam Barwell, the town of Barwell, and Dad's cousins Ray and Dorothy and their families.

We set off on a Saturday morning first stop to see Peter and Pam Barwell in the village of Bloxton, near Banbury. Peter has traced the Barwell family tree through many branches around the world, although at this stage we are not related, eventually you would think that to be so. Peter and Pam have a gorgeous cottage called 'Thatches' which is quite a few hundred years old. We were all welcomed like honoured guests and Pam put on a great meal. The conversation flowed for a number of hours and we really could have spent the whole weekend with the fantastic hospitality of Peter and Pam, but we had other tasks to complete.

We set off to the town of Barwell, near Hinkley. After some driving we got excited when the BARWELL town sign was spotted. Great opportunity for a photo, or 10 (if anyone wants a copy of the photo above, with different people, different angles, different smiles, etc., ask me). After spending some time here, we cruised into the main part of Barwell, but it was getting quite dark so we started to search for accommodation. None in Barwell, not no vacancies, no accommodation. We eventually found a nice B&B Hotel, The Badgers Mount Guest House in nearby Elmesthorpe and had a good steak tea down the road at the local pub, which like most buildings in the UK, is heated to 2 degrees above boiling point.

The next morning we headed back to Barwell to get some photos in the light. The owners of the local store got a bit of a shock when we asked for postcards, so we made do with some blank envelopes to send Barwell postmarks to the Barwells. Unfortunately, this didn't work out as all of the mail is sorted at the Midlands Mail Centre (bummer).

Off to Birmingham to visit Dad's cousins Dorothy and Ray and their families. The whole of Dad's life has been spent without having cousins to play with like we all probably know, so it was great for him to meet his cousins for the first time. When we arrived it was like stepping into a Barwell gathering back at home. Not only did everyone make us feel so relaxed and comfortable, the mannerisms, smiles and conversation was like all the Barwells we know and love back home. There was no doubt about this family tree. Dad and his cousin Ray chatted like the closest of friends, and it was hard to guess who was enjoying themselves the most. Dorothy put on a great buffet lunch, but Lee-Anne and Michael had to head back to the Big Smoke, because Michael had to do a set-up for an Oracle course starting the next day. Marg and Bill stayed on through the afternoon and then caught the train back to London later that afternoon.

A great time was had by all and in some ways the pilgrimage journey was completed.