The Gathering of the Stephensons – Tuesday 29th July, Cottingham

The short train journey from Hull to Cottingham should be about 8 minutes, but due to a breakdown, a long wait and a slow reverse back into Hull Paragon station, then a wait for the next train, it actually took over an hour – but we got to chat to lots of people, mostly families trying to get to the seaside for the day (Bridlington and Scarborough are further down the same line).

A taxi got us to the hotel where coffee and conversation was happening as others arrived.

17 sort-of Stephensons, actually just the one - me.

17 sort-of Stephensons, actually just the one – me.  A mixture of ex-Stephensons, descended from Stephensons, or married them, but not carrying the name any more.

From the left: Cousin Ann Waterson, Auntie Pat and her son Bernard, Cousin Felicity and her daughter Nicola, me and Jackie behind cousin Eleanor (her two children are Hannah and Joshua), young Giles is beside his mum and my half-sister Mel, cousin Elizabeth is next (mother of Eleanor), then comes Nick (Mel’s other boy), and then Jacky, Mel’s husband Alex and Jacky’s husband cousin Chris (who planned the whole event).

The Lazaat Hotel provided a buffet lunch – which included curry, making it my fourth curry in six days.

Family albums lead to discussions like, 'Who is that?'

Family albums lead to discussions starting, ‘Who is that?’ Careful cropping of this picture removes any trace of beer belly I may have.

Dr Eleanor Parker is Associate Head of Department of Geography, Environment and Disaster Management at Coventry University, and has her first book out any day now (she is co-editor of it).  Its called ‘Still Standing?’ and is a series of 13 case studies looking back at housing reconstruction following disasters around the world.

By mid-afternoon we broke up and headed away.  We went into Cottingham where we passed a cottage with 2 giraffes in the front garden, one living (plant) and the other a plywood letter box.  You don’t see that every day.

Two giraffes in Cottingham High Street.

Two giraffes in Cottingham’s King Street.

Called into the Duke of Cumberland for a pint or so.  Another Marston’s pub, serving Jenning’s Cock-a-Hoop and the brighter and tastier Bank’s Sunbeam, before catching a train back into Hull. 



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