Do you remember the summer of '67?
A few days ago we received a wonderful message from a gentleman in Genova, Italy, by the name of Santo. We wonder if anyone remembers his visit. He informed us that in 1967 he spent a summer in the village working at The Anchor and has fond memories of his time here. After trying to contact him repeatedly for a few days we finally tracked him down and asked if he could tell us a bit more about his stay and what follows is a transcript of our exchange, starting with the first message indicating that we had failed to reach him - stay with us, the power of the internet did finally break through!
With reference to your proposal to pin the article up on your notice board,I would like to inform you as follows: In 1967s and the following year the Italian Hotel school informed me about the address of destination for my stay in England,which was "ANCHOR HOTEL WALBERSWICK SUFFOLK ENGLAND". I worked as waiter at the Anchor hotel for the summer season where I spent a lovely time thanks to Mr. and Mrs. PRICE, the managers of the Anchor hotel, of course together the hotel staff, too. A special thank to the Walberswick people who have helped me to improve my English and to have supported me for my abroad stay. In spite time has gone, the two managers are still present in my memory and so Walberswick people. Thank you.
GENOVA CALLS WALBERSWICK OVER, DO YOU HEAR ME, OVER. HAVE YOU RECEIVED MY E-MAILS OVER. I AM WAITING YOUR CONFIRM,OVER.
We found your story extremely interesting and replied straight away. I fear our email must have gone into your spam folder and hope this one doesn't do the same! I passed your email to our News Editor, who replied as below. We'd be grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of this immediately, or we'll have to think of a different way to contact you!
Best wishes and hope to hear from you shortly:
"Many thanks for your message and your interest in the Walberswick village website, how fascinating to hear about your experience at the Anchor, which is still a popular hotel in the village - Mr and Mrs Price are well remembered. I told the current owner, Sophie Dorber, about your message this morning and she said she would be delighted to welcome you back!
We would love to hear more about your visit, do you have any photographs of your summer here? Would you be happy for me to write a short article for the website's news pages about your summer of 1967?"
AS YOU HAVE REQUESTED, I INFORM YOU THAT I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR E-MAIL. SOON, I WILL SEND YOU AN ARTICLE MORE DETAILED CONCERNING MY STAY AT WALBERSWICK.
BEST WISHES FROM SANTO
Later the same day: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ATTENTION I AM VERY GLAD TO HAVE NEWS FROM YOU. AS I TOLD YOU LAST TIME, I WORKED AS WAITER AT THE ANCHOR FOR TWO SEASONS (1967S-1968S) FROM JUNE TO SEPTEMBER.YOU MUST BEAR IN MIND THAT I WAS NOT ALONE,BUT WITH OTHER TWO ITALIAN STUDENTS (SAME SCHOOL). PINO AND ENZO, AT THE MOMENT I AM SURE THEY ARE TWO YOUNG PENSIONERS AS I AM. KEEPING IN MIND THAT IT HAS BEEN THE FIRST AND THE LAST TIME THAT 3 ITALIAN STUDENTS WORKED AT THE ANCHOR. ACCORDING TO MR. AND MRS. PRICE IT NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. I EXPLAIN HOW ITALIAN HOTEL SCHOOL WORKED:
BEFORE THE MONTH OF MAY THE HOTEL SCHOOL SENT TO LONDON AUTHORITY OFFICE 50 OFF STUDENT NAMES. THEN, THEY DECIDED THE STUDENT’S DESTINATION FROM ENGLAND TO SCOTLAND WHERE HOTEL STAFF WAS REQUESTED. AS SOON AS WE WERE IN LONDON OUR TEACHER HANDED TO US TRAIN-TICKET AND DESTINATION. VERY FEW STUDENTS CAME BACK TO ITALY BEFORE SEPTEMBER, THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO ADAPT THEMSELF TO ENGLISH CLIMATE AND FOOD. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE OTHER STUDENTS WERE VERY HAPPY TO DO A NEW LIFE-EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY WHO HAD THE LUCK TO STAY AND WORK IN LONDON. (AS YOU ALREADY KNOW: WHEN A MAN IS TIRED OF LONDON HE IS TIRED OF LIFE...)
THIS THE FIRST PART,TO-MORROW I WLL SEND THE SECOND PART - MORE INTERESTING AND FUNNY. BEST WISHES FROM SANTO.
Dear Santo, I am so pleased we have now managed to connect up. Thank you so much for this piece. I am sure everyone will be very interested. You probably wouldn't recognise The Anchor now! Looking forward to your next "more interesting and funny" episode.
Thank you so much for getting in touch with Walberswick.
DEAR SIRS. TIME HAS GONE QUICKLY.HOWEVER,DURING OUR STAY WE HAD A ROOM AT THE MRS.DUNLOP'S HOUSE(NICE PERSON AND AN IRON LADY). TWO GIRLS ARE STILL STANDING IN MY MEMORIES, I MEAN, ENGLISH JULIE WHO LIVED CLOSE TO THE ANCHOR AND CONNICK RITA WHO LIVED NEAR TO THE BELL INN.
I REMEMBER MR.AND MRS.PRICE'S SON MARTIN. TOM WHO WAS THE ANCHOR COOK A VERY NICE PERSON. I CANNOT FORGET DOREEN THE WAITRESS, SO KIND WITH US, SHE WAS AN ANGEL, SHE HELPED US ANY MOMENT. SHE WAS VERY POLITE. WHEN A PROBLEM AROSE SHE WAS ALWAYS PRESENT. I REMEMBER CIRO THE HEAD-WAITER, I AM SORRY BUT I DON'T REMEMBER ALL THE STAFF'S NAMES.
I WANT TO REMEMBER MR. AND MRS.'S DOG "PRUSSY" FUNNY DOG. DURING THE SUMMER THE ANCHOR WAS FULL OF PEOPLE ESPECIALLY DURING SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT WE WORKED VERY HARD BUT WE WERE HAPPY BECAUSE OUR ENGLISH FRIENDS WERE WAITING US OUTSIDE THE ANCHOR. WE SPENT THE TIME AT THE BELL PUB.
I WANT TO DESCRIBE YOU THIS FUNNY STORY: WHEN THE FIRST YEAR WE TRIED TO ARRIVE TO WALBERSWICK, A PROBLEM AROSE ABOUT THE TRAIN. MR.PRICE WAS WAITING FOR US AT THE DARSHAM STATION BUT WE WERE IN LATE, WE LOST THE TRAIN AND WE THOUGHT THAT OUR DESTINATION WAS SWAN HOTEL SOUTHWALD, SO WE DECIDED TO TAKE A CAB TO REACH SOUTHWALD BUT WHEN WE ARRIVE THERE THE SWAN HOTEL MANAGER INFORMED MR.PRICE IMMEDIATELY ABOUT THE MISTAKE AND HE DROVE US TO THE RIGHT DESTINATION. SOUTHWALD IS A NICE PLACE DESPITE WE HAVE BEEN MANY TIME THERE, WE LOVED WALBERSWICK. IN FACT, THE NEXT YEAR WE DECIDED, BY OURSELF ,TO COME BACK AND WORK AT WALBERSWICK AGAIN - IN 1972 I CAME BACK WITH ENZO TO WALBERSWICK FOR HOLIDAYS AND IN 1974,TOO. WE MET MR. AND MRS PRICE. MR. AND MRS.PRICE WROTE ME EVERY CHRISTMAS SENDING ME A POST-CARD.
BEST WISHES TO ALL WALBERSWICK PEOPLE.
At this point we contacted Rita Woodcraft (nee Connick) who did, indeed remember Santo, and shed light upon other characters:
We hope to publish something about your memories on the website shortly. I have been in touch with Rita Connick who is still friends with Julie English and Martin Price... and they remember you well. You can see Julie English's daughter, Dani, on our Home Page. She rows the ferry! The "iron lady" lives in Southwold.
Do you have any photos of your time here in Walberswick, or do you have a photo of you now? Even you and your family? Those people I've spoken to are delighted to hear of you again and share happy memories. You will soon see yourself in print! Looking forward to hearing more from you
THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY, I AM VERY HAPPY TO HAVE NEWS FROM JULIE, RITA AND MARTIN.I HAVE NO PHOTOS CONCERNING THAT TIME. I WILL SEND YOU MY PHOTOS AS I CAN. BEST WISHES TO ALL.
Included in the most recent communication Santo sent us some pictures of his house, which is currently for sale as well as ‘evidence of his work at The Anchor’ in the form of his work visa, below you will see a part of it.
The Walberswick web team, all two of us, have been captivated by this exchange and the connection to someone with such happy memories of Walberswick, and we hope that you will be too. If any of you too remember Santo please do get in touch with us.