Denaby globetrotter has a different idea about Travel

August 1964

South Yorkshire Times August 1.

Most Folk think they would like to Travel – but that’s all they do.

Denaby globetrotter has a different idea about it.

After hitch hiking from coast-to-coast back in Canada – a journey of some 8000 miles – in just over 16 days travelling time, a 24 years old electrician Mr Philip Johnson, was back home in Denaby this week looking forward to his next trip abroad.

Mr Johnson, son of newsagent, Mr Harry Johnson, of Doncaster Row, Denaby, set off to visit the States and Canada three months ago, when he flew to New York.

Over the Rockies.

His subsequent journey took him not to Montréal, onto Toronto, Ontario, Winnipeg, Manitoba and over the Rocky Mountains, to Vancouver.

The outlook trip to came 10 days travelling time, but on his return across North America. Your took only just over six days to cover the 4000 miles, including one “king-size” lift of 3000 miles in three days.

In Harlem.

He said, “After leaving the airport at New York I found myself in the very centre of Harlem shortly after a woman had been killed there.

“There were no race riots on the same scale as there are now, when I saw what state Harlem was in, I decided not to stay!”

At one time in Ontario on the Trans Canadian “excursion,” he decided to spend the night in a prison cell, kindly loaned – on request – by the authorities. He was “saved” however, when a student from Liverpool “turned up and offer me digs for the night.”

Looking for a job.

After travelling in hundred 50 to 200 mile “box” as the list came along, Philip, who works for a Rotherham electrical firm, arrived in Vancouver and settled in at the local YMCA while he searched for a job on board ship in an effort to reach New Zealand, where he has friends.

He didn’t succeed and setup back to the East Coast, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, thanks to a generous 3000 mile live from a native of West Virginia.

“I was bit worried about accepting lifts before I set off. You often hear of some trouble or other involving hitchhikers and motorists, but once I got onto the road everything was all right,” he said, “You find you can sum up the chap who offers you the lift as soon as you get into the car.”


At Halifax, the question was how to get back home.

“I waited for about a week and a half looking for a boat, with only about £25 left. Then I happened to spot a cargo of wood marked “Cardiff” waiting to be loaded. I asked the ship’s captain for a job, and was lucky enough to get one.

Mr Johnson, who has already toured Europe and now, has his sights on Australia and Spain, can’t explain his yearning for travel.

“It all boiled down to the fact that I wanted to see America,” he said. “Most people think they would like to go, but that’s all they do – think about it.”