England is Paradise Says U.S.A. Visitor

January 1969

South Yorkshire Times, January 4, 1969

Mother brings Donna-Lee to Conisbrough
England Is Paradise Says U.S.A. Visitor

Mrs Sylvia Lilly, of Boston, Massuchusetts, U.S.A., was born in Conisbrough and has always wanted to bring her daughter to South Yorkshire.

She and her daughter, 19-years-old Donna-Lee Lilly, arrived in England on December 18th and are to return on January 6th. For part of their stay they have been with Mrs. Lilly’s mother, Mrs. Maud Spencer, of 45, Wellgate, Conisbrough.

“Last time I came was when I was two years old,” said Donna-Lee, who is very proud of her English ancestry. ‘My mother told me I was coming at the worst time of the year but I have written back to my friends at College that England is a paradise, the people are so polite and friendly. I have even seen a rose — in America they are all dead in August.”

Hunt meet

“I really carne over to see the family but I have seen so much of the the country,” she added. During her holiday she has visited Harrogate, Ampleforth College, Kirk House Green Riding School where her cousin, Miss Yvonne Spencer, is a pupil, and the city of York. On Boxing Day she followed the Badsworth Fund by car from Wentbridge.

One of the most impressive sights has been the architecture of the Conisbrough Parish Church and the Castle. “It’s so quaint,” she said.

When not in Conisbrough the travellers have lived with Mrs Lilly’sThis brother, Mr Eric Spencer, of Wychwood Close, Balby.

One of the memorable sights of their visitors being women delivering milk and mail and working at petrol stations, a sight unheard of in America, where these are men’s jobs.

Even the food has not gone unnoticed. “I have had fish and chips four times in two days,” said Donna-Lee. “Once I ate them out of a newspaper.”

Wilsic Hall, Wadworth, was her first taste of an English hotel—American bars are male domains.

Wartime wedding

Her mother, Mrs. Sylvia Lilly has spent her first Christmas in England for 23 years, although she was born and raised in the town. She married American soldier, Mr. Howard Lilley in Conisbrough Parish Church in 1944. Now they have their own construction business and antique shop in Boston.

“I wanted Donna Lee to come to Conisbrough,” she said.

“When I think of England to me it is Yorkshire and especially Conisbrough. I always tell people that they have never met an Englishman until they have met a Yorkshireman.”

Her other two children, who she says, regard themselves as Anglo-Americans, have never seen England. They are Philip (22) and Sherry-Lynne (14).

“I think it is wonderful how they have improved Conisbrough,” said Mrs. Lilly, “but I hope they do not spoil it and lose the atmosphere.”

Donna-Lee, a second year student of biology at Merrick College, in North Andover, near her home, is to start her college exams the day after arriving back in America. She and her mother fly from Leeds next week.