South Yorkshire Times, August 16th, 1969.
Holidaying In The Arctic Circle At Age Of Eighty Six.
Recently returned from a holiday of a lifetime is Me. Ernest Downing who, at 86, has been to the Arctic and travelled within six miles of Russia.
Mr. Downing, formerly Conisbrough undertaker for 50 years, on Wednesday visited Mexborough with his 64 years old Wife Lily. The Alexandra Road home of nephew Mr. Paul Downing, and of Mrs. Downing.
Their recent trip to Norway, the land of the midnight sun which in summer never sets, was Mr. Downing’s first holiday abroad.
And there was a surprise waiting for hum when their ship crossed the Arctic circle. Said Mr. Downing, “It turned out to be warmer in the Arctic than it had been further south.”
No long hair.
During a fortnight’s cruise, out of Newcastle, the couple visited the northern most town in the world, Hammerfest. They stopped off at some 40 ports and were impressed by the cleanliness of the places they saw.
Mr. Downing declared, “It was striking that all the people were so smart, nicely dressed and clean. There were no boys with long, untidy hair either.”
Added Mrs. Downing, “We never stopped looking at the countryside, as it was light all the time, and our eyes eventually became very tired. We could see the sun go down, touch the sea and come back up again.”
Now back in England, Mr. and Mrs. Downing, whose home is in Whitby. are visiting friends and relations in the North of England.
They have no plans yet for future foreign trips.