A Trip to India?

My father inherited a wicker trunk from his father.  And the story was that the wicker trunk (called a skip) had travelled all the way to India and back, for it was the skip my grandfather used when he travelled in the entourage of the Prince of Wales on his voyage to India.  This Prince of Wales was the eldest son of Queen Victoria, and later became King Edward the VII.  It was supposedly on this trip that Grandpa acquired his taste for curry.

Русский: Albert Edward Prince of Wales

Albert Edward Prince of Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, quite some time ago I checked out the date of the Prince of Wales’ visit to India (1875) and realized that Grandpa was only 8 at the time.  Too young, even in an era when children often began working young.  Furthermore, the position of page to the Prince of Wales was not likely an honour open to a working-class lad from Lancashire. I expect my grandfather was simply fantasizing from the media reports of the tour.

This antique wicker skip is a reasonable facsimile of Grandpa Turner’s.

The skip stayed with us through all our travels until we moved into 1426 York Road in Burlington, Ontario.  Dad put it in a shed in the back yard and there it stayed (except for a few weeks when my sister put it on top of the building as shelter for an injured pigeon she was caring for.)  One day we discovered that a nest of hornets had made a home in it, and it was dragged out and burned.  It was sad to lose that memento of our history even if the trip to India was pure fiction.


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