Author Topic: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................  (Read 2465 times)

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gina39uk

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Well this section has been open for quite some time now but it would seem there is no-one as old or older than me or who has as many fond memories of Puerto (or are you all just shy?) ;D

Anyway I thought I would start the ball rolling with something I originally posted on "the other forum" just in case some of you missed it.   So here goes................

"Puerto Pollensa when I arrived in the late 60's was still very much a laid back fishing village. The young girls were not allowed to go out with the boys unless accompanied by a chaperone (usually their mother or aunt). All the widows constantly wore black. The girls used to grow their hair very long and then they would cut it after they were married.

The Guardia Civil were very much a presence everywhere and the youngsters were not allowed to hang around in groups on the street corners for more than a few minutes before they were moved on. But it was a very safe place to live and a wonderful place for a child to grow up. Children in those days stayed as children far longer than they do in the UK. My son had a fabulous childhood in Puerto Pollensa and that unspoilt 'grounding' made him the man he is today. We never used to lock our cars or our house doors. For all the freedom the children had though there was always great respect for their elders.

When I first took over El Barco in the early 70's it wasn't easy. I was the first woman to open a Bar (and a foreigner to boot). The locals were very old fashioned in their beliefs that the womans place was in the home. The local women took a long time to accept me but in the end they did and I still have many, many good friends amongst the Mallorcians now.

The Guardia Civil were constantly in and out checking permissions, making sure we closed on time etc., but gradually that stopped and they became less intrusive and eventually good friends. In 1975 when Franco died things changed dramatically (some of the older Mallorcians still say not always for the best).

Tourism in those days was also very different. Business was very good indeed. The seasons were much longer starting in March through to November and most businesses stayed open all year round. Of course there were far less bars and restaurants in those days also and our clientelle were an equal mix of locals and tourists.

In those days there were far less boats and yachts moored in the harbour and only 2 main jetties. A lot of the boats were looked after by young men/boys whilst the owners were away and they lived on the boats. Many a night during the winter El Barco stayed open all night whilst the boys took it in turns to come for hot food and drinks.

There were far less ex-pats living there than there are now and very few businesses which were run by foreigners.
In fact other than myself there was only The Bull's Head, Chequered Flag(now White Rose), Paul's Bar, The Beehive (for a short time before it closed), The Montelin (Swedish), El Cano (German), C'An Pacienci (which in those days was just a house and the owners used to hold fabulous dinner parties for their friends before they were persuaded to open up as a restaurant). The Supermarket at Gommar (English) and a Car Hire (English). There was also a Property Management Office in Gommar and Pat Daly's office - he started the 1st cheap flight service from Luton once a week as well as being responsible for building/selling most of the Apts on Gommar. Oh - I almost forgot Dick's Bar which was next door to the Golden Lion and run by quite an elderly couple called Dick & Lil (real characters). The Bar was later bought by Geoff Thomas (who now owns the Codfather)and was called Gatsbys (now owned by a lovely Scottish man called David and his mum & dad who ran it for many years. More recently taken over by Roy who sadly has had to return to the UK.

On the whole the foreign residents living there in those times were quite wealthy and had lots of money to spend. Many famous people used to come to PP and Formentor in those days and we had some wonderful times. Everyone knew everyone, locals and foreigners alike and we all helped each other.

Having spent most of my adult life in PP I can't help but feel saddened by the changes over the years which in a lot of cases have not been for the better.
However, one thing that progress can never change and that is the fantastic views of the Bay of Pollensa and the Tramuntana Mountains and that's what will keep me returning time and time again as long as I am able."
Well there you have it!


POST 2 COMING SHORTLY – I PROMISE!! ::)


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Belladonna

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 08:44:16 AM »
Thanks gina. Have been waiting for your post for ages and it has not disappointed! Such a fabulous recolection of what it used to  be like. I hadnt known about the girls cutting their hair after they were married - but is obvious really, once married there was not much time for beautifying - housework to the max!
You manage to convey it all so well, I could almost see it. You were indeed brave to embark on such a venture back then - a formidable woman in your own right obviously.
So glad you can remember it so well.
Look forward to more!  :)
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favie

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 11:24:09 AM »
Wonderful reading Gina.....you were really fortunate to know they early days of PP and I can understand how it saddens you to see all the changes over the years, like everywhere not always for the better, it's the beautiful bay and mountains that lures me back time after time! On my first morning, I take my usual walk down to the waters edge at the Illa d'Or and it never fails to take my breath away.....magical!!
Opening you own bar must have been a gigantic step for you but a very successful one by all accounts.....I'm sure you have plenty of tales about your time there!!  Look forward to your next installment.  :)

Wrightstuff

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 12:00:30 PM »
Yes me too.. How wonderful. I have oftened wondered how it gets under your skin and is often a love that is passed through generations.

 :D

Eleanor

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 14:19:45 PM »
Excellent post Gina. I really enjoyed reading it. One thing is for sure and that is that no one can change the beautiful view of the Bay despite any other changes. Thanks for posting.

Paula I think there is something quite spiritual about PP. It does get to you and becomes addictive. We read all the time about people needing their next 'fix' - how true!

Every time I look at that Bay I see something different. The view, the colours the atmosphere - just beautiful!
Eleanor


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Belladonna

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 14:21:23 PM »
And the fact that its only a 2 hour plane journey helps too!  ;)
After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done!

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gina39uk

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2011, 15:49:57 PM »

Thanks Eleanor, Paula, Bella, Favie  for your kind words.  They will most certainly inspire me to post some more of my great memories and experiences.

I will try for POST 2 next week!   Just need to dust off the little grey cells and open up a few 'folders' in there that have been closed for a very long time then once I start you will wish I hadn't - because i won't be able to stop!!


Now - where's that bottle of Rioja???     .........Seems like only yesterday I was making Barco Burgers for David Hemmings and David Bowie ::)
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Belladonna

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2011, 17:13:18 PM »
Oh you tease!!! ::)
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Bonyslad

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 17:17:36 PM »
Gina,

 What wonderful memories , thank you so much for posting them. Please keep them coming because they are very interesting to so many people.

 BL  :) :)
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Chemical Dave

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 12:30:20 PM »
Thanks for posting Gina. It is wonderful to hear what life was like in the Port in those days. I could read your stories all day. I also love the old photos which get posted. I wish I could go back in time!

Dave


gina39uk

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 13:00:28 PM »

Thank you Dave.  I'm hoping you will enjoy the next one which i hope to post next week.

On the subject of old photos - I am in the process of sorting through endless piles of pics which i then plan to scan and upload to an album sometime in the not too distant future.  Just don't seem enough hours in my days anymore :(

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tommo

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Re: Once upon a very long time ago ....................................
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 15:13:27 PM »
Your memories of the Port many years ago make us "newbies of 7 years visiting" very interested Gina. We look forward to more postings and especially old photos. Thank for taking the time to put "pen to paper" as it were.