Cora Gordon on "With a Ruc-sac Through Europe" at the Hull Young People's Institute, 1935

In the Hull Daily Mail of Friday 18 January 1935 is a story about the “Wanderings of Jan and Cora Gordon

Many people who had read of the adventures of Jan and Cora Gordon saw the latter in person last night, when she gave a talk under the auspices of the Hull Young People’s Institute at the Royal Institution, Albion Street, Hull.

According to schedule her talk “With a Ruc-sac Through Europe,” should have been illustrated by lantern slides. But in leaving home Mrs Gordon had picked up the wrong set of slides. It was therefore arranged that she give the ruc-sac talk first, without slides, and then show the other pictures.

Mrs Gordon’s opening words were: “It seemed to us always better to travel without money than with it. If you travel with money, you can’t help going to a decent hotel. And if you go to a decent hotel you find the same accommodation. But if you are counting your cents very carefully, then you always go to the most uncomfortable – and probably most characteristic – little hotel.”

The importance of having a job on travel was emphasised by Mrs Gordon – “because when the wet weather comes what can you do?” The speaker added: “If you have a job it also takes you to the dullest parts of a country. And if you want to know what a country is like don’t go where the tourists go, but to the dull places.” Her job while in the Tyrol was painting a set of pictures.

After six months in Spain the traveller asked: “Why should we not buy a donkey and wander over the mountains down to the south and see if we cannot collect some of the Flamenco music?” This was very interesting music, but hardly ever heard played outside of Spain.”

Other places of visit were Lapland – where a 13 years old boy described English language as “just like little mice running about” – the Balkans and Albania.

Mrs Gordon’s surprise item was a description of Hollywood, its studios and its people.”


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