We set off, heading east on the 401, to take a look at Port Hope, where Braund and other emigrants settled. The Archives is open from 1-5pm and we plan to look for that rare species a Canadian car park, so we can walk round the town first. As we drive past the Archives at 10am a sign reads ‘open’ so we take it at its word and enter. They seem surprised that we are surprised they are open and there is even room to park alongside. Maybe Port Hope Archives have their own time zone. Few records pre-confederation in 1867 but we do find some documents worth photocopying. Extracting ourselves from the parking space does involve some nifty reversing back on to the road but we manage. There is even a place to park by the harbour so we can view the town. We see some Canada geese and a large orange butterfly, which I later learn was a Monarch, that won’t stay still long enough to be photographed. The harbour-side is industrialised and dominated by a large Cameco plant, which is guarded by conspicuous security personnel. I am carrying a camera in preparation for photographing the site of William Braund’s house, which is nearby, so I am keen to keep a low profile and not be accused of spying. Chris decides to ask the security guard what goes on here – now they will think he is the distraction technique for my illicit photography. To make matters worse, it turns out that they produce uranium for a nuclear plant; my chances of arrest for industrial espionage soar.
We walk up the hill through the ‘heritage town’ and find the Episcopalian Methodist Church, which was built in 1875. We also learn that the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited in 1860, so some of my emigrants may have been part of the celebration. Returning to the harbour we see numerous dead salmon in the creek, presumably failing in their attempt to return upstream after spawning.
Next stop is Cobourg and another fail on the car park front. We eventually find a residential street where it seems possible to park without risking collision, parking infringement or the wrath of residents. We eat our final meal in the van and then head off for the library for me to talk about emigrants to the Lakeshore Genealogical Society. The organisers have been a little concerned by my unavoidable web silence over the last few days; they did not have a plan B. This is another very friendly group and in keeping with the other societies I’ve visited, they provide elaborate refreshments: soft drinks, fruit, cheese and crackers. Puts the UK’s cup of tea and a biscuit to shame. There is even a descendant of one of my case study families in the audience. As a prequal to this weekend’s Braund reunion, two of our members have come along to listen to tonight’s talk. Heavy rain begins as we head back to Darlington, on the last of our three journeys in the dark. It is a bit of a shame that we decided to take the final opportunity of washing clothes. It has been a glorious, hot sunny day until just before we reach the site in order to rescue our by then dampened clothes.