Search

Gorleston friends caught in uprising

PUBLISHED: 11:28 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 30 June 2010

The group of friends at Bangkok airport. Left to right: Joy Barnes, Robert Barnes, Linda Frosdick-Hook, Keith Callistan, Wendy Brown, Stephen Brown, Janette Buchan, Malcolm Buchan

The group of friends at Bangkok airport. Left to right: Joy Barnes, Robert Barnes, Linda Frosdick-Hook, Keith Callistan, Wendy Brown, Stephen Brown, Janette Buchan, Malcolm Buchan

A GROUP of friends who set out to Thailand for the trip of a lifetime found themselves in the middle of a revolutionary uprising.

Linda Frosdick-Hook, of Gorleston, was one of eight who set out on the holiday, which had been planned for a year, and took in beautiful beaches and stunning temples.

A GROUP of friends who set out to Thailand for the trip of a lifetime found themselves in the middle of a revolutionary uprising.

Linda Frosdick-Hook, of Gorleston, was one of eight who set out on the holiday, which had been planned for a year, and took in beautiful beaches and stunning temples. Five of them celebrate their 50th birthdays this year.

But, having travelled the country for two weeks, they became ensnared in the delays caused by the Icelandic volcano and a revolutionary uprising sweeping the country.

Mrs Frosdick-Hook described how things went downhill quickly as they sadly started their journey home.

The teaching assistant said: “We were on our way to the airport to get the flight home when my brother texted saying flights had been cancelled and at first I didn't believe him. I thought he was just messing about.”

It was when they reached Bangkok airport on April 16 and found it in turmoil they realised the gravity of the situation, and things quickly went from bad to worse.

She explained: “No-one knew what was going on, and we queued for hours before our flight was cancelled. After to-ing and fro-ing we checked into a hotel which was packed with others in the same situation.”

Though aware that Thai anti-government protestors were thronging the capital, after four days of raised and dashed hopes in the hotel they decided to go on a day trip as a way of relaxing.

It was on their way to a park, and having passed a group of riot police who gave no warning of what was ahead, that they saw groups of protestors, known as Redshirts, and heard a grenade explode nearby.

Janette Buchan of Bradwell, said: “It was when we got to the corner we heard the bang, and that's when I grabbed a friend's hand and we walked as quickly as we could away from it, trying not to look like panicked tourists.

“The protestors had not been threatening before that, but we knew we needed to be out of there. That said, some of the men in our group stood around and videoed what was going on!”

It was shortly after this close encounter, and - with money dwindling - growing ever more desperate to get home, that they struck lucky.

Mrs Frosdick-Hook, who was with her partner Keith Callistan, said: “By this point we were really low, and just the day before we thought we had a flight out but it was cancelled, leaving us devastated. But we got a tip off about where we might be able to get tickets for some of the flights that were starting to leave the airport and got a booking.”

The group were moved on from their hotel, where there was panic because of news that the protestors were going to be taking it over, and managed to enjoy their final days in the lap of luxury at a beachside resort before returning on Wednesday last week - nearly two weeks later than expected.

Mrs Frosdick-Hook added: “It was only when we got the tickets and had a sight of the plane that we knew we were going home- and we jumped for joy.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury