Local’s trip to England full of misadventure

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When a recent Copiah-Lincoln Community College graduate signed up to attend the International Churchill Conference in Oxford, England, she had no idea that the greatest adventure would be getting there.

“Winston Church once aptly said, ‘Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense; Never yield to force,’” Lyndy Berryhill said.

That perseverance was what allowed Berryhill to make it to England.0701Lyndy Berryhill

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Her adventure actually started in 2014 when the annual conference was held in New Orleans. She and several other Co-Lin students attended, and she was so enthused by Churchill that she was offered a plane ticket to go to the 2015 conference.

“In true Churchillian spirit, I could not turn down an adventure,” she said.

First her patron had to back out of the trip, but she convinced herself that she could make the trip alone. When she left the Jackson airport at 6 a.m. on May 26, everything appeared to be going smoothly — until she landed in Atlanta.

There, her plane was delayed multiple times. She tried talking to every airline employee she could.

“It came down to the last possible flight, and my plane was delayed another hour,” she said.

However, it seemed that her luggage had been able to make it on a flight to D.C. after all. This led her to the lost baggage counter, where she was finally able to get some help.

“She didn’t understand why someone didn’t simply upgrade my ticket to a one-way ticket to London,” Berryhill said. “After waiting a full 12 hours in the airport, I flew first class into London.”

When she landed she learned that her luggage would not be delivered until the following morning at 9 a.m. At first, Berryhill planned to stay in Heathrow until she could pick up her luggage. However, as she talked to one of the women at the conference, she assured her that she could borrow clothes until her luggage arrived.

“So, at around 7:30 that night, I boarded the Oxford Tube and headed that way,” she said.

She said that traveling in the U.K. is much slower than in the U.S. Three buses and more than three hours later, she was almost at her destination. However, the final leg included a four-mile walk to the hotel.

“I was initially worried about not knowing anyone there, but by the end of the night, everyone had heard at least one version of my story,” she said. “One very British man walked up and remarked, ‘So you’re the young lady from America who walked here from New Orleans?’”

Luckily, the remainder of Berryhill’s trip saw no more hiccups. Some of the highlights included dining in a palace with the 12th Duke of Marlborough and the Mahdi of Saudi Arabia.

“On my journey back to the States, I remembered another famous Churchill quote: ‘If you are going through hell, keep going,’” she said. “You better keep going; you never know when a Duke and a palace are waiting on you.”