Ah yes, the Festival of Britain! My first memories of frequent train travel were also from that era. These were shopping trips to Oxford Street with my Mum, which involved a train ride into Charing Cross. I don't remember much about the station itself (it's not the most exciting London terminus), but the approach really made an impression on me. I can still picture the South Bank Exhibition with the dome and the Skylon.A School Trip to the "Festival of Britain" in 1951 and waiting at Victoria and watching an electric loco pulling out with a boat train. (Probably a Newhaven boat train with a SR "Booster" Loco on he front) The blue flashes from the 3rd rail shoes lit up half of south London! I still remember the sight, almost 70 years ago.
I remember my first experience of this. I was a secondman on 'the papers' can't remember if it was the Brighton or Eastbourne's. As we left the platform at Victoria and went through all the gaps in the 3rd rail towards the Grovesnor Bank the 73's shoes kept making and breaking creating a spectacular display, the driver was falling about laughing at my face. Quite a lot of drivers used to leave Vic using the diesel engine, to combat this.A School Trip to the "Festival of Britain" in 1951 and waiting at Victoria and watching an electric loco pulling out with a boat train. (Probably a Newhaven boat train with a SR "Booster" Loco on he front) The blue flashes from the 3rd rail shoes lit up half of south London! I still remember the sight, almost 70 years ago.
Ponti‘s was excellent. A little pricey but sitting in the back section with a big cooked breakfast, while looking down over the trains coming and going, was a treat I occasionally allowed myself.1990s Liverpool Street station for me. It hasn't really changed in all those years although it's a shame Ponti's isn't there any more
School railway society? How times change; I'd have been laughed out of the building if I'd suggested such a thing!Mine is around the late 1960s or early 1970s on a School Railway Society visit to London. We went from Newport to Paddington and then to (probably) Kings Cross and Euston; I'm pretty sure that we visited Finsbury Park MPD and possibly Willesden MPD but, apart from a group photo at Finsbury Park Station, I don't have many physical memories of what we did.
Apart from the "inhalation of smoke generated by the burning of strong herbs down the back access road to the school" society, of course! Though obviously it wouldn't be called a society; I'm thinking of a word beginning with C, that is reputedly a contraction of "Cheltenham average" (according to someone who grew up in Cheltenham).I was thinking that. Indeed any sort of society at school!
School railway society? How times change; I'd have been laughed out of the building if I'd suggested such a thing!
I was thinking that. Indeed any sort of society at school!
Do you mind me asking how long ago that was? I can't imagine it would be very easy for teachers to organise such trips nowadays, what with safeguarding and health and safety issues. I suppose it might just be doable if there's a staff member who's really determined, but most would probably give up when confronted by the paperwork!My Comprehensive School was very good on that. As well as a Railway Society and it's offshoot a Model Railway Society, we hade several others, although as I wasn't a member of them, I can't remember any details.
The Railway Society was led by two teachers who were railway enthusiasts, and encouraged us to help with the running of it. We used to have a trip in the Spring of each year and, as well as the London one mentioned above, I know that we also went to Birmingham (Tyseley was included) and probably other places as well. They were good times, and fondly remembered.
Do you mind me asking how long ago that was? I can't imagine it would be very easy for teachers to organise such trips nowadays, what with safeguarding and health and safety issues. I suppose it might just be doable if there's a staff member who's really determined, but most would probably give up when confronted by the paperwork!
(I only finished sixth form last year, so am only familiar with very recent stuff.)
Thanks - it's interesting to hear about how things were different in the past!No problem at all .... I went there in 1967 and left in 1975, and both Societies were active for a large part of that time. I think that the last visit was actually scheduled for 1976, which was after I had left; I remember that I asked to be able to join the trip and had received permission to do so. However, one of the depots (Neath Cwrt Sart) closed and permission to go to the other one (possibly Llandore?) was withdrawn, so the trip never took place. Although I did keep in touch with the two teachers for a while, I'm not sure for how long the two Societies were active after I left (and that's not claiming any self importance!).
Mine would be very similar, although it would be 47 down from Newark, then seeing the Journey Shrinker entrances they had above the platforms for the new HSTsKings Cross 1979. Arrived on 254023 (43100 & 43101) and my dad has a photo of 4 HST‘s lined up on platforms 3-6. No Deltics from what I recall sadly but 31405 was there with its FP white stripe. We also took in St Pancras, Euston, Marylebone and Paddington that day. Didn’t get to the other terminals until 1980.
My love of London terminals has extended to the Paris terminals too.
Worked for Patrick Troughton in the war...My mother had said that I would see all sorts of strange and different people in London, and I was Not To Stare. So we went down to the Underground and sat in the sideways seats. Directly opposite was an older lady, with a tea-cosy, a proper knitted one with a bobble top and the holes each side, on her head as a surrogate hat ...
Charing Cross for me in the very early 1950s, possibly even very late 1940s. That too had a small cinema, one of very few accoutrements of the station: remember Pathe News, which in those days of most homes (mine included) not yet having TV was beyond exciting for a small boy. Not my first experience of cinema, though, as a friend of my grandmother used to take me to afternoon screenings at the local Odeon, once after a tram ride, so that dates it to pre July 1952. Victoria was a joy too: went with my grandfather, but primarily to see the buses at its marvellous terminus.Victoria station. Wish I'd gone in the Cartoon Cinema.