When I was young 2

Trains are not what they were. When I think of the breakfast I used to get around 1947 which lasted all the way from Waterloo to Basingstoke where I used to go to audit a steam-roller manufacturer’s business! And some notes I am putting into publishable shape have a description of the restaurant car on the mainline here around 1910. In those days the manager of the car did his own buying at the various stops – trout, whitebait, lamb, strawberries etc. according to season. There were various places where the suppliers used to wait in which case the train was stopped for the bargains to be completed! Nowadays one has to rush out to the refreshment room at the halfway stop to acquire tepid tea in plastic cups and equally tepid and plastic sandwiches.

Trackside goodies

Hope you remembered all your lunch when you went to Whipsnade, unlike your 21st! What a change from 4 shillings to £2.50. [And in 2019 quoted at £21.30!]

I went into the local garage who kindly lent me their hydraulic jack which saved a great deal of fiddling about, and winding, to get the offending wheel off the ground. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the shock absorbers, but the new bearing I had fitted a month or two ago seemed distinctly loose, and the man adjusted it for me in about two minutes flat with his clever cruciform spanner for the wheel nuts, and his special pliers for pulling off the cover to the bearing. Would have taken me all of half an hour. But it didn’t cure the rattle! However, the next service is coming up, so I shall have the shock absorbers given a special examination. I remember reading not long ago that they aren’t made to last more than 40,000 or so (which surprised me as they are the sort of thing one expects to last as long as the car).

Your bike sounds super – it brought back memories of my biking in those parts in the war – I can remember my delight as I struggled up the Finchley Road if the admiral passed me in his large car and pushed his bosun out to ride my bike up and gave me a lift. We were in the big block of flats at the top of the hill and the wrennery was in the enormous nurses’ hostel.