The Anonymous Widower

To Glasgow and Back

I’d been to Glasgow a few times before in my life.  The first was when I was a student and I hitched to see Spurs play in the Glasgow Cup, the second and third  were when I passed through on the way to and from Skye with my family and the last time was many years ago, when C took her first flight with me in Tango-Tango, my Piper Arrow.  In the last case, we were actually aiming for Prestwick, but weather meant a diversion to Glasgow Airport.  It’s sad to think, that the two people who accompanied me that day,  C and my youngest son, have both passed away. I can still remember us all getting out of the small plane at the General Aviation Terminal and saying to a pilot with a smart uniform, that today had been my wife’s first flight.  He suggested that because of the weather, that she deserved a Purple Heart!

I’m not sure now, where I’d hitched to Glasgow from in I suppose the summer of 1966 or 1967, but it could either have been Liverpool or perhaps London, where I was working at the time in Enfield Rolling Mills.  I do remember though going over Shap in an old Albion truck in the pouring rain, as there was no M6 in those days.  I also remember waiting perhaps two or three hours for a lift on the A74 to somewhere nearer to my destination.  In the end I got a lift from a driver in a van that had been delivering the Scottish Daily Express.  I think, it’s the only time in my life that I’ve had any positive thoughts to that rag in any of its guises!  I remember that the match was at the old Hampden Park and Celtic were the opponents.  Searching the Internet I did find this program, which sets the match in 1967, which must be right.  But then I must have known C at the time, so it’s surprising she let me go off hitching around the country.  Unless this was when she was being a mother’s help in Ireland for the Wright family from Norfolk!  Two of their daughters; Amanda and Caroline were later bridesmaids at our wedding.  They also had a brother Tim.

I also remember passing that day on the beach at Wemyss Bay after taking one of the Blue Trains from the centre of Glasgow.

I don’t remember much of the match, but I think Spurs won and I also remember a Rangers supporter who turned up getting thumped for his trouble!

After my troubles getting lifts in Scotland coming up, I took the late train down to Manchester.  It was very late and I remember I wrote a letter of complaint, about having to use a taxi to get to my friend’s house in Manchester.  I think they sent me a cheque for about nine shillings!  It gave me my first reward in the art of complaining.

So that trip shows, I’m just reverting to type after over forty years, by travelling around!

But on Monday, the trip was different!  My host kindly dropped me at Waverley, I bought a ticket from the machine and fairly soon, I was on my way to Glasgow in a smart new train. It’s when you do this sort of journey you realise how far trains have come in the last twenty years or so.  And also how far, some of the lines have still to go!

September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , ,

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