No its not the sound of leather against willow! I was never able to enjoy cricket when I was at school and today I still do not enjoy watching it. Football however is another matter and I am sad that my team Brighton and Hove Albion have slipped in to the relegation zone. Mind you there are a couple of months to go yet so hope springs eternal.
The figure 100 means that i have just noticed that this is my 100th entry since moving over from the AOL blogs. In this time I have made many new friends and at least one has been with me since my first entry on AOL! I feel so honoured that so many of you have given me so much support with my health problems that the simple words thank you do not seem enough but I mean it from the bottom of my heart.
Anyway back to September 1968. I had passed my medical and entrance exams and on my first day I was sent to Swanley station. I lasted exactly a day and a half there! The powers that be realised that I should not have been there at all I should have been at Longfield. It was there that I met a man who through his kindness and generosity taught me more about the railway than any training course ever would. To this day I can still hear George Black's measured tones explaining the difference between OS and IWD items of account.
After a pleasant 6 weeks or so I was sent to the Regional Training School at Beckenham where the training course lasted 13 weeks, now its 12 days! After that it was back to Longfield to get some proper hands on experience. Than at short notice I was told that I was going to work in the parcels office at Beckenham Junction. I have to say that parcels are not that interesting and the highlight of the day was the coal train. In those days most stations had a coal yard with bulk deliveries by rail. Computerised wagon control was light years away and it was part of the job to collect the labels from each vehicle and record it in a register along with the amount of coal received. After that it was a case of writing labels up for the return trip the following day to Totton near Nottingham. However if there was any defect they had to go to Brent in North London. If the coal merchant kept the vehicle for more than 24 hours we had to raise a demurrage charge against them.
6 months of this was more than enough for me and I applied for the job at Sole Street but will tell you more about that in Newspapers, Stamps and Postal Orders next time.
I am off to Exeter this weekend as my daughter has been offered an unconditional place at the medical school there and I am considering moving there.
At the moment I am listening to Judy Collins live with Roger Day on BBC Radio Kent, radio as it should be!