joining the bus company I had earned about
eight pounds a week. Now my basic for 48 hours
(six days) was twelve pounds eight shillings.
Most of the duties were more than 48 hours
and there was further overtime available if
someone went sick or was on holiday. Of course
my parents wanted a bigger share of my income
even though I was often not around for meals
and got little more than a bed in a an unheated
room to sleep in for my money. But I still
had cash left over and decided to spend some
of it on a holiday
parents' reaction of course was hostile "Don't
you think we would like a holiday abroad?".
Mine was "With the money you're earning
and the money you're getting from me for nothing,
who the heck's stopping you?". They never
did go abroad and didn't complain when any
of my brothers did.
our duties, holidays were on a rota. We had
two separate weeks each year. My first holiday
was in May 1968. I had travelled all over
Britain with and without my parents but had
never been abroad. In the 1960s there were
strict exchange controls, the amount of money
you could spend abroad was very limited. I
found a holiday to Luzern in Switzerland which
appealed to me. It included train travel,
hotel with full board and a discount ticket
for the lake steamers and mountain railways.
up to London was one I had made
countless times and the boat train
to Folkestone was straightforward.
The ferries in those days were
run by the railways and this one
carried passengers and railway
wagons, but not cars and trucks.
had first and second class sections
which were completely separate,
with seating out on deck. And
the same kind of catering as on
British Railways. Even though
the ferry I caught was run by
the French railways, the sandwiches
were very definitely British.
|Anyway, I found
a seat on the deck and watched
the white cliffs vanish.