Hold Tight! - Holiday time
Chapter 3
Page 13
Hold Tight!
Chapter 3
Getting Away
13 Holiday time
14 Train CB
15 Luzern
16 Four cantons
17 Getting home
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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Before 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
My 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.
Like 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.
The journey 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.
The ferries 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.
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