Things are just like they used to be . . .

One reads a great many criticisms of the the present day rail service, about lateness and over crowding.  Since I have not been on a train for several years I cannot really comment on the truth or otherwise of these remarks, but they put me in mind of my father who commuted to work from 1918 to 1958 mostly by train.
During the war years he travelled daily to and from Epsom by the No.93 bus, but when peace broke out the firm for whom he worked took itself back from its wartime dispersal in Epsom to its office in London on the Victoria embankment and he then commuted daily by the Southern Railway in its green electric trains from Worcester Park in Surrey to Waterloo Station in London.
At some period in those years a group of men used to congregate on the platform at Worcester Park always at the same spot because they knew that that was where the Guard’s van would draw up.  They then boarded the van and occupied it, standing I suppose, all the way to London.  Inevitably they got to know each other and my father told us of a man called “Chipperfield” (always surnames in those days) who was writing a book. I think I thought that real authors did not do things like commute daily to a job in London, so this must be a spare time hobby and he couldn’t possibly produce any sort of book which would be any good. (An insufferable child !)
My mother and I were somewhat surprised therefore when one day my father produced the book the cover of which is shown above, and with a note in the front from the author himself.  “H.F.Sheppard” is my father and Mr. Chipperfield wrote, “For the old times on the 8 – 16 that was, from the author, Joseph E.Chipperfield.”
So, present day commuters, talk to your fellow sufferers. You never know who they are, or what they might become !

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