My earliest memory of travelling by train was from Nottingham to Mablethorpe. It is about 80 miles and I was about three years old. It was one of the old steam trains which had no corridor, just carriages strung out behind the engine.

We were going to the seaside so I was very excited about seeing the sea for the first time. My father was in the Royal Navy and my mother and aunt had rented two bungalows for a few weeks. We filled the carriage. Great- aunt Clara sat in one corner, bolt upright and dressed in black as usual, her only consession to the holiday mood was a white lace jabot held in place by a cameo brooch. She clutched a capacious handbag from which she produced barley sugar sweets for my brother and me. Auntie Annie nursed a basket, covered with a checked cloth, containing a picnic lunch as there was no restaurant car. Uncle Tom sat, silent as usual, and smoking his pipe. My cousin Joan and her friend Rene had managed to get time off from the munition factory to join us for a week. We had to provide our own bedding  linen and food which had been packed in tea cases and sent on ahead. This was the pattern of our holidays until the war was over.   

After the war and my father was home again we always travelled to the seaside by car, but I was a poor car traveller I missed going by train.

The next memorable journey was when I was sixteen and went on a school trip to Austria. We travelled by train and boat. The journey from Ostend to Salzburg was a long journey by day and night. Border control was much stricter then and we found it quite exciting having our passports stamped as we passed through different countries. We didn’t have sleeping berths and I remember two of us (being small) sleeping in the luggage racks!

A spectacular journey in my memory was on the West coast of Scotland, which we treated ourselves to when my nursing friend Beryl and I went on a Youth Hostelling holiday about 1960.

Another spectacular train journey is the magnificent railway from Bergen to Oslo. This is a journey I made many times to and from Geilo. Whenever I travelled to Norway I travelled from Newcastle by sea, either to Bergen or Oslo and then the train up into the mountains. I always thought my holiday began with the train to Newcastle. I loved breaking up the long journey with a visit to the restaurant car. In those days BR served very good meals, especially breakfast. It was served  by well trained stewards and felt like a real treat,  not the snacky food they offer now from the trolley dollies.

Before I was married I usually travelled by train. I am not a good road traveller, even now I cannot read when travelling by car or coach, and I never enjoyed driving. I only learned to drive because I thought everyone should be able to drive, not from a burning desire to drive myself around, and the only good thing to come out of learning to drive was meeting JW.:) I have hardly used my licence and did not bother to renew it when I turned 70.

The most luxurious train journey was on the Orient Express. JW  was sent an invitation to a press event which he couldn’t use, so he passed it on to me. This was a trip on the Orient Express from London to Beaulieu motor museum. It was sheer luxury from beginning to end. We were met on the special platform at Victoria Station by the train steward who then escorted us to our very comfortable seats. We were served a champagne breakfast on the journey down and a splendid afternoon tea on the way back. I was transported to another world for a day, (very Agatha Christie).

The most recent journey was comfortable enough, but I would have found the handful of tickets for the various parts of our journey very confusing if Jennie had not been there to sort them out. Before the privatisation of the railways you just had to choose single, day or period return, first or third and received one ticket.