On The Rails

trainThe photo of the old steam engine posted on FB by my nephew from Bristol spike a memory from my distant past. Sailors today can hop on a plane and be home an hour later. Heck! they can even get home for a weekend. In my time in the Navy we started leave in the morning around 0800 hrs. Caught the Portsmouth train to London, it was known as a milk run because it stopped at every station along the route. And believe me there were many stations along the route. I arrived in London about noon time, had lunch and made my way via the tube trains to Liverpool Street station. Then at approximately 3.30pm the  train pulled out heading for Heysham and the Belfast ferry. We arrived at 11 pm and had to walk about a half mile hauling our luggage to reach the steamer. It left at about midnight and arrived at the Belfast docks  in the early morning hours (6 am). I then had to walk up town to wait for a bus to take me on the final leg of my journey . Sailors pay being what it was we couldn’t afford taxis. I arrived at my front door at about 7.30 am. I was dirty and tired but glad to have arrived home. The Navy allowed us 14 days leave three times a year, Easter, Summer and Christmas, but at least they realized the guys from places like Belfast needed travelling time,  we actually had 16 days leave, two days for travel. Rough times indeed, no so bad going home knowing I had 14 days leave ahead, but Oh Boy!!! hell coming back.

God Bless and keep reading


About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, Just Fooling, military, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to On The Rails

  1. Tony Miles. says:

    I used to regularly thumb it up the A38 and A46 and back for a weekend at home with the girlfriend, starting back to Plymouth from Coventry at midnight on Sunday to get back for Monday at 0800. Mum used to throw a fit when I walked out the house at midnight just 17 years old. Those were the days.

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