April 1961

In which I continue my studies at Reading University and visit the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

Tuesday 4 April

According to this month's edition of Trains Illustrated the first two of the Schools class 4-4-0s have been withdrawn.  These famous engines were built in the thirties and were performing top link work in the south east and right up to modernization, a few years ago.  After the Kent Coast Electrification they were dispersed to other parts of the system particularly the Western section and Reading - the finishing off ground for a great many engines.

Friday 14 April
Went out for the day with Dave Wright on his scooter.  We left at 08.30 and went along the Dover Road (A20) right the way down to Hythe which is near Folkestone.  We then caught the 10.30 train from the station on the 1'3" gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.  The train, hauled by green pacific No. 2 "Northern Chief" took us to Dungeness.  It was very pleasant.  There were no clouds and the sun was quite hot.  This area is one vast shingle spit and consequently there is no soil - just pebbles.  It seems funny to see a back garden which looks like a beach.  We caught the 14.00 train back hauled by blue pacific No. 8 "Hurricane".  These engines are kept in very good condition and are perfect scale models, the only difference I found being that the regulator moves in a horizontal plane and not a vertical one.  Started back at 15.30 because Dave has a waiter's job in the evening.

Saturday 15 April
I was due to play for the 2nd Colts at Beckenham this afternoon but Jock Rawle came round to tell me that I was playing for the first Colts instead.  We played warlingham Colts at Warlingham.  I was given a lift over there from Grove Park station.  It was a scrappy game and I was very tired because this was my first game for at least six weeks.  They scored first but we scored with teh result that by half time the score was 3-3.  we did some hard pressing but with about 5 minutes to go they scored a converted try which meant we were 8-3 down.  we fought back and scored a try right in the corner.  The kick seemed impossible from so far out, it could only have been two feet from the touch line but it went over and we drew.  

Friday 21 April
I can't forget a nightmare I had the night before last.  I was one of a gang of pirates in a rowing boat.  We had a captive who was lying at the bottom of the boat.  He was very thin, in fact it was more of a skeleton with a very tight covering of skin.  He had a very angular jaw (it seemed like a live skeleton).  He was weatherbeaten, unshaven and very dirty.  He realized that we were going to kill him and pleaded with us not to.  His pleadings gradually became more animated and full of terror (it is very difficult to describe it) until, at the height of his pleadings the knife came down and after a few twitches of his body, he lay still.  After that I woke up.  I don't know what it means but I know that it wasn't me who killed him.  I never had this dream again and had forgotten about it.

Thursday 27 April
I left home at 1245 catching the 1.19 train to Waterloo.  Caught the 2.24 train to Reading South which arrived on time in spite of several signal delays.  Caught a bus to Reading West station and arrived at my new digs in Connaught Road just after 4.00.

Saturday 29 April
Went down to Reading General around 10.15 this morning and stayed until about 12.45.  It was quite interesting as there were several excursions which seemed to be full of loco spotters.  These excursions caused several trains to be late.  Another unusual occurrence was the arrival in platform nine of a King 4-6-0 No. 6002. 

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