Monday, 10 March 2014

Bristol U.K. - when a young man travels up to London ( and sees two magnificent buildings)

 I had been through London as a child   when my Mum took me by long distance coach from Bristol to visit relatives in her birth place of Lowestoft in Suffolk.

It's hard for me to remember my age at the time of that trip. It was certainly before 1958, the year  when the original 'bus/coach station was opened in Bristol. 

When we took that trip our coach (the U.K. name for long distance buses) left from Princes Street, before the 'bus/coach station was opened.

So maybe I was aged ten or eleven. For some reason or other (so far as I can remember), my twin sister was not on that trip, but I think that my brother Andrew (born 1950) was with us.

Memory is tricky.  I can only be certain that we began our coach trip on Princes Bristol, and that it took all of ten or twelve hours to travel the 240 miles between Bristol and Lowestoft, via London.

It's the London bit that I remember.  We left the Victoria 'bus station on the second leg of our trip to Lowestoft.  We were seated near a young married couple.

The man tried to interest me in the London landmarks as we drove near them.  I was a little shit and refused to show any interest in what he was pointing out.  After all I was from Bristol, and I had the provincial disdain of all things London.

I remember this so well because Mum gave me a "wigging" on account of my rudeness to my would-be tour guide.  She was right.

My next visit to London was in 1961  I had been interviewed by the branch manager of the Westminster  Bank  in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire  (one Donald Kirby) to join his staff.  He approved of me, but in those olden days I also had to be interviewed by some big-wig at the Bank Head Office in London.

I took myself by train from the Bristol Temple Meads station to Paddington station in London.

From there,  at aged 17,  I was determined to master the London Underground like a pro.  (No London resident should be allowed to judge me as a county rube!)

I navigated the "Tube" with great success and emerged at the "Bank" Station in the City of London.

There  (unlike my earlier trip through London) I was in awe.

In awe of the London businessmen with their rolled umbrellas and bowler hats.  In awe of the Bank of England building -  "The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street".  In awe of the magnificent Head Office of the Westminster Bank at 41, Lothbury.

And I got the job!

London Businessmen 1960's 

London Businessman with rolled umbrella (and Ford Anglia car)

The Old Lady of Threadneedle St.

41 Lothbury.

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