1957 was a good year for me! I had a model railway around my room. I had the East Coast main railway line a 5 minute bike ride away. I had friends Richard and Pat, and I was often invited to accompany Pat on day trips to the coast, or to other places simply to train spot.
I could bike to both Peterborough stations and, if I didn’t have any money to get onto a station, there were places nearby where I could see the trains. I was eventually allowed to borrow Dad’s camera and so, on one occasion, I parked myself under Crescent Bridge (immediately south of North Station) and waited for something really good to come along! It didn’t take long!
With driving wheels well over 6ft in diameter, one can probably imagine the visual impact on a 10 year old lad!
Life at school was “okay” (note lack of enthusiasm). I really had no problem with it other than I had to go there when I would rather be going to Walton Crossing! School was however starting to become a serious issue with Mum and Dad (more so Dad). Apparently I would be having an 11+ examination soon and I was clearly expected to pass!
(This was my favourite sweater. It was knitted by Mum and was maroon and grey. I was now a monitor at school and therefore proudly displayed my “Monitor” badge.)
Valerie had passed her 11+ exam earlier and now went to a girls Grammar School. She even got a really nice new bike just for passing. A Raleigh New Yorker with straight handle bars!
Dad, in his usual tactful manner, made it quite clear to me that I had to pass that exam and, if I did, I would also get a new bike. I could pick out whatever bike I wanted, but I had to pass that 11+ examination!