6.30 a.m. It snowed again in the night! Ah,well, downstairs for a good cuppa from
the teapot on the range, a bowl of steaming hot porridge, a rasher with one egg and
fried bread, then it’s wellingtons and greatcoat on, shovel away the snow-drift on
the outside of the front door, and off to work.
Careful not to slip on day-upon-day of compacted snow and ice as I trudge to the
station - too early yet for folk to be out clearing the pavement outside their houses
after last night’s downfall. There’s Arthur from Wadley Dairy, delivering the milk
by dragging it on a sled over the snow -‘Morning Arthur’.
When it was deep and crisp and even, by Keith Tjaden
Commuting after the War
Up the rise to Fillebrook Road, cross over to old Alice at her news-stand at bottom
of Gainsborough Bridge, ‘Morning Alice, Daily Sketch please – thanks’. ’Hurry up
son you’ll miss your train’. Up and over the bridge with a quick look over the parapet
to the signal arm, round the corner into Lemna Road past the open site where some
fourteen lovely old Victorian houses were laid waste by a German V2 rocket in the
last throes of the war. On past Kirkdale Road Infants School (from where I was evacuated
in 1939), past the battery factory, the Rialto Cinema, the coal offices, and, after
stamping the snow off my boots, up into the station booking hall.
Across the wooden floor to the ticket office, ‘Workman’s return to Liverpool Street
please –thank you’. On to the platform just in time as the 7:10 from Ongar steams
slowly into the station – carriages capped in snow.
Good, got a window seat, slam the door and settle down to read the paper. Aha, Gamages
are advertising ex.WD field telephones and ex.AM liquid compasses. Not much heating
in the carriage today. Leyton, Stratford, Stepney, Bethnal Green and at last, slowly
down the gradient into Liverpool Street. Two red-caps at the barrier this morning!