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More Stories - The Way We Were

Aboard the Queen Elizabeth
By Hilda Graham 

<<<...Previous  This was not to be Steven's day.  It was the special night when they held the Captains dinner.  All the place settings at each table had a glass of wine there, as we were getting into our seats and did not pay too much attention, and before we realized it, Steven had drank all of his!  He must have been thirsty!!  We were concerned, but he seemed okay and believe me, it did not interfere with his meal. 

We were still eating when Steve decided he had to leave and attend the rest room.  He was fine, but about the time he got up one of the stewards was walking down the aisle carrying a tray and Steven accidentally hit his arm bringing down the tray.  Out on the floor fell a sugar bowl of sugar cubes, cream etc.  Before the mess was cleaned up a lot of the passengers were ready to leave and of course, crushed the cubes as they were walking down the aisle.  I have often wondered if they got all that sugar out of the carpet?  By the way, Steven suffered no ill effects after drinking the wine, he was very relaxed!

The next day we were due to land in England.  We were sad the voyage was almost over but excited at the thought of seeing family and friends. The day passed fine; we watched them load the baggage when we reached Southampton.  It was loaded by conveyer belt onto the train which was going to London; it was a special train just for the passengers aboard ship.  We noted our luggage was loaded.  We had tied special material on the handles so they would be easy to find.  Sheila was informed that she had a phone call.  It was her father and he told her he was going to meet us in Southampton and would then take my family to where my Father and brother were to meet me at the train station and we could collect the luggage from there (I forgot to mention Sheila was from London). 

Now those of you who have read the story from the beginning probably wondered how we managed to get so many people and luggage all the way from Texas to New York!!  Believe me, that was easy compared to us in Southampton trying to load all of us into Sheila's father's car.  It is a good thing the luggage was on the boat train.  Somehow we all managed to squeeze in.  Now I am not being disrespectful when I say that Sheila's father was not the best driver in the world and I believe we were all pushing the brake pedal on the way to London, even the young ones.  Remember we were not used to driving on the left, especially the youngsters. What an experience!

But we survived and met my father and brother Michael in London.  Oh, I am not through yet - now here comes another experience.  My father and brother, who had parked their car near the rail station in London  when we all went together to pick up the luggage... guess who's luggage was missing?  If you guessed mine you were right.  They could not find it anywhere.  Now as I had stated earlier we had all seen that luggage on the conveyer belt and it was put on the train.  They searched everywhere; of course it was very busy as all the passengers from the boat train were looking for their luggage and most finding it - but not mine. The station master suggested that if we could wait until things calmed down then they could really search for it.

Sheila's father suggested that we would go to his home for tea.  We followed Sheila's family in Michael's car as they lived about 15 miles from the station.  This was another harrowing experience, trying to follow a person who was used to driving in London.  He gave us many a scare but we did finally arrive there safely, thank goodness.

After we had tea we called the rail station and they suggested that we go on to Corby where my family lived, and they would send my luggage on to there or compensate me for it.  After we had tea we drove on to Corby where my mother and some close friends were anxiously awaiting us to arrive.  By now it was very late in the day.  What a joyous reunion!  Meanwhile my father called the rail station to tell them about my luggage.  Sheila, her father and a next door neighbor who was a policeman drove back to the rail station in London and the policeman got permission to go down where all luggage from the boat train was and they managed to find my luggage and had them send it on to Corby.  I received my luggage in the afternoon next day.  They sent it out to me by taxi from the Corby station with their apologies.  What a relief this was.   ...More >>>

Copyright 2005 Hilda Graham

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