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Re: Lydd international


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Posted by Peter Ceresole on June 27, 2016 at 11:19:56 user PeterC.

In Reply to: Re: Lydd international posted by Alan Hakim on June 23, 2016 at 02:04:36:

the one I was talking about was called the Silver Arrow

Yes! Now you mention it, it all comes flooding back. I never used it, because by that time I reckon I had the Mini, and that was what I used. Of course it was named after the Golden Arrow, which was the previous luxury link to Paris.
My cross channel life started in (I think) 1945, after VE Day and before VJ Day. My uncle, Dr Marcel Junod (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Junod) was being posted to Manchuria to inspect Japanese POW camps there, and asked to see us before he went, as it was potentially a dodgy job. He'd previously represented the Red Cross in Abyssinia, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War in Europe, during which we'd see him when he commuted (more or less) between Berlin and London via Lisbon, and now Japan. He got us a special visa. We travelled on the packet "Canterbury" via Newhaven Dieppe because Calais harbour was totally smashed up and unusable. The channel had paths swept clear of mines, although sailors were posted as lookouts for random floaters. My sister and I were 3 and 5 years old, and travelled overnight in the ship's infirmary, which was wonderfully comfortable. Going via Victoria in the evening, I vividly remember the row of engines getting up steam, calm evening, smoke rising straight up... The morning was gorgeous, bright sunshine, blue water and flat calm. I'd never been on a ship before. At Dieppe, the stevedores handling the gangplanks were calling out "Regardez les petits Anglais!" I was told that we were the first civilian children to cross the channel after the war. The train journey to Paris was very slow (some of the track seemed to have been laid directly on the side of the streets; all the bridges were down, spans lying N-wise in the river and the train crossed on military box girder bridges just nearby) You can imagine how wildly exciting it was for a little boy. We stayed with my aunt in Paris, which compared with London at the time was incredibly lively, Jeeps with military police in white helmets rattling across the cobbles, everything smelt of sewage and black tobacco.
From Paris to Geneva, we continued by Swissair DC3, to chocolate! Chocolate! CHOCOLATE!
No subsequent trip was remotely as extraordinary. And I'm sorry if this is off topic, or I've posted the story before; it's just such a key memory and I really hope you'll forgive me. I'm an old codger now...



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