After returning to Southport after my brief stint in Leicester Mum and Dad decided to treat me to a trip to London. I don’t remember that much but here are some stories that I do recall.
As usual we travelled to London on the train. A taxi to Southport train station then a journey on the somewhat grim local train to the underground Liverpool Central. We then wandered across the city centre to Liverpool Lime Street and climbed on the Intercity train to London Euston. I must have done that trip at least twenty or thirty times in my early years.
We stayed at the Thistle Victoria, as it was named back then, just a short walk from Buckingham Palace. We dropped off our bags and went straight to the Lyceum Theater to see ‘The Lion King’. It was an amazing production, vivid colours, great music and the costumes were like nothing I’d seen before. As we’d rushed to get there we were a bit hungry when it had finished and that’s where my recollections come from.
When we escaped from the theatre we started to look for somewhere to eat and drink. We found what appeared to be the only bar open and went inside. I asked for a pint of Stella and Mum and Dad got a bottle of wine. I needed the toilet so off I went, I remember it was downstairs so it was quite a long walk.
I returned to the table to find the bottle of wine empty and my pint of Stella sat waiting for me. I perched on a stool and it was only then that I realised Mum and Dad were actually quite tipsy, they both had glassy eyes and huge smiles on their faces. My Mum was 4’11 and Dad’s 6’1 so I’m pretty sure Mum was worse but I couldn’t believe they’d drunk it so quickly. We’d not eaten so as the saying goes it had gone straight to their heads. It was quite funny really, I don’t remember if we had another drink or even if we ate, I’m sure we must have some bar food though.
We got the underground back to the hotel and I can remember Mum being very tired and quite merry. It was funny seeing my parents like this as I’d really only ever seen them drink at home. Unfortunately I don’t remember much else from the trip but I’m pretty sure it involved the National Gallery, possibly the Wallace Collection and also a trip to the cinema in Leicester Square.
Thinking about it a bit more I’m sure we visited the State rooms at Buckingham Palace. It’s difficult though as we went to London so many times. I wish I could remember more but I’m afraid it’s gone.