"There is no sweeter sight than a train steaming along the tracks of one's youth; no more haunting vision of things that was and might have been.
Do you remember the steam trains of old before progress changed them beyond all recognition?
Every journey travelled was a wild adventure for the unrestrained and imaginative mind; especially inside those train carriages without an aisle outside their door. Getting trapped inside a carriage with a stranger of shallow smile and wanting face and knowing that he might be a killer, rapist or escaped lunatic was enough to scare the living daylights out of you. Or perhaps he might be no more than a lonely and shy creature clutching his coat collar and wanting a friend to engage in conversation with or a friendly person to pass the time of day with during the journey. Either way, such was an experience not to be invited by the meek and mild traveller of the fairer sex.
Throughout your journey to the next station; the next place when your carriage door could be safely opened and you could beat a hasty retreat if necessary, your hand was always at-the-ready and would stay ever close to the emergency-stop cord above your head, just in case he made a sudden move in your direction. Then, as he gently opened his coat to extract something from his inside pocket, you relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief. Seeing the starched clerical collar of a vicar around his neck, you moved your hand away from the emergency chord as you attempted to smile back non-chalantly.
The following actions of the other person made it apparent that the male passenger inside the train carriage with you wasn't a usual vicar. He approached you with eyes of hungry lust and after wrapping you in his arms, he kissed you fulsomely and passionately. At first, you said nothing and did nothing to resist his advancements. His senuous touch moved your passions to a height of wild abandonment. Then as you enjoyed the embrace, you spoke your first words since boarding the train an hour earlier:
'That's enough of your silly games now, Horace. No more hanky panky, we're almost home. Now smarten yourself up before I introduce you to mother. And take that vicar's collar from around your neck and put it in the case with my naughty nun's outfit. Whatever will my mother think of us both if she spots lipstick all over your collar and we, only having met beneath Blackpool Pier yesterday afternoon?'
Ah, the trains of one's past. Those were the days when the carriages were so full of steam and the tunnels seemed to never end!" William Forde : January 16th, 2014.