BLOG, September 2020

A TRAIN TRIP AROUND THE UK DAIRY, 1990

(Edited and adapted, January 2019 & September 2020)

Part Five: Days 9-10 (Glasgow to Cardiff, via Oxton)

Period August-September 1990

Sketch, Cardiff
Day 9 THURSDAY06/09/1990GLASGOW – OXTON (WIRRAL)

Glasgow to Carlisle: went to plan, what plans I actually had for the day.  I just managed to catch a train destined for Birmingham.

Carlisle: bit of a flying visit to withdraw some more cash.  Looking back, not sure why I didn’t do this in Glasgow.  They thought I was foreign in the bank (probably because of my Southern accent), so was sent to the foreign exchange cashier.  Bit embarrassing, as I managed to jump a very long queue.

Carlisle to Oxton via Liverpool: My plan was to take a diversion to Windermere, which needed a change of trains at Carlisle.  Got on what I thought was the right train.  However, when it drew up to Lancaster the next town in the opposite direction I realised I was on the wrong train – not for the first time in my life!  I stayed on and conveniently ended up at Liverpool Lime Street Station.  My plan was to stay that night in my newly acquired bedsit in Oxton on the Wirral, which meant a further train over the water (River Mersey) and a bus to the house.  That’s a story for another blog as to how I ended up living on the Wirral.  I had to wait three quarters of an hour at Birkenhead Hamilton Square bus station, as people were telling me all different buses to catch.

Oxton bedsit pm: desperately needed some light relief so to speak, given there wasn’t any privacy in the hostels.  Given that it was out of term-time, I wasn’t expecting anyone else to be in the house.  However, I soon heard two female voices.  I quickly decided to get some milk for a coffee, as I guessed these people must have the electrics on in their flat/bedsit.  Two very friendly women from Yorkshire, studying at Liverpool Polytechnic (now John Moore’s University), were staying in the top floor flat.  I was on the ground floor of the house.  I spent the evening chatting with them about our respective courses and some more deep stuff.  In at the deep end I guess, strange that this person could talk to me instead of her boyfriend as I later discovered.  I went down to the chippy and got a Chicken Chow Mein for my tea, which wasn’t much to write home about.

Day 10FRIDAY07/09/1990OXTON – CARDIFF

Oxton bedsit am: overslept as my alarm didn’t go off.  Had a coffee with one of the women upstairs before setting off on my travels again.

Oxton to Cardiff via Liverpool and Crewe: No incidents to report.

Cardiff: I found a TSB and cashed another cheque (without any language issues).  I had a look around the city centre and took a few photographs, but I couldn’t find any art galleries.  There were some interesting arcades, different from the norm.  On the whole, I felt there was not a lot to this city.  However, like Newcastle there has been much regeneration since this visit.

Some fellow tried to rip me off £2 for a book (not sure what about), surprisingly for me at that time I got away without paying anything.

The bus to the hostel was straight in front of the train station.  However, you needed the correct change and the bus driver drove off before I could get some.  Fortunately, I didn’t have long to wait for another bus and I found the hostel easily enough.

Cardiff Youth Hostel pm: generally ok, except the television didn’t want to work.  I phoned my grandparents who lived in a small village outside of Bath (my next destination), whom I planned to stay with the following night (another ‘freebie’).  My Grandpa told me there were no buses from their village into Bath on Sunday it was a case of re-planning the rest of my trip.

I spilt my pot noodle all over the hostel kitchen walls, radiator and floor, so I was going hungry for that night.  Oh well, I’ll get filled up with some nice wholesome vegetarian meals for the next two days.

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