Continuing my loft turnout, I came across a little treasure trove of my late mother’s. It’s difficult to know what to throw away, but it’s important to be a little realistic. Telegrams (a historic oddity in themselves) addressed to the King’s Head East Dereham, on the occasion of my parents wedding reception in 1949 had to go. The King’s Head is still there, but I suspect few of the guests are still around.
Then I came across this delightful find, tucked into an envelope. Two seat reservation tickets, to reserve seats from Norwich to London, on the day of the wedding. Note the massive fee of 1 shilling, or 5p in new money. These were issued by British Railways….
Then, a day later, onward tickets from Victoria, still issued by the Southern Railway. Nationalisation hadn’t quite got to Victoria yet, or more likely, who wanted to waste them in the post-war shortages in the UK….
And my Dad must have really splashed out – there are two Pullman car tickets – and for the even greater fee of 3 shillings, 15p, each. Note the request on the Pullman tickets for the passenger to ‘destroy the ticket at the end of the journey. This obviously didn’t happen and they were kept as a souvenir.
I can’t remember my parents honeymoon destination. Was it Brighton, on the all-Pullman Brighton Belle? It was unlikely to be the Golden Arrow to Dover, as my father had just returned from Europe with no desire to invade it again. And starting from Victoria cuts out the Bournemouth and Devon Belles, that came from Waterloo. Unfortunately the Pullman ticket is illegible – from Victoria can be made out, but not the destination.
The short-lived Thanet Belle to Margate is an option. But perhaps the Southern Electric Group provide the answer. The 6-PUL EMU’s included a single Pullman car and….
The 6 PUL units continued to carry out the task for which they were designed for the for over 30 years, operating hourly services from London to Brighton and West Worthing and, as the electrified network expanded, to Eastbourne/Ore and to Littlehampton via Worthing. A 6 PUL was often paired with a 6 Pan unit in order to provide a Pullman car on as many trains as possible without wasteful duplication; “PUL/PAN” was something of a standard formation for the heavier loading trains.
I think the answer is a train to Eastbourne. I can remember the last of these units running out of Victoria and London Bridge in the 1960’s – they were a good spot at the time. I didn’t imagine that these venerable and delightful units, designed by Maunsell, also carried my parents off on their honeymoon.