For amateur historians and trivia collectors everywhere

Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Friday, October 07, 2005

From 'Atlantic Meeting', By H.V. Morton, 1943. Winston Churchill is on his way north by train during WWII -

At Leicester we stopped for a new engine. It was not yet black-out time, and the windows were uncurtained. A shunting engine was stationary on rails opposite the Prime Minister's saloon. The driver of the engine was an old man with grey hair who wore a cap flattened by age and grease and oil, and he was leaning from his cab to exchange some pleasantry with a friend on the line. Happening to lift his head, he became aware that he was separated by not more than six yards from an apparition that bore every resemblance to Winston Churchill. Although the brains of engine drivers move with considerable rapidity, it took him a second or two to become convinced that the vision was a reality, during which time his mouth opened and a startled smile, which turned to one of great pleasure, crossed his blackened face. Lifting the oily cap from his head, he leaned out and shouted, "Good old Winston!" And the Prime Minister, lifting his cigar an inch or so from his mouth, gave one of his most roguish smiles. Then the train moved on.
"Leicester!" commented Mr. Churchill. "I once fought an election there, but they didn't want me."


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