Part Forty Three 

A train journey of mine you may like to read about happened one morning when I left home at my usual time of 6:15 a.m. heading for the 6:43 a.m. train from Fleet to Waterloo. The weather was reasonably warm, with a slight wind which accompanied the early morning bird song as I headed off for another day at the office. Because of the wind blowing and knowing my wide brimmed hat had a tendency to leave my head I pulled it down tighter on my head as I pedalled faster to keep my rendezvous with the 6:43 a.m. train at the station. Unfortunately with hat and head down I restricted my vision ahead and before I knew what was happening there was a loud sound of metal hitting metal as my trusty steed crashed into the back of a parked car in the road outside someone’s house. 

I just didn’t see it in time. My bike hit the offside light cluster and broke the glass and bulbs of a Red MG Sports car. The bike went one way; I went another whilst the briefcase and hat sought sanctuary somewhere else amidst this scattered heap in the middle of the road. I remember there was a milk delivery van passing by and the driver only gave me a ‘fleeting’ (sic) glance. I imagined he was thinking ‘What’s this idiot doing at this time (6:18 a.m.)     

 The final insult was to find that because of my fall onto the road I had sustained a cut to my trousers just below the knee which in turn caused a wound to my leg which was now bleeding. I also broke a tooth when I hit the deck which wasn’t exactly a laugh. 

 After picking myself up and making a note of the house number I, in the true spirit of the Royal Air Force, picked up my bike and reassembled the briefcase and hat to their original places. So, with briefcase back on the rack behind the saddle and hat jammed more firmly on my head  I remounted the somewhat embarrassed Green Flash and peddled ‘very’ slowly back home having decided I was in no fit state to continue my hazardous journey to the station.  

 As I opened my front door, Kathy appeared at the top of the stairs surprised as to my sudden reappearance back home. When I told her I had run into the back of a car around the corner and in doing so had cut my trousers and leg, which was still bleeding.  We both had to laugh a bit at the stupidity of the situation.  Chris and Martin who were just getting ready for school also enjoyed Dad’s little accident!  

 As I was still a little shaken after all this excitement I decided I couldn’t face going to work now. I went back to bed and slept for about a half an hour to aid recovery. 

After a good rest I got up and dressed which included a change of trousers, mine being cut too much.  

Feeling guilty about the damage I’d done I walked back around the corner to the scene of the crime. As I approached the scene I saw a man standing by the damaged MG Sports car.  After ascertaining that he was the owner of the car I immediately owned up to being the person who had hit his pride and joy. He was most surprised to learn that it was a bicycle which had caused the damage. His surprise was due to the fact that because he had found a small piece of Green paint on the road near his car then it must have been a green car which had caused the damage. He had spent some time walking up and down the road looking for such a car and seeking the owner of the said vehicle with no result.  I assured him that the green paint was from my bike and not someone’s car.   

 After more apologies from me I told him to get the damage fixed and I would pay for it.  He accepted my apologies and later that day came round to my house to tell me that he had replaced the damaged light cluster on his car. He said he was grateful for my honesty and wanted to repay it. He did this by not going to a shop and paying full price for a new light cluster unit but instead he visited a local car breakers yard and found a second hand cluster unit which did the job perfectly well and of course at a much cheaper price. So it all ended up amicably. 

 I’m pleased to say the Green Flash, minus a small piece of green paint, survived the crash and went on for another 24 years flashing its way to and from Fleet station avoiding all vehicles, especially MG Sport cars. It was finally retired when its owner hung up his cycle clips on which there was no sign of green paint, in January 1989. 


--End of Part Forty Three --

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