Letter of the week All aboard!
MATTHEW DENNISON’S article ‘Pulling the stops out’ (August 10) brought back a nostalgic wartime memory. Early in the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm commissioned 784 Squadron at RAF Drem in East Lothian to train night-fighter crews to embark in small aircraft carriers protecting Atlantic and Russian convoys. Although Drem was little more than a hamlet, it had a small railway station on the main LNER Edinburgh to King’s Cross line.
When we were given a few days’ leave, it was attractive to spend it in London. We discovered that Drem station enjoyed a useful privilege whereby, if we telephoned Waverley station in Edinburgh on the morning before the night express train to London we wished to catch, a whole compartment could be reserved and the train would stop opposite the small platform at Drem to pick up six of us. We paid our fares to the stationmaster, who had a key to unlock the reserved compartment when the train drew up. People standing in the corridors did not look pleased.
The story we were told is that the laird, through whose land the line had to be constructed, gave his permission on the understanding that a station be built for use by his family whenever they wished to catch the night train to London. James Abraham, Norfolk