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Not that this picture is. It's the right main line station (Waterloo Station), though, even if the year and time are far in the future from this particular memory.

I've been playing a lot of Led Zeppelin recently. A band that is quite deeply woven into my youth even though they were never a real favorite. At the time, early nineteen seventies, they were so popular that it was impossible to escape them and they still possessed a certain mystique that was about to get washed away by the punk revolution.

That led me, in the way that so often happens these days, to idly look them up in Wikipedia. There I found this entry. I was at one of those Earl's Court concerts. I forgotten that it was 1975. I'd forgotten the playlist. I have a fairly clear memory of the band on stage, but the stage was a long way away. Not much intimacy in Earl's Court. I do remember red headed Eppy was one of friends I was with that evening.

What I remember most of all, though, was spending three hours in the early morning at Waterloo Station waiting for the earliest train back to Guildford, the milk train.

At that time, the station was mostly deserted. There were two groups of people. One was us, a scattered gathering of music fans who had missed our connections to the south. The other was a collection of drunks who may not have been aware that they missed their connections (if they had one at all) or even if they were in the right station.

Of the two groups, the drunks looked much happier. I was almost deaf and so were my companions, so we had to bellow at each other to be heard. As we were also horse from yelling at the stage, this made communication rather painful.

So mostly we just sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Once or twice a drunk would wander up to us hoping for a cash infusion but went away empty handed. We were pretty much empty handed ourselves.

Finally, at about 4 a.m., a whistle blew and a gate opened. We stumbled very sleepily onto the train. I don't remember how I got home after that but evidently I did it.

It left me with an impression of Waterloo Station that is perhaps the clearest memory I have of that place. I can picture the rather dirty concrete floor and the wooden seats, the old clocks and the unintelligible loudspeaker announcements. The old style notice boards, all replaced by electronics now. Everything is spruced up, in fact, it's hard to see the old station in the new. Fortunately – for I have a fond memory of that strange night – the old remains in my mind.

(The photo dates from 2006. One I snapped on our way home from Northumberland and paid little attention to afterwards. But it fits this particularly post. This is one reason I keep most of old photos. What may seem unremarkable at one time can take on value at another.)

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