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go back to the last page you were on "It is not what you think, Conductor!"

Len Denham

This happened fifty years ago almost to the day. I hope you enjoy the tale, its absolutely true.

At the time I was head over heels in love with a girl I will call M. We worked for the same company located just outside the City of London. She lived in Loughton in Essex, almost at the end of the Central Line and I lived at Cricklewood, reached via the Underground station at Golders Green not far from the northern end of the Northern Line. A bit awkward getting home sometimes. No car or motorcycle so it was the tube and bus or a very long walk!

This particular Thursday evening we had tickets for a dance at the Liverpool Victoria ballroom in central London. The orchestra was first class and the floor superb. We enjoyed a really good evening dancing together to one number after another. It was too good to last. Suddenly in the middle of a quickstep M said, "My knickers are coming down!"

Well what was a chap to do? Her knickers descended to her ankles, she stepped out of them and I swooped down and put them into my trouser pocket in one movement. I swear that nobody on that crowded dance floor had the slightest idea that she had lost them! We carried on dancing and, all too quickly, the end of the evening came.

Off on the tube to Loughton, a quick good night, back on the train, change at the Bank to the Northern Line and thence to Golders Green. It was now quite cold and well after midnight and I was resigned to walking to Cricklewood when along came the last trolleybus. I hopped on board, went upstairs and found a seat. Surprisingly the bus was quite full. Along came the conductor calling for fares and I plunged my hand into my pocket feeling around for a tanner (sixpence). Realising that I was never going to succeed I stood up, removed my handkerchief and transferred it to my left hand which was holding the vertical rail whilst I raked around for that elusive coin.

The passengers erupted in laughter and I realised that the handkerchief that I was displaying in full view was in fact M's knickers! The conductor made some witty comment and refused the fare on the grounds of my entertainment value and I burned from my neck to the roots of my hair until the reprieve of reaching my stop.

Strangely enough I heard from M about a year ago. It was the first correspondence between us for forty-seven years. Probably what reminded me of that evening.

Written by Len Denham