The Housey Special

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Kit Bartlett
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The Housey Special

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:58 am

How many memories are there of travelling to and from the school by train?
The Housey Special between CH and Victoria ran for many years from 1902 . In my day for some reason it was always routed via Dorking and Sutton on the way up and returned via East Croydon and Three Bridges. Does anyone know when it was discontinued, it presumably being uneconomic to hire with the increase in private car ownership by parents? There was a song "On the Housey Special" always performed on the last night of term by G.W. Pink, Preparatory "A" Housemaster, and probably composed by him.It was sung to the tune of "Riding down to Bangor".
The only parts that I can still recall were " Then we come to Sutton where some boys get out" and the last words of which were "speeding into Victoria, holidays again"
There was also the train to Guildford which was patronised largely by the contingents from Reading and Newbury as it was much cheaper to travel this way than via Central London.
These trains ran fairly slowly and I remember one Middleton B boy getting out of the carriage door and walking along the running board to get into the next compartment whilst the train was chugging along. This was of course highly illegal and extremely dangerous.
Smoking I seem to remember was pretty rife on the trains in those days.
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Re: The Housey Special

Post by sejintenej » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:12 pm

Coming from the southwest I rode both the Guildford and Victoria trains which were Boring.

I can't remember how I got from Guildford to Reading (for the GWR train) and the service stopped sometime around 1955 when I would have been 12. After that, trying to get from Victoria to Paddington alone - I was simply told to use an Underground train - was a nightmare for someone whose only nearby city had about 2000 inhabitants.

Going to Victoria added several hours to an existing 10 hour journey - and that was before Bl****y Beeching closed the South Brent line adding yet a further 2 hours.

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J.R.
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Re: The Housey Special

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:41 pm

Chris:

I have moved this thread to this forum. Probably fits better here.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:42 pm

I didn't use the Housey Special, but caught a train from Dorking to Horsham, then changed.

I did use the Guildford Puffer to get home to Farnham at the end of my first term before moving to Dorking.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:48 pm

Although passenger services between Horsham and Guildford ceased in July 1965 it is still
possible to travel by direct train between Guildford and Reading.
I remember that the Housey special always left at an early hour , about 7.30 a.m. on the last day of term. I do not recall that any masters ever travelled on the train.
Chris Bartlett

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:40 pm

Kit Bartlett wrote:Although passenger services between Horsham and Guildford ceased in July 1965 it is still
possible to travel by direct train between Guildford and Reading.
I remember that the Housey special always left at an early hour , about 7.30 a.m. on the last day of term. I do not recall that any masters ever travelled on the train.
Chris Bartlett

Comes right through my home town, and passes at the bottom of eldest daughters garden.

It is also a very scenic ride, especially between Redhill and Guildford.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by LongGone » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:05 pm

As I lived in Brighton, I was always going the other way. The train was the Sharpenhurst Flyer, an old steam train that stopped at every station and halt along the way. Once I had a bike, it was far quicker to cycle home than take the train
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Re: The Housey Special

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:43 pm

Ho Ho you Horsham Old Blues! Those of us from Hertford had to catch routine, scheduled train services from Hertford East into Liverpool Street Station (and the reverse when we went back to school)(*).

Little darlings that we were, we used to erupt in horrendous coughing fits at all station stops whenever any normal member of the travelling public tried to enter a carriage which was already full of CH girls as the train progressed through its journey from Hertford to London - and when the train went under the arches outside Liverpool Street we all stood to sing Auld Lang Syne. Happy memories, and I actually have photographs to evidence them!

(*) on the reverse journey, from Liverpool Street Station to Herford East, I have weepy memories of saying goodbye to my mum at Liverpool Street, and happy memories of seeing my old school friends again as a new term commenced. However, the whole fallacy of these feelings hit home to me big time when, shortly after leaving school, I took the same train journey to go back to Hertford for an Old Girls' Day and found the train full of Hertford OB's, most of whom were not known to me. For the first time in my life I felt a complete outsider....
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Re: The Housey Special

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:53 pm

And for those who don't know (mostly Horsham Old Blues, I guess) - there speaks someone who went on to Chair the Old Girls' Association, until its demise into the CH Club, shortly before the advent of the CHA, now CHOBA.
I will never forget the loneliness of that train journey from Liverpool Street to Hertford, after I had left school, albeit in the company of one friend but finding lots of fellow OBs on the train and not knowing many of them. Despite my own reticence this does not say much for the ethos of the 'Old Blue family', on which I later placed great emphasis many years afterwards when the question arose of the merging of the Hertford and Horsham schools, and of the two separate Old Blue communities.
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Re: The Housey Special

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:03 am

Kit Bartlett wrote:Although passenger services between Horsham and Guildford ceased in July 1965 it is still
possible to travel by direct train between Guildford and Reading.
I remember that the Housey special always left at an early hour , about 7.30 a.m. on the last day of term. I do not recall that any masters ever travelled on the train.
Chris Bartlett
Yes ! I always travelled on the "Special" to and from CH.
Breakfast was ALWAYS hard boiled eggs, and experienced Station Staff, would move indoors as the "Special" approached.
The unfortunate "New" incumbents, soon learned why --------- ! :oops:

We were always threatened with dire action, if the egg-throwing continued --- but,as quoted above -- no masters were on the train !--- :lol: :lol:


PS -- I am not sure where to announce this --- but I am divested of my "Little B***er"--- the size of an orange ! and 2 hrs surgery) and am now back to annoy you, until a check in 2 weeks and, also 3 months.

TBA has been professioinal , with the surgeons and nurses---and also as sympathertic as possible with a cowardly Patient !!

You might want to move this news, JR, (Celebrations --- Relief ---General Regret ?? )

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:27 am

NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote:
Kit Bartlett wrote:Although passenger services between Horsham and Guildford ceased in July 1965 it is still
possible to travel by direct train between Guildford and Reading.
I remember that the Housey special always left at an early hour , about 7.30 a.m. on the last day of term. I do not recall that any masters ever travelled on the train.
Chris Bartlett
Yes ! I always travelled on the "Special" to and from CH.
Breakfast was ALWAYS hard boiled eggs, and experienced Station Staff, would move indoors as the "Special" approached.
The unfortunate "New" incumbents, soon learned why --------- ! :oops:

We were always threatened with dire action, if the egg-throwing continued --- but,as quoted above -- no masters were on the train !--- :lol: :lol:


PS -- I am not sure where to announce this --- but I am divested of my "Little B***er"--- the size of an orange ! and 2 hrs surgery) and am now back to annoy you, until a check in 2 weeks and, also 3 months.

TBA has been professioinal , with the surgeons and nurses---and also as sympathertic as possible with a cowardly Patient !!

You might want to move this news, JR, (Celebrations --- Relief ---General Regret ?? )

There is an archive report somewhere deep in the bowels of the Dorking Advertiser of an egg-attack at Dorking North Station, as the Housey-Flier passed through.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:25 am

Am I right in thinking that following the incident at Dorking North station when an egg was thrown through the Station Master's office window that the school changed the menu on the last morning
to corned beef? I believe that this happened c. 1952 /53.
Chris Bartlett

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J.R.
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Re: The Housey Special

Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:29 am

Kit Bartlett wrote:Am I right in thinking that following the incident at Dorking North station when an egg was thrown through the Station Master's office window that the school changed the menu on the last morning
to corned beef? I believe that this happened c. 1952 /53.
Chris Bartlett

Not sure, Chris. I know it occured before my time at CH, but I can remember my Grand-Parents saying it caused quite a stir in Leafy Dorking at the time.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:51 pm

I am not sure if a previous email got through about the incident at Dorking |North.
I have researched The Dorking Advertiser from 1948 to 1952 inclusive at the Colindale Newspaper
Library for the end of term dates December, March/April and July with no success. The paper cannot help as they do not keep back numbers or an index at their office.
Any further suggestions anybody?
Chris Bartlett.

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Re: The Housey Special

Post by postwarblue » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:57 am

I used to use the Guildford line, with two others, they for Haslemere, I for Liss. Cranleigh was on the same line. Strange carriages from the distant past sometimes put in an appearance including one with a compartment with a private lavatory. Perhaps the Guildford line was their last gasp before they became chicken houses or whatever.
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