About fifteen miles away from us lies Waddesdon Manor, a mansion styled on a classic French chateau and built by the Rothschild family towards the end of the 19th century. At this time of year, its many visitors are particularly attracted to its display of Christmas decorations. Carol and Marlene were no exception; Thursday looked like being a dry day that might brighten up so they planned a visit along with Carol’s mother. The only remaining question was, would Keith choose to accompany them or find some alternative diversion keeping me company?
Linslade is not famous for much but Bridego bridge, just outside town, is the site of the notorious Great Train Robbery of 1963. A mail train was stopped over the bridge at Ledburn junction and relieved of a cool £2.5 million (which must be worth about £50 million by today’s standards). Close by in Ledburn itself is the Hare and Hounds pub which displays memorabilia in the form of framed newspaper cuttings reporting the dastardly event. at the time of the robbery, I seem to recall that the villains came to be regarded as something approaching folklore heroes, sort of latter day Robin Hoods, by the populace even though a guard was seriously injured in the attack. “There’s now’t so strange as folk”, as they say. Anyway, given Keith’s interest in railways, I tried tempting him into lunch at the pub to take in some of the local history.
It probably comes as no surprise that Keith eventually settled on the pub option. So, while the ladies went to soak up the atmosphere and Christmas decorations at Waddesdon Manor, Keith and I did a brief local tour around the lanes to see Bridego bridge followed by soaking up a pint and ham sandwich at the Hare and Hounds in Ledburn. It’s true: men are from Mars and women are from Venus.