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The yardmaster came into the spares room at Barking and said to me "Are you the 6'o clock spare guard?" and I replied in the affimative. "Well there's one coming on the westbound and the guard wants a dirt" (physical need relief). "So take him off go up the road and back" I pick up my bag go upstairs and down to the westbound. As I do so a train is just running in. It is a COP stock. It stops and I say to the guard "I'm your relief" he say's ok and picks his gear up, I give him a key and off he goes. The starter is off so I close the doors and give the bell and away we go.

Now being about 7 a.m. the busy is well under way and we get a full train by the time Plaistow is reached. At Whitechapel, Masie, the stationwoman is on the platform and seeing me and knowing me says "What are you doing on there?" So I says "Working gel" "Oh very funny, bugger off" I close the doors and give the bell and we do just that.

Down at Aldgate East the Starter is red (it was on the headwall then, why did they move it onto the deck?) and we wait for a minute. Without taking much notice I hear the points go over and the staff holler "Right guard" I close doors "ding" and we're off. I close my guards door and resume reading my book (I know but we all did it then between stops. You get fed up with the same scenery through the window) We go along and then I feel the train braking and open my guards door as we run into the station and to my astonishment find we are at Liverpool Street!! "'Ere what are we doing here?" says I over the train phone. "We're supposed to be here" comes the reply. I dash to the back of the train and what do I see.... "189". I'm on a Met train! Go back to the gangway and call the driver to meet me halfway which he does. He recognises me as he is a Barking Met driver. "When did you transfer to the Met" He asks. I didn't say I and explain what transpired at Barking. "Do you want to tip out" he asks and I tell him no as I know the road unofficially. So we tell the station staff that I am on a "wrong 'un" and to inform the controller but the train will stay in service. So we go back to our respective positions and the journey re-commences. The delay had been about 5 minutes.

At Baker Street there was a guard on the platform who tells me he is relieving me and I am to go upstairs and see the D.I. So I find my way to the holy of holies and tap on the door. "Come in" in a deep and sonorous voice sounds through the woodwork. "Ah you're Mister **** I take it" "Yes guvnor" "Well tell me what happened" So I regale him with the happenings of the morning. When I'd finished he asked me "Well did you not see it was a Hammersmith train"? "No chief it was a CP and the guard was on the back gangway as normal so I just took him off and got on it" "And what did he say" "OK". "Is that all"? "Yes Guvnor" "Now why didn't you take the train out of service"? "Well I know the road unofficially by travelling as a passenger. I couldn't just go off and leave the train so what was the point"? He looked at me as if I was some sort of phenomenon and said "OK son go back to Barking"

So I go back down the eastbound platform and lo & behold what comes in but 189 with the same guard on the back. "How'd you get on" he asks me. "I dunno yet" says me.He tells me, "I gotta take this to Barking and stable it and come back on the cushions which is a bit of a **** as I've gotta meet my missus at 11 o'clock". At this end of the train was a CO stock car with the guards buttons in the drivers cab. "Well you show me what's where and I'll take it back" I volunteered. "You sure"? "Well I brought it here so I can take it back too" "Alright but if there's any come backs it's down to you" "Fair enough" So off he gets and we depart. I manage to take it to Barking sidings without further bother.

The original guard it seems was the Barking Met early spare so was expecting to be relieved. But my having taken his train meant there were no spare District guards left at Barking to take off the chap that needed the dirt. That meant his train had to stand in the platform for 10 minutes while he had his poop. However that particular guard was well known for taking dirt reliefs to get out of work as he also owned 5 shops in the Ilford/Barking area and everybody was highly delighted he did not get away with it that time. I never heard another word about the incident. So you see men it's not only drivers that go astray.

P.S I never, ever read anything on duty again except when spare.
 
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