Part One – The World Cup
Our last big trip had been to the London Olympics in 1944. To say they were are a success would be an understatement, and when I say everyone was there, I mean everyone.
The games were opened by our King – Edward the 8th and sitting close by was the German Emperor, Adolf Hitler. Prime Minister Chamberlain sat next to the King.
At the end of the Games, the British Empire team was only three medals behind the Empire of the German People.
It was now possible to travel to Paris, Berlin and Rome by the latest flight technology, called jet aircraft. Father in his wisdom decided however, that we would travel to the United States of America to see the 1946 Football World Cup. This was being held in New York City. Father informed me that the Americans called the sport, ‘soccer’. Something my little brother picked on and he decided to shout ‘soccer’ at every chance he could.
My brother, mother, father and myself travelled to the Solent International Airport just off the coast of Southampton. It was my first time travelling by diesel train – although, I have to be honest and say I missed the smell and warmth of the steam engine.
We flew on the very latest aircraft, the Britannia Angelwing. Inside there was enough space for 700 souls. There were three restaurants, a cinema and a small dance hall.
The first leg of the trip was from London to Iceland. This took eight hours and in that time, my brother and I watched several Marx Brothers movies in the King Edward cinema hall and which left our parents free to walk around the ‘plane.
We spent the night in Iceland and all of us took an opportunity to swim in the Blue Lagoon. I must say we really enjoyed this break.
The following morning we continued on our flight to the Idlewild Citadel Airport just on the edge of New York City. This part of the journey took a further ten hours, but we all managed to freshen up in the small swimming pool on the upper deck.
My father had reserved a cab which took us into a hotel just on the edge of Central Park. The views were spectacular, and after a small brunch we all took a walk through the park.
I couldn’t wait to see the match the following day. It was the British Empire team captained by Stanley Mathews against the USA. The match was being played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and the B.E. team was the favourites.
At least that was the plan. The problem was that the game was cancelled because of security problems. The newsman said it would be rescheduled to a later date and may actually be played in Central Park, itself.
Apparently (and I’m not too clear on the details) some of the southern states of the US are wanting to succeed from North. They are attempting to leave due to the movement in the North to outlaw slavery. The South believes it was their right to continue using slaves.
One of the Confederate Freedom States had planted a bomb near Yankee Stadium. It had exploded but no one had been hurt. These terrorists are known as Radicalized ‘Feds.
So that is the situation at the moment. I will write more tomorrow and let you know how things are.
bobby stevenson 1946