Part of the Nottingham Lad’s True Tales of Woe Series
I’d applied for a job as a British Railways Goods Van Guard, and somehow got through the initial interview, possibly with my Dad’s guidance as he worked for them as a good delivery driver and had done for donkey’s years starting as a horse and dray goods delivery driver. He later moving to the articulated goods delivery Lorries.
But I always wanted to be a Goods Train Guard and nothing else really.
So excited I was sent to Derby Train Station to have my medical carried out there.
I arrived at the Station, locked my push-bike to a lamppost, found the Medical office easily enough, entered, showed them my appointment letter, and sat waiting to be called in to see the Doctor for my examination.
As I waited nervously, but with no fear that I would fail the examination at all, I glanced around seeing the notice on the wall telling us which Doctors were on duty that day…. they were Dr William Stroker, and Doctor Robin Banks.
I hoped for the crook as a preference.
When the examination was about half way through the two hours they said it would take, I was placed in a darkened little room, with a stool, and a desk with a monitor and two push buttons on it. I was told that they would close the curtain, and each time a double beep emitted, I was to press the left button, and when a red light appeared on the screen, I was to press the right button!
It seemed simple enough to me.
He closed the curtains, and I sat in the darkness waiting for the red light to show up, or the double beep to sound… and waited… and waited… I jumped as the curtain swished open, and a perplexed looking doctor said; “Shall we try that again?”
I’d had no idea up until then that I needed spectacles, was colour blind, and required two hearing aids, or that I had a hernia!
I failed the medical for the job, and got a puncture on the way home.
I was shattered.
I often wonder how life might have been different if I’d got that job…