Here was the plan.
Get a train from Edinburgh to Hamilton.
Play in and win the Hamilton Allegro.
I arranged to along with Michael Chisholm
and planned the route in great detail.
Catch the 8:13 from Waverly at platform 11,
change at Motherwell,arrive in Hamilton at 9:30.
Turn up at the venue, play and win with 6/6.
I purchased the tickets for £6.80
Sharp eyed surfers will observe that these
tickets have not been clipped. They are unused.
Unknown to us, some unfortunate chap on the 8:05 Edinburgh
to Kings X via Newcastle (leaving from platform 11)
had a heart attack and the train was held up.
We go to platform 11.
It is now 8:11
We see a train on platform 11.
We merrily board the train.
The train slowly pulls away.
We hear a voice...
"Good Morning Ladies and Gentleman we are sorry about
the slight delay. This is the 8:05 calling at Newcastle...."
We were on the wrong train.
By then the train had built enough speed to
rule out James Bond type leaps and pulling the
communication chord was a £100 no no.
The Ticket collector takes pity on us and writes an
excuse note on an Edinburgh to London time table.
It said 'passengers boarded in error at Edinburgh
Please pass back to Edinburgh.'
We had been relegated to luggage.
Here is a picture of a couple Saps in Newcastle.
The time is 9:45. we are not in Motherwell.
Michael went to the toilet and I saw some Northern Ireland
football fans in the Station. I decided that the England v
N. Ireland game was being played in Newcastle so off I went
in search of programme.
A souvenir of my day trip to Newcastle.
I've often gone down to Newcastle to see some Premier football
and I know on match days you can buy a programme anywhere.
In a news agent close to the station I asked an Asian
lad shop keeper for a programme for today's match.
He looked at me blankly.
Obviously some kind of a language problem.
I make the shape of a ball with my hands.
"Football, England v Ireland, a programme"
He replied in a warm broad Geordie accent.
"Better go to Manchester - they are playing at Old Trafford."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"I'm positive. Are you awright mon?" he sounded quite concerned.
I explained I was meant to be playing Chess
in Hamilton but I got on the wrong train.
"I'm not surprised." he said.
I bade my new friend farewell.
Back at the station I found my fellow traveler.
We called Tournament controller, Michael Hanley who
appeared to find the whole episode extremely funny.
He agreed to give us a 2 round bye as
long as we make the 3rd round by 12:30.
A quick piece of maths. I can score 5/6 by
winning my remaining 4 games. And why not.
I'll be completely fresh, my future opponents
will have played two games already.
Catch the 10:10 to Edinburgh then get another
train to Motherwell. Change there for Hamilton.
Here are two saps travelling back to Edinburgh.
Note Mr. Chisholm is starting at me - He blamed me.
He said nothing like this had happened to him before.
I replied this was just a normal day in the life for me.
I recalled in the 80's taking a team of Edinburgh players
to play Heriot Watt. It was a home game, Edinburgh
play their homes games at Alva St. (a 0-6 default).
I recalled going to Glasgow to play in the 1980 Glasgow Allegro.
One week early.
I did not share these recollections with Michael, I did
not want him to think he was travelling with a 'Jonah.'
Then the train stopped! (Jonah strikes again)
Apparently the goods train in front of us had broken down.
Twenty minutes later we got moving but we were in a queue
behind a local train that stopped at every stop.
We never went more than 20 miles per hour.
Then just outside Edinburgh there was a points failure.
(the Jonah hat trick)
We pulled into Edinburgh at 12:30. Too late to play.
We contacted Michael Hanley who was helpless with laughter.
Next week I am playing in the Edinburgh Congress.
Fortunately I live right next to the playing venue.