After the long train journey from Euston, we were being met by Grandad. The long platform was crowded with people all making their way with their luggage to the ticket barrier. I couldn’t remember Grandad and recall being puzzled about how easily Mummy and Grandad recognised each other from all the people on the busy platform. He was a bent old man with piercing blue eyes and a hooked nose. He took our luggage from Mummy and led the way along the platform and out of Piccadilly station to a Manchester street, while she followed with me.
Looking back, and having compared notes with my mother, it seems likely that this event took place in the mid-nineteen-fifties a few months before my sister was born. I was about two years old at the time. Nothing else about the journey made a lasting impression on my memory. I can’t remember how we travelled from Manchester to a village beyond Rochdale, or (on arrival in their house) greeting my Grandma, whose failing sight led her to withdraw from an active life. All that remains is the picture of the meeting between my mother and her father and following his wiry frame clothed (as usual) in grey trousers with braces.