“When You Are Tired Of London, You are Tired Of Life” (1974 Version)


Images of London 1974

Wandering around my scanned slides, and knowing our own HogdayAfternoon is a Londoner, I thought he (& you) would get a kick out of some of these pictures. These photos were made in Dec 1974, just a few weeks before I was to be discharged.

And admittedly I saw only a tiny sliver of Britain, London, Greenwich (where all that Zulu stuff comes from 😉 ) – think I took a tour or 2 out in the country.

Only had a week so I really had to see things the tourist way.

Being a Spec/4 making the sum of $400/month I still managed to find a place to stay in London – someone’s home (is there a Victoria area of London HD?)

As I recall the house was a bit on the dirty side but huge breakfasts – a typical British breakfast bangers (sausage – bacon, etc) – then each day I decided what to see.

What I did see made me want to come back and see more – 39 years and counting 😉

One of the highlights was – like a trip to Manhattan in 2005 – I had to see a play on the west end. And looking back I happened to pick one of the memorable plays – by a memorable cast – in West End history.

Pygmalion, with Diana Rigg.

And being a lowly Spec/4 (that’s Corporal to the rest of the world) and being in jeans -not appropriate for the theater at the time – I managed to get Standing Room Only for 3 pounds.

If there is a quintessential British play on any short list would be G.B. Shaw’s (Britain and America are 2 countries separated by a common language) Pygmalion, about a professor’s bet that he could turn a poor London street girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a proper British lady speaking the Queen’s English.

Anyway, I hopped an Air Force C141 from Rhein-Main with a promise to the Sgt and CO that I would be pack in precisely 7 days.

There’s a funny story about how that turned out which I’ll tell in a later installment.

Anyway I’ll make this into 2-3 installments & try to only upload the pics that give you a sense of London – 39 years ago.

Hope you enjoy it.


…the train station by R.A.F. Mildenhall




On the way in, stopped at Cambridge..


Victoria Station, of course!















That is Diana to the left – sure my picture was against theater rules but I am sure the statute of limitations has arrived.

Or if not do you know a good barrister HD? Is Rumpole still around?

I’ll show some more tomorrow – will try to leave out the overtly tourist things and give you a flavor, er, flavour, of London nearly 40 years ago.

Wandering Around London 1974, Part 2

A Trip Down The Thames (same trip as all above)

Update – 04-26-18 – The Internet can be amazing. I will tell you while in London, and getting off a train at Victoria Station (?) I was absolutely memorized by this beautiful woman “hostess” that British Railroad used in the 70s. I can remember, 44 years later that she had honey-blond hair and the uniform was a dark red. Her cap was at a rakish angle. I was staring for awhile and trying not to be too obvious.

And, she had an engagement ring. (Most likely, not that it would have made any difference. Approaching a woman used to serving the public – I am sure that she had seen it all. Still…

Anyway, one of my Facebook Friends is a Londoner and he dug up this picture from the 70s…


Filed under Travel

5 responses to ““When You Are Tired Of London, You are Tired Of Life” (1974 Version)

  1. Buck

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Yer pics will prolly make me homesick, Bill. I was stationed in London from 1980 – ’83… not too far removed from ’74.

    • Bill Brandt

      Will post some more tonight Buck – what I found – when returning 20 years later – is that many of the things I remembered – were gone.

      The Army really allowed me to see things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise

  2. Bill, once again, if we’d known each other then…beer was so much cheaper! I lived about 300 yards from Victoria station, but these days I live 45 minutes from RAF Mildenhall!
    I was up there and at`em during this time, wandering those very streets in my blue uniform and big hat! What nostalgia! BTW the buildings are all a lot cleaner these days, thanks to a major programme of sandblasting – wish I’d bought shares in that company.

  3. Pingback: My Army Introduction To Germany | The Lexicans

  4. Pingback: Diana Rigg | The Lexicans

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