Directly on my left was an elderly gentleman. He was dress rather like a cleric but without the collar. He gave me quite a sour look when I entered the carriage.
After the meal was served we were given hot towels. They were exceptionally hot. Both the elderly gentleman and I were caught out by this, both dropping our towels as soon as we had received them. I noticed this and gave my travelling companion a friendly, knowing smile. This prompted a conversation.
He told me that he had been warned that it was not always a good idea to re-visit the past. He was travelling back from London, having been to see the house that his farther bought in 1928, when he was ten. From the outside the house was in good repair and the street hadn't changed much either. His farther purchased the house when he returned from the Great War, moving his wife and 2 sons from a small flat where they had lived. The gentleman had also visited the flat, which was still standing but had changed considerably. He reminisced about playing in the alley in front of the flat and how he enjoyed the park that was near the new house.
He met and courted his wife in that park, marrying her in 1941. I asked if the warnings had been true which, to my great surprise, made him tearful. It appears his wife died suddenly, just before Christmas, of a stroke.
He left the train at Crewe, I hope his trip laid to rest his ghosts and calmed his sorrows.