In October 1982 I went off to university at Hull to study politics.
For almost the whole time at Hull I immersed myself in new hobbies and pursuits. Some of them, like yoga and ballroom dancing, I took up and dropped almost immediately. Others, like the game of squash and student politics, I pursued with more vigour.
There was a bit of studying done as well.
During the 1983 summer vacation I put together a group of eight people, made up of new friends from university and old friends from school, and we hired a canal barge at Nuneaton.
We took a week to complete the Staffordshire Ring passing through Birmingham and Coventry on the way.
We worked together as a team to negotiate the locks and tunnels and carefully guide the boat around the waterway system.
We cooked for ourselves and ate on board, but every night we would moor the boat next to a pub and retire there for an evening of drinking and chat.
It was a magnificent trip and I still consider it one of the best holidays I have ever had.
There was a railway society at Hull but I didn’t join it. I am not sure why not. I think I wanted a clean break.
As I now had a car, a purple mini, I wasn’t even travelling by train either.
For the first two years of university my only real experience of the railway was meeting my girlfriend at Hull Paragon Station.