The LMS had celebrated the Centenary of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in some style in 1930, bUt once Sir Josiah Stamp and his regiment of bean counters at the Executive Research Office were firmly in control, significant centenaries like that of the London & Birmingham and Caledonian Railways were marked in a more muted fashion, the main expenditure being on attractive booklets. That for the Caledonian had a particularly striking cover featuring the Caledonian crest (actually the Royal Arms of Scotland, with the company name added) superimposed on a vertical Saltire. With nationalization looming, and a shotgun marriage to the Scottish constituents of the LNER, as “British Railways Scottish Region” the celebratory luncheon probably had some of the characteristics of a wake. In the depths of the Labour Government’s post-war “Austerity” programme , with food rationing still in force, the meager menu offered only three courses, with no choices, and a main course of “chicken with two veg” albeit dressed up in menu French. The LMS hotels, particularly those in Scotland, used to have the reputation of maintaining superb wine cellars. One hopes there was the compensation that this was still the case in 1947!
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