|Charmain loved old clothes. Forties was her favourite period. The dark grey belted coat was just the thing to finish off her outfit. And the price was right. "I'll wear it, thanks."
It was a cold day for November but the coat did its job. The only part feeling the cold was her hands. She plunged them into the large pockets. "What's this?" She pulled out an aged envelope. The post mark was dated November 3rd 1940. Charmain carefully pulled out the letter, afraid it might crumble. Unfolding it, she saw it was addressed to 'Dearest Irene' and came from 'Your ever loving Fred'.
"Wow, a love letter." She read on. "Oooh, they were going to meet on Broadway Station." Charmain was a romantic at heart. Broadway wasn't that far from her home. "D'you know what, I'm gonna pay a visit. It will make a good day out. And it's November 3rd tomorrow."
The station was a definite throw back to the war. The red brick building with its canopy over the platform was of Victorian design. Charmain headed to the tea room. It was 2.30 and the letter said that Fred and Irene were to meet at three. "A cup of tea, please."
The lady behind the counter was dressed for the period, a frilly apron covering her skirt and blouse. Charmain looked around the room. The lower part of the walls was boarded and painted green. The upper part was painted cream. The tables and chairs were varnished brown, befitting the period.
Sipping her tea, Charmain regularly glanced at the large clock on the wall. As the hour hand hovered over the three she heard a train approach. She hurried outside to see the steam engine pull the old carriages into the station. Doors opened and passengers alighted, many in uniform.
"Irene!" Charmain turned to see a soldier approaching. He was in his early twenties with regulation short hair. "Your not Irene. Why are you wearing her coat?"
"Irene sent me. You're Fred I guess." Charmain wasn't sure what was going on but decided to play along with it.
"Her mother wouldn't let her come, would she?"
"That's right. Your letter said you're shipping out; I didn't want you to go not knowing." Just then they heard a plane engine.
Fred looked up. "It's Gerry." He pushed Charmain to the ground as bullets rained down. As the plane banked ready for another run the pair ran to the tea room. This was no re-enactment. Those bullets were very real. What was going on?
Fred was listening for something. "That's a bomber." He pulled Charmain behind and under the counter. As he held her tight the air was filled with a whistling sound. He covered her head as the room exploded.
Charmain blacked out. When she came to the tea room was exactly as it was when she first arrived. A man in a railway uniform helped her to sit up. A smart phone poked from his breast pocket. "What happened?"
"You met Fred. That's one attraction we tend not to advertise."