Medloc Books

- for further information on where to obtain these publications please contact christopher.elliott@club-internet.fr

Ferry Boat de Nuit - Night Ferry 1936 – 1980
Show me the way to go Home Medloc Mediterranean Lines of Communication
Elliott's Bishop's Storford And Beyond
Les Lignes Disparues de l’Hérault
The lost railway lines of l’Héraul
 

Show me the way to go Home Medloc Mediterranean Lines of Communication

Elliott's Bishop's Storford And Beyond

Show me the way to go Home
Medloc Mediterranean Lines of Communication

Author Chris Elliott first came into contact with Medloc when he was appointed a junior Non Commissioned Officer instructor at the Royal Engineers Movement Control School in the late 1950s.Movements, as the military travel organisers are called, were and are responsible for all transport movements for the three services Army, Navy and the Royal Air Force and especially Medloc

The story of just how this mass movement took place soon disappeared into history until the early 1990s when the 50th anniversaries of the end of the war in 1945 were planned.Chris plus a group of friends set about planning a re-run of an anniversary train over the route from Toulon to Dieppe.  The train never saw the light of day but a large number of encouraging letters from former travellers resulted in the publication of the first book.

‘Show me the Way to Go Home – The Story of Medloc 1945 – 1955’,
written jointly by Chris Elliott and Maggie Hurst

A very small number of this Medloc story books are still available.

Elliott's Bishop's Storford And Beyond

In between writing the train histories, Chris and his brother Maurice set about writing a social history of Bishop’s Stortford and their family company Elliotts.  The book “Elliotts Bishop’s Stortford and Beyond” is ‘A this is your life tale’ of how Father Jock Elliott, a refugee from Sunderland, travelled south with his football boots to seek his fortune.  His fortune turned out to be one of the UK's most successful building and property companies plus the managers job at the Bishop’s Stortford Football club.  Jock Elliott led the team to win the last Football Amateur Cup and the Herts Senior Cup in one season.  The books tells the tale of Newspaper Editor and TV personality Derek Jameson who was evacuated to the Elliott family during The Blitz and spent his most formative years before joining Reuters his first step on then ladder to becoming Fleet Street's most successful editor. Published in 0ctober 2004 it answers many of the questions as to how life was in a small Hertfordshire town just after the war and into the 1980s

Ferry Boat de Nuit - Night Ferry 1936 – 1980

Les Lignes Disparues de l’Hérault
The lost railway lines of l’Héraul

Ferry Boat de Nuit - Night Ferry 1936 – 1980

In 2009 Chris joined the team of enthusiasts restoring two of the former ciwl (Compagnie des Wagons-Lits) carriages based in the UK. CIWL operated The Orient Express, the Blue Train, The Golden Arrow, The Night Ferry, many prestigious trains and most of Western Europe’s sleeping, restaurant and pullman carriages for over 100 years.

Before and after Chris’s military service he worked for F & W Ingham and spent many weekends travelling to and from Calais to Bale and Austria, often working in these ciwl restaurant cars.

The next anniversary to appear was the 75th anniversary of the start of the first and only cross channel all sleeping car train, the Night Ferry.  This was the only train to cross the Channel on specially built train ferries.  The passengers slept to and from Paris and Brussels and London.  The resulting book ‘Ferry Boat de Nuit - Night Ferry 1936 – 1980 bi-lingual in English and French was launched in Dover and Dunkirk late in 2011.

 

Les Lignes Disparues de l’Hérault – The lost railway lines of l’Hérault

The next social history to be published in 2008 was a return to railways when Chris’s second railway book featuring the lost railway lines in the South of France around Montpellier and Béziers. This book Les Lignes Disparues de l’Hérault – The lost railway lines of l’Hérault with parallel texts in English and French, fills a gap in the history and the impact of the railway in and around Montpellier and Béziers in the late 1980s.

About the Author - early days

Chris Elliott having won a scholarship to Bishop’s Stortford College, learning to speak German and taught French by the Literary decorated master Walter Strachan decided in those far back days of full employment that he would not try for university but head towards the travel industry.

He wrote to the Austrian Alpine club, was interviewed by Major Walter Ingham the MD of the Austrian Ski specialist Inghams Travel, and started work in their West End (Bond Street) office on the 4th January 1954.  The job, apart from making the tea, acting as messenger also included almost any task that the ticket office demanded.
He soon issued tickets and reservations for many of Western Europe’s railways,  and one not very exciting and stressful job was to telephone Ostend to book couchettes on the Ostend to Vienna Express. No-one else wanted the job as they did not speak French, surprising when almost everyone in Ostend speaks Flemish.  Chris then organised and travelled on the Douglas DC3 charter flight to and from Innsbruck and Salzburg taking off from London  (Croydon) airport.  Soon it was back down to ground and the job of assistant rail courier on the winter sports specials.

The chief courier, invariably an Austrian medical student, needed an English and French speaking lad to do the errands on the train, from ringing the restaurant car bell announcing dinner to re-laying tables.  That soon developed into being adopted by the ciwl crew and working and then sleeping in hammocks when the restaurant car was taken off the train in eastern France

This exciting job soon ground to halt when National Service called, no surprise it was into  the Royal Engineers; basic training, and then a transfer to the Longmoor Military Railway and a few weeks wait for a Movement Control Course, promotion and the job of an instructor soon followed.

After two years in the REs, it was a short stay in the Metropolitan Police, another two years at Inghams before being summoned by father Jock to take on the manager’s job of a florist shop next door to the Cecil Rhodes birthplace in Bishop’s Stortford.  This lasted until the shop, its greenhouses and land was converted into residential housing, Chris then went to work for the family building company.

As is often the case it was every job, from driving vans, roof laying then a move to the office to becoming an accountant. 

Posts as Financial director, managing director and the chairman followed. This part of the story is well recorded in the 'Elliotts Bishop’s Stortford and Beyond' book.