I stayed at the Adelphi…….



That Friday Morning had brought devastating news. News that affected a whole generation and many more, including my father who was immeasurably down cast although he did not weep. On Thursday, 4th April 1968  Dr Martin Luther King, about whom we had yet to learn a great deal , had been assassinated by James Earl Ray whilst standing on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. On the balcony with him was Jesse Jackson.

I was due to travel to Liverpool for a conference of the national Union of Students as a representative of our student body. I had planned to hitch hike all the way from Burnham Market  in North Norfolk  to Liverpool over night and so I set out on my journey. My first lift was with the parents of a friend who lived in the nearby town of Wells next the sea. They dropped me of at Hunstanton from where I was taken to the far side of King’s Lynn by a friendly lorry driver. Onto the A17 road and almost immediately I picked up a lift to Wavertree. Wavertree is on the out skirts of Liverpool.

We had a couple of stops on the way for tea and supper, paid for by my kind chauffeur.  In those days the word student ha d not become a really dirty word. We reached Wavertree, or thereabouts when  I was told that my lift would drive me to the centre of the city to the Salvation Army Hostel.  I was duly deposited outside said Hostel at just midnight, more than six hours earlier than my calculations had predicted. Unfortunately the hostel doors were literally slammed in my face with the words , “We’re closing.”

I made my way to the centre of Liverpool. In those days Liverpool City Centre at midnight was very quiet it seemed. I found myself out side The Adelphi Hotel.  I sat down , propping myself against a pillar and prepared to spend the night.

A few minutes later I felt a tap on my shoulder and ….the night porter invited me into the hotel.  I pointed out that I couldn’t afford the cost.

No problem, I was ushered into the hotel , my rucksack taken as security, and was told to settle down on one of the couches and get some sleep.

At 6-30 the next morning I was woken,along with a few others, with a cup of tea and a fried egg sandwich.

I made my way up to the university and registered washed up and eventually went to the first session. I have not got over my disgust that no mention was made, no acknowledgement whatsoever of the death of Dr King during the course of conference. Conference presided over by one Jack Straw as I recall.


Well, should you wish to read about other random acts of kindness then feel free to read the writings of those listed below. Just click away;

You know that was the best fried egg sandwich I have ever tasted. And in such opulent surroundings too:

The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool. The Lounge



:Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Noor, Padmini, Ramana, Rohit, The Silver Fox Whispers, The Student Diaries, Will ,Nema, Paul , Plain Joe and Grannymar .


6 Responses to “I stayed at the Adelphi…….”

  1. padmum Says:

    “I have not got over my disgust that no mention was made, no acknowledgement whatsoever of the death of Dr King during the course of conference. Conference presided over by one Jack Straw as I recall”……In the UK news about the Royal Family or Football players and WAGS or TV serial stars occupy enough of the print media that any news across the ocean would be addressed only a a couple of days later!

    Anyway, a big WOW for remembering this random act of kindness by The Adelphi porter!!

  2. magpie11 Says:

    1968 was supposedly such an important year and Civil -rights such an important topic for we students that one would have expected that perhaps a minute’s silence be observed on the death (in such a way) of such an icon.After all we had lost John F Kennedy had we not? And only two months on, all but to the day, were to lose another hero in Bobby Kennedy.

    I could hardly forget that act of kindness…compared with the rigidity of the Salvation Army….

  3. Grannymar Says:

    I have been away from home and living it up, so commenting is a tad late….

    That is one great story. I have great respect for the drivers of those large lorries, they have always been courteous to me whether I was behind the wheel or on foot. I envy their skill at taking those long monsters through narrow villages and around tight corners.

  4. blackwatertown Says:

    Good story. Speaks of a time when people were not afraid to exercise autonomy in decision making – rather than worry about bureacratic restrictions – for instance rules against picking up hitchhikers or letting them doss down overnight in posh hotels.
    Interesting observation too about MLK Jr.

  5. magpie11 Says:

    A time too, when we were more willing to trust…. it was the invitation that struck me.
    The whole juxtaposition of events made it all stick in my memory.
    Have to admit to always telling Salvation Army collectors to “Go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor” instead of asking others. Not that I begrudge the poor…..

  6. Marianna Says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

    Based upon what I just read here, I think I need to add an addendum to today’s post: – http://changeofheartstresssolutions.blogspot.com/2011/10/i-hear-and-see-you.html

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