In amongst all the following of the sporting fortunes lately, variously of England, Great Britain and a selection of other countries with which I have built up an association through the decades of my existence, I of course have been extremely interested in tracking down the origins of the particularly female tennis players from the Czech Republic, since they are sort of ‘sporting Girls Of The Golden East’.
Certainly the most startling revelation I have made is that the tennis-playing twins, Karolína and Kristýna Plíšková were born in the town of Louny, which was the eventual destination of the train I took between Kralupy nad Vltavou and Slaný, as reported on at this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post from March 2017 taking a look back at that trip in January of that year, since which time all of Karel Gott, Jana Kocianová, Věra Špinarová and Libuše Šafránková, seen in those books, magazines and records, have sadly passed away, in the last of those cases still under a month ago as I write, just two days after reaching her 68th Birthday on 7th June.
By chance, Louny is connected to another building on what could be a ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Tour – the Mozarteum, which is a building where a recording studio was located at the height of the ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Era – via a railway workers’ housing estate in Louny, which was the first garden city to be built in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, designed by the architect behind the Mozarteum, Jan Kotěra.
It’s strange that events in 1973 are very much in evidence at that previous ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post, since the Class 809 Diesel Unit that plies the Kralupy nad Vltavou – Louny route was first constructed in that year. So, when I talked of young fans making their way to see their idols on stage in Slaný, they could have travelled on what was then a Class M 152. The very unit on which I travelled – the 809 502 – 8 – can be seen at this page (fourth one down).
If ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers would like to get a feel for the Kralupy nad Vltavou – Louny route (No. 110) there is a YouTube video from Království železnic (The Railway Kingdom), based in my Facebook Friend, Aleš Korábek’s home town of Žďár nad Sázavou, of a Diesel unit going in the opposite direction from Louny as far as Zlonice.
I assure you all that a Class 809 is considerably noisier than this in the passengers’ compartment, but that’s part of the charm!