Grace McCulloch

Dear sir/madam,

I am writing this letter to you from my grandmother’s bedside, where she is dying. I was not able to see her before she lost consciousness, due to the actions of one of your employees.

Having been summoned from Hull at 9am on the 8th August, 2012, to see my grandmother before she passed away, I had made it down to Clapham Junction by about 4pm. I therefore needed to catch the 4:12pm train to Winchester. I saw on the announcement boards that the last five cars were for Winchester. However, when the train pulled up, I was somewhat confused as to why the last five car doors were all shut (and the little lights on the open/close buttons were off) and everyone wishing to get on the train was hurrying up to the first half. Not wanting to get sent to Weymouth (because of the urgency of my situation), I therefore asked the nearest employee which bit of the train to get on. This man was about average height, relatively overweight, with short, perhaps sandy, hair. He appears to have been the driver of the last five cars, and was standing outside one of the carriages.

Upon asking this man, “Is this part the bit for Winchester?”, he glanced at me briefly, muttered, “yeh”, and then turned away. Seriously confused as to why no-one appeared to be getting on or off to go to any of the five places this half of the train was supposed to be going to, I said again, “this bit?”, and then gesticulated at the rear part of the train. The man made a quiet monosyllable that in hindsight was presumably some version of “yes”, and then got into the train. He then made a series of actions that, to my non-train driver eye, might have been to split the train apart at this station, why might explain why the doors to the back of the train were closed. But while I was standing there, obviously puzzled (I might as well have had a question mark dangling over my head), and equally obviously wishing to go to Winchester (I was wearing two rucksacks and looking travel-worn),  the man started the engine up, and proceeded to blank me and drive the train away. [click to continue…]

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