Train, train, not comin’ round the bend….

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February 1, 2016 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column Littlehampton Gazette 28th January 2016

DELIGHTED to note that our local MPs are up in arms about the local rail service. For those of us who rarely use it other than for quick late morning ride to Brighton, Pompey or Chichester it all seems to run quite smoothly but not so if you are a commuter. My son recently gained an internship with a prestigious London PR company and was not deterred by the prospect of the daily train journey. Up at 5.30 rain or shine and out on the early train and back home on the 6.20 from London with a single change both ways it seemed a doddle. Not the sweet ride it seems though. He rarely gets home before 9.30 and several times much later. On occasion he has been delayed up to two hours on the outward journey and the return trip is even worse. I have picked him up late into the evening from Ford, Barnham or even Worthing due to delays and breakdowns and, to add to his misery, he only ever gets a seat part way home. It is not a cheap ride and there is something very rotten within the service itself which needs to be quickly addressed. Littlehampton is deserving of a first class rail service, and our MPs are trying hard but I doubt that even they have much sway where Southern Rail is concerned.

YOU never know who your neighbours really are. My neighbour has a 72 year old brother, a quiet, charming, friendly unassuming chap with a firm handshake and ready smile. I meet him often but have only just now learned that he was, some months ago, awarded the Ebola Medal for his work with Ebola patients in Liberia. This quiet man and his team helped see the crisis through and saved many lives, I tip my new fedora to you, Nic Street.

WENT along to a friend’s house one rainy evening last week to share some fine company, a bite, a glass of wine, a chat and an attentive listen to a recording of Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood. What an enjoyable and perfectly civilised evening spent in a suburban house in a little street in one small island town in a world battered and shattered by misery, starvation, brutality, corruption and mayhem.

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