Monday 15 August 2011

A Foretaste

When I arrived at the station yesterday to take my train to Boxhill & Westhumble, I saw notices around the place about a cycle race that was taking place. The railway was expecting a surge in passenger numbers and was therefore laying on extra carriages and barring travellers from taking their bikes by rail. Expecting to have to fight my way on to the train, I was rather surprised to find that, when it drew in, it was all but empty. However, things were even stranger at the other end. At Boxhill & Westhumble (one of the prettiest stations in Surrey), just three of us stepped down from the train - to find the place swarming with jerkin-clad officials of one kind and another. Some were railway employees, some were 'race stewards', half a dozen or so were police (you never know when it's going to kick off in Westhumble). In all, they must have numbered at least two dozen, and none of them had anything to do. Indeed, the whole area was, if anything, even quieter than it would normally be on a reasonably clement Sunday morning. Meanwhile, however, across much of London and Surrey, chaos reigned. This is what it will be like during next year's Olympics - only far, far worse, and for weeks on end. Call it off now! It's not too late...


  1. Your blog is an absolute treasure trove of new things for me, Mr Nigeness. Not being a southerner, I knew nothing of the lovely name of Westhumble. Almost as good as our Whatstandwell in these Amber Valley parts.

  2. Oh gosh, are you in the Amber Valley? I know it well - once stayed at Whatstandwell... My cousin's not far up the road, in Wirksworth.

  3. I am not in the AV itself but in a more urban area just down the road. The advantage of my city is that it is very easy to get out of: only 15 minutes or so to the Amber or Dove Valleys and you're in heaven. I have the best of both worlds - city disorder on Tuesday night, country hike on Wednesday morning.