Not so Great Western

That was a bit odd.

This evening I was required to be in Newport (South Wales), ready for the Hospital Radio conference that starts here tomorrow. By coincidence, today I’d arranged to be working in our South Wales office, a convenient two stops up the line. So my luvvly employers had bought me a train ticket, complete with seat reservation. My seat was coach A, seat 27 – that’s not just waffle, there’s a reason I’m telling you that.

The train pulled into Southampton, and predictably coach A was at the front. I climbed aboard, found seat 27 (which didn’t have a ”reserved” sign, but that’s life) and sat down: Plugged in my MP3 player and started listening to the music rounds that Rockin’ Rob had prepared for me for tomorrow night’s quiz.

And by the way, not really relevant to today’s story, but I’d like to record here publicly that Rob is not only a multi-talented genius with electronic music editing, he’s also a really nice helpful guy who’s given up about thirty hours of his life to put this stuff together for us. He’ll get his reward in Heaven – and may even get a pint out of me the next time I see him in licensed premises.

Anyway, back to the story, and all was well until the ticket-collecting person came round and told me I was in the wrong half of the train. Apparently this train divides at Bristol, and the half I was in was going to somewhere like Little-Snoring-on-the-Mudd, so I had to move myself, my laptop bag and my heavy suitcase down to the back of the train.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a bit odd that Great Western trains have a coach A in the front half, and another at the back. And yes, seat 27 in the proper coach A did have a reserved sign.

(Late addition – note to those coming to conference tomorrow. Don’t expect to eat too quickly. 2½ hours from arrival to finishing dessert – and that’s with the restaurant almost empty.)

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