title above might look as if it stating the bleedin' obvious. If you go
to Cambridge by train, you expect to come back again. East Midland
trains wouldn't agree with you. They might think that you were being a
tad, well, presumptive. On Monday afternoon on Ely station, after a
really good day interviewing at Lucy Cavendish College, as my eyes
roamed over the colourful advert saying 'Improving our punctuality,
improving your experience of our service' I heard a voice say, 'We are
sorry to inform you that East Midland Train Services have cancelled the
5.38 to Nottingham.'
Just like that.
some time there was no alternative offered to the now cancelled train.
Just a kind of a silence, a kind of muffled snuffling and rustling came
from the tannoy. I looked around. no-one seemed to be panicking. perhaps
this happened all the time around here.
Not like this round Notts and Derby. We take our train trips seriously.
We expect to get back.
we were told that we could take the 8.44 to Birmingham instead. The
voice implied that it was optional. If we liked. We didn't have to.
Birmingham is nowhere near Nottingham.
no-one down here knows this, I thought. Maybe they think it is all one
big splodge of decaying industrialisation called 'oopnorth' beyond, say,
Leicester. And you can arrive home in anyone's house. They are all the
same and the people are interchangeable. 'Oh, I'll go home somewhere in
Birmingham tonight. Same stuff on telly. Same chips for tea. Same
demographic on street.'