Saturday, October 18, 2008

John’s journey to Romford

On Tuesday, I had just finished my day at a Primary, and my Area manager came and met me and told me that they wanted me to transfer to Romford sooner rather than later and so, I had to hastily organise a train trip to Romford, Essex. However, Romford is by no means a sleepy little village it is for all intents and purposes part of Greater London.

So, I went to Staples a big stationery chain store ad bought a cardboard box into which I would pack my non-clothing possessions. I also booked a train ticket using the Internet. I was pleased that I managed to get a ticket to Romford for just £15.

On Thursday, the day of the trip, I ordered a taxi to pick me up at 12:30 pm. I loaded into the taxi, a cardboard box, a suitcase and my laptop bag that contained important documents etc.

I arrived at Great Yarmouth Station in good time for the 13:17 to Norwich.

At this juncture, I need to explain how my journey was supposed to have worked! As you can guess – it didn’t pan out as expected.

Depart Great Yarmouth 13:17 arrive Norwich 13:50
Depart Norwich 14:00 arrive Shenfield 15:29
Depart Shenfield 15:34 arrive Romford 15:48

So I loaded my big box and my suitcase on the train at Great Yarmouth and we proceeded to Norwich and arrived at the scheduled 13:50 I get off the train and unload said box and suitcase fully expecting to grab a handy trolley and proceed to next train – how naïve I was. I couldn’t find a trolley and I am no superman to carry to pieces of luggage simultaneously. So I asked a uniformed man on the platform where the trolleys were – he pointed in a direction and said they were their – I went there and had to be redirected. I eventually found the trolleys and dashed to get one. Problem: I needed a pound to release it. Fortunately I found a coin and after working out how the contraption worked released the trolley and ran (dangerously) to get my bags that, contrary to all the public announcements I had left unattended on platform 1 – fortunately they had not grown legs and nobody had blown them up.

I loaded them on my trolley and dashed at high speed back to platform three to see the train I was supposed to have been aboard pulling out of the station! How fed up I was.

I went to the ticket office half expecting to have to pay a full fare for another ticket to Romford (the internet fare is a lot cheaper). But fortunately after I explained my difficulty with the luggage and the lack of a trolley, they kindly let me catch a later train at no further cost. The train I caught was the 14:30 to London-Liverpool Street. Unfortunately, this train was not scheduled to stop in Shenfield. When aboard the 14:30 – I asked the conductor where I should disembark in order to get to Romford. He said Chelmsford.
I will call this the end of chapter one! But do not go away - stay tuned for the next exciting episode John's journey to Romford!

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