... in kindness on a foggy night

Published on 09 Jan 2019
Station with buses

Over the Christmas/New Year holiday period Network Rail takes the opportunity to carry out major engineering work. All well and good for the future but it does make rail travel during this time very difficult.  For one thing trains may be cancelled at short notice, or start and terminate at unexpected stations, with the rest of the journey is taken by bus.

Members of our family travelled down by train to be with us at Christmas. As they were expected to arrive later in the evening we said we would collect them from the station. However, due to engineering work the train would terminate at a nearby station with which we were not familiar. My wife suggested that we should check out the station earlier in the day to ensure we knew where to pick them up. Just as well she did! On arrival marshals on the station gate refused entry to cars as the car park was full with rail replacement buses taking passengers on their onward journey. She explained that one of our family was disabled, not expecting to sway the decision. However, the marshal took a note of our car number plate which he said he would pass to his colleague who would be on duty that evening. He assured us we would be allowed to enter to pick up our visitors. I did not hold out too much hope that he would do as he said.  It was cold, damp and foggy that evening. The marshals would have been standing outside for a long boring period of time and were probably keen to get home. Nevertheless, when we returned that evening the message had been passed on. The marshal had our details and insisted on walking in front of us as we drove through the car park avoiding the buses, right up to the station entrance where we were able to collect the family. Having done so he escorted us out again and gave us a cheery wave as we left!

That is where I saw God that day, in the kindness of strangers.