The Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and I'm mostly somewhere else or so it seems; somewhere between the Costa del Weymouth and the Isle of Wight, although I did have to trip up to the pop festivals at Leeds and Reading yesterday.
On Friday, England appeared to have two very different climates in a line drawn roughly from Cambridge, with the north basking in sunshine and the south under cloud as low as 400 feet. This was so bad going past Stansted that I found myself in it for a while until I popped-out at 4,500 feet. I had company too. The military controller I was working warned me of two American F15s in the vicinity and sure enough, one of them appeared out of the cloud behind me briefly, before vanishing again back into the gloom below; back into Lakenheath I assume.
Today, the roads towards the south coast resorts were packed solid with cars and I did rather wonder if Weymouth actually had enough room to accomodate them all. Take the train, some might say but looking through today's news, I'm struck by one report that a local train guard has been sacked he stood-up to a group of youths
Robbie Moran, from Ramsgate is claiming unfair dismissal from Southeastern after he was attacked after asking one of them to take their feet off the seat.
He fought back but both he and his assailant were arrested. Southeastern railway sacked him a month later even though all charges were dropped.
The firm told Mr Moran he should have walked away, but he is now taking it to a tribunal claiming unfair dismissal.
However, Robbie has commented "They will have your fares off you, but you will have to look after yourself while you're on the train." He added, "The company are always concerned about customer care, but walking away and abandoning your passengers to someone that's being aggressive, that's not customer care to me."
Southeastern has refused to comment pending the employment tribunal next month.
From a local perspective, we know and I know there is a problem, from direct observation of the difficult task that railway employees have on the trains and the frequently drunk, abusive and non-fare-paying passengers that you might encounter on any train between Herne Bay and Ramsgate on any day of the week. That the company doesn't support an employee who has been assaulted in the line of duty, I find shocking.
What do you think?