Friday 26 July 2013


It's only technically Leeds City station.  There used to be a Central station as well, up until the 1960s, but that was rationalised out of existence.  Now there's just one, enormous, colossal station straddling the centre of Leeds, and it's wonderful.

I'm not sure why I like Leeds station so much.  Perhaps its sheer size is just pleasing to me.  There are seventeen platforms, most of which are through platforms.  That immediately marks it out as different to your usual big-city station.  Leeds' position at the virtual centre of the British Isles means that it's the perfect place for lines to cross and pass through.  East-west, north-south, trains are constantly pouring through the centre of the station.  It gives it an exciting vibrancy.  A terminus will inevitably have trains sitting quietly, waiting their turn, but Leeds seems to always be on the move.  You can actually see the trains, too, unlike at Birmingham New Street, which hides them away from sight like a dirty secret.

The building has evolved and expanded numerous times over the decades.  The over-reaching roof, which has a distinctive design I don't remember seeing anywhere else in the UK, allows plenty of natural light to stream down.  It dates from 2002, when the station was pretty much torn apart and rebuilt.

You get to and from the platforms comes via an incredibly wide overbridge, accessed via escalators and stairs.  The escalators, in particular, are a joy; they have a blue neon light around them, which makes them a little bit Blade Runner.  My only complaint is that there are only up escalators; you have to walk down stairs.  That annoys me.  Yes, it saves money, and yes, it means there's up and down access if the escalators break or if there's a fire, but it feels lazy.  Up top, the overbridge is so wide it has its own branch of Starbucks.

You can also take in the magnificent views of... some tracks.  It might not be the Duomo di Firenze or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but I should imagine it's incredibly thrilling if you're a trainspotter and it's raining.  You can just stand there with a pair of binoculars and you don't even need to wear your anorak.

At the far end of the bridge there's a bank of escalators to take you down to the main concourse, and also to the terminal platforms where the local trains tend to stop.  This is where you can see the divide between both parts of the station.  Much like Victoria in London, there were two stations originally; Leeds Wellington, built by the Midland Railway, and Leeds New station, which belonged to the North Eastern and London & North Western Joint Railway company.  As was typical the stations were operated as two separate beings until in 1938 the whole thing was finally unified with a joint concourse - but I'll get to that.

That concourse proved inadequate, so in 1967 the "New" part of the station was demolished and rebuilt with shops and facilities and an ugly tower block above.  This is the worst part of the station, by quite some way, and it's unfortunate that this is the part every single passenger has to pass through.

Incidentally, did you know that Funky Pigeon (as seen above) is actually owned by WH Smith?  Their decline into a tacky, shameful shadow of their former self continues apace. 

This is the bit that gives railway stations a bad name - it's unfriendly, it's badly lit, it's far too small, and it empties you out onto a grim bit of tarmac for taxis and buses.  It's like Euston or the old King's Cross, a clunky bit of 1960s brutalism without any charm.  Fortunately, having made the rest of the station so great, Network Rail are now working with Bruntwood (the owners of the aforementioned terrible office block) to do something about it.  They want to bring natural light into this part of the station as well, and to help pay for it, they've suggested a mezzanine of shops could also be constructed: 

Note the double height entrance to the station, and the glass wall.

That's all the future though, and Leeds station also has a wonderful relic of its past.  Remember that 1938 concourse I mentioned?  After the new, south concourse was built in the 1960s, the old one was deemed surplus to requirements and was used as a car park for thirty years.  This is the point where we thank British Rail for its occasional lack of imagination and innovation, because it meant they left it to rot rather than knocking it down.  There was a proposal to use it in 1989, and thank God that failed.  The 2002 refurbishment brought it back into use and it's a fantastic space.

Beautifully curved concrete soars above your head to pretty skylights and artful lighting columns.  Light streams in through double-height windows at a high level.  The contrast with the old/new concourse is stark.

Okay, it's basically a shopping mall now; all the customer facilities are still in the 1967 building.  It's been done with total respect for the architecture though, and McDonalds and KFC haven't been allowed to plaster their logos over every available surface.  There's also direct access to the Queens Hotel; the Art Deco station hotel was constructed at the same time as the concourse.

I walked through to the City Square exit, where there was one final delight.  A circular lobby area, with a gorgeous central pillar.  It was the start of the rush hour, and people were storming past, and I wanted to stop them: "look!  Look what you're ignoring in your rush for your train!"

It's still evolving, even today.  HS2 will bring a whole new terminus, Leeds New Lane; an elevated walkway with travelators will carry pedestrians to the existing station.  New developments around the canal have meant that there are plans for a new pedestrian exit to the south of the station.  Work was due to start this summer, but there's been a last minute legal hitch as a bunch of disabled campaigners have demanded a drop off area specifically for less-able users.  I'm usually violently pro increased access to stations, but 

(a) the new exit is a pedestrian only exit because of the narrow street it empties out into; no-one will be allowed to stop outside 

(b) there's already a drop-off area for disabled users by the north concourse 

(c) the new entrance will still have lifts for disabled users, so it's not as though it's entirely closed off to them

and (d) consultation for this new ticket hall started in 2010 - why didn't you bring it up then?

Leeds station works.  It's a mish-mash of different styles, architects and technologies; it's 150 years of evolution and progress.  It could be a mess, but instead it's a quietly, efficiently marvellous space.  It's a station that sees millions of people every year and I hope that each one - even the most jaded commuter - spends a couple of moments just taking in how brilliant it all is.

Wednesday 24 July 2013



It's what I call a mad run of stations: a splurge.  Sometimes I spend a great deal of time in a place, and collect only a couple of stations.  Other times I burn through a line at a mad pace.

This was one of those occasions.  I'd already got Dewsbury and Batley; time to finish off the rest of the line.  I thought I'd cross off every station between Leeds and Brighouse.  That constituted a nice clear run.  It also meant that I had the stations to Halifax neatly bunched together to collect at a later date without having to double back on myself.  It's extremely satisfying to be able to put a line through an entire tranche of the map.

After the misery of Batley I was happy to be anywhere else, even if Ravensthorpe didn't give the greatest first impression.  It was a couple of platforms wedged between industrial units, and there was a strong smell of metal in the air, as if it was filled with aluminium shavings from the factories.

I followed a teenage goth over the footbridge and out of the station.  The station noticeboards obscured the name when I stood directly in front of the sign, and from the other side, there was bright sunshine wiping out everything.  I ended up in a half-crouch, pressed up against the fence, just to try and get something usable.

Crossing the river bridge took me to the glamorously named "Ravensthorpe Gyratory".  There aren't enough gyratories these days; it's one of those words, like "precinct" or "flat", that have taken on a connotation of unsympathetic grimness.  A gyratory has become a concrete slab in our head, a traffic dominated wilderness that pedestrians are forced to scurry beneath in piss-stained underpasses, when in fact it's just a name for a perfectly ordinary piece of road design.  The Ravensthorpe Gyratory was at heart, a very large roundabout that made it easier to get into Morrisons.  That was it.  There were no flyovers or footbridges, just a bit of green and a retail park.

Ravensthorpe has an extremely high proportion of residents from immigrant families, and this was reflected in the shops: a plethora of takeaways, groceries specialising in national cuisines, Chaudhry Travel with its Pakistan International Airlines accreditation.  The little Yorkshire stone shops were now housing Asian businesses and opening their doors to women in hijab.

There was still an English presence though; the Co-op, the Bulls Head (PINK TRIBUTE ACT - Tickets £5).  It was a mix, like an exotic Persian rug in the centre of a front parlour.

I passed a small estate where everything was called "Fir" - Fir Avenue, Fir Walk, Fir Parade and Fir Grove - and felt a pang of sympathy for the residents, who no doubt spent all their time getting the wrong mail.  The bend in the road coincided with a bend in the river Calder, and I got a glimpse of the cool wide water and soft meadows.  I'd hoped to walk along the riverside to the next station, rather than through the town, but there was no footpath that I could see.

Four or five horses had gathered together by the wall of their field to get some shade, and I patted their soft noses and stroked their necks.  Too hot to object, they let me coo over them, barely moving.  I was now entering Mirfield, which, as though keen to differentiate itself from its ethnically diverse neighbour, immediately threw a cricket club at me.  Fat men lounged on the terrace of the pavilion, waiting for the bar to open no doubt.

Mirfield is where Patrick Stewart was born and brought up, explaining Jean-Luc Picard's quite strong "French by way of Yorkshire" accent.  Its buildings were grander than Ravensthorpe, reflecting its agricultural rather than industrial roots.  A fine church had its doors propped open to allow a draught inside to the coffee morning, a group of unhappy looking people gathered around a trestle table.  In the heart of the village, what had no doubt once been a hotel/pub was now a Tesco.  They kept the pub sign though, just to really make sure you knew what you were missing.

I crossed over the small marina to find the station.  It was a wide, flat expanse built above the road, with three platforms instead of the boring two I'd been used to.

It had clearly seen better days.  There were tiled white walls under the bridge and on the staircase, but no sign of a station building, and rough weeds grew all over.  Most surprisingly, you can get a train to London from Mirfield.  Grand Central stop here, and I spotted one of their sinister black trains pulling out as I arrived.

I took up a position on platform three, alongside two girls in hotpants and low tops who'd annexed the bench.  They kicked at the red metal, bored, playing with their nails and their hair.  If they were this unenthusiastic now, imagine how they'll be in six weeks when the real hell of long summer holidays has set in properly.

My next station was Brighouse, but when I got off the train, something was wrong.  For starters, all the signs read "Deighton".

My keenly-honed mind realised that I must have got on the wrong train.  This wasn't, in itself, much of a problem, as I hadn't collected Deighton station yet anyway; in fact, it would have been the only uncollected station between Huddersfield and Leeds otherwise, so in a way it was a bonus.

The main problem was that I had no clue where it was, or how to get to Brighouse.  I could've just got on a train going in the opposite direction, but the very idea was offensive to me, so I pulled out my phone and called up Google Maps.  A few taps and it had worked out a route for me, one that actually looked quite pleasing and scenic.

I headed out of Deighton, passing a closed up police station and a bus stop full of old ladies.  This was a real corporation district, big wide council houses, and most of the residents I saw were pensioners.  Probably the original tenants.  I was sad to see the post office shuttered and for sale.

The road threaded past a thick woodland.  I knew that Brighouse was on the other side of those woods, somewhere, but I didn't trust myself to go wandering in them without Uncle Google holding my hand.  Instead I persisted with its routing through baking hot streets, deserted of pedestrians.  A postman was sat under a tree, taking a moment's rest in the shade and texting.

I turned at a closed up pub and followed a wide avenue towards an industrial estate.  Google seemed to want me to take a right somewhere, but I couldn't quite fathom it.  I passed the golf course and realised that I was being sent up a narrow road behind the houses.

Soon I was walking through green fields on a back lane.  There was no traffic, until a Ford took a corner rather too quickly and had to slam on his brakes when he saw me; I saw the driver's shock at there being a pedestrian out on this track.  Another turn and I was in a blessedly cool thicket of trees.  I passed a couple of ramblers, and exchanged a polite smile and a "morning", and then I hit the M62.

Six lanes of traffic burned underneath me.  It was a wide footbridge, and perfectly safe, but I couldn't get the idea that I might be sucked off the edge and under a lorry out of my head.  Halfway across I realised that I was making a noise, a kind of low moan through gritted teeth, like a dog aware of danger but not quite sure where it was going to come from.  I staggered to the other side and paused for breath.  I'd long thought about walking across the Humber Bridge when I collected Hassle station; maybe I'll just take the bus instead.

With nervous sweat now adding to my general, day-to-day sweatiness, my t-shirt was now soaked through.  There was no-one about, and the weather was scorching hot - it would have been the perfect circumstances to take my shirt off.  I couldn't do it though.  It wasn't just the thought of my pallid, flabby body being on display that stopped me; it was the impropriety of it, the rudeness.  I would never thrust my nipples in the face of people who didn't ask to see it; the only places I could go without a layer of clothing would be a beach or a pool.  (On the other hand, gratuitous nudity for other people is perfectly fine; in fact, I encourage it).

I trudged on, the fabric of my shirt clinging to my skin.  I finally left the countryside behind and stepped out onto a busy road into Brighouse.  It was lined with fine Victorian mansions and comfortable detached homes - I'd risen up the social scale even further.  Fortunately the walk was all downhill now, and soon I was in Brighouse town centre and looking for somewhere for a drink.

I'm not sure why it was the place to be, as, to my eyes, it seemed like a perfectly ordinary little market town.  There was a pretty river threading through the centre, some grand old buildings, and a fair amount of shoppers, but it didn't seem like any kind of mecca.

I picked a pub more or less at random, for some lunch and a pint.  I ordered a chicken wrap, which arrived slathered in barbecue (or, more likely, Bar-B-Q) sauce, and haphazardly stuffed with onion rings and lettuce.  The chicken at the centre was in breadcrumbs, but it crunched a little too hard, snapping in my mouth instead of softly pulling apart.  It was impossible to eat without making a hideous mess, smearing thick brown sauce all over the plate.  It wasn't good.  Fortunately, the pint of Grolsch was.

Admittedly, by that point I was so thirsty I'd have probably enjoyed a glass of Sarah Miles' morning tonic, but that's not the point.

Full, if not satisfied, I headed back out across the bridge for the railway station.

Brighouse gets a service to King's Cross as well, which just seems wrong.  It's a town of only 30,000 people, and yet it has a direct connection to the capital.  Birkenhead doesn't get that.

Even more bizarrely the station only opened in 2000.  It had closed in 1970, though the line had remained for freight, and it was only through the efforts of West Yorkshire Metro that it reopened again.  Seeing how busy it was, how thriving the town was, and how frequent the services were, it baffled me that anyone would want to close the station in the first place.  It shows what a low point the railways were at in the late sixties and seventies.

The train took me back over the stations I'd already visited that day before dropping me off at Morley.

I clambered up the steep hill to the street, passing an enormous man who looked like he could have been Brian Glover's twin.  He stared at my camera and my snapping with undisguised amusement.  I waited until he was safely round the corner before I took the sign photo.

It was another station with a background soundtrack of power tools and industry.  The mills close by had been converted into flats for commuters but as I closed in on the town centre they were workshops and garages.  I caught glimpses of plastic wrapped shapes through open doorways.

I was in the furthest tentacles of Leeds now, at the very tip of its outstretched arms.  I turned at an old church and avoided the hesitant Kia trying to make a right; he missed at least three chances to turn just as I passed, leading to a white van overtaking him on the inside to get by, blasting his horn as he did so.  The pensioner paid no attention.  I'm guessing he was used to it.

I'm not sure why they have a vomiting mermaid as the symbol for their village.

I was actually on Elland Road now; even I, a football ignoramus, had heard of that.  I hoped that I'd pass the Leeds United football ground, but it turns out Elland Road is really long.  The closest I got was a brief glimpse of the stadium through a gap in the houses.

I passed the Rainbow Rooms club (now sadly closed) and another Tesco.  They'd actually demolished the pub to build this one, but they'd left the sign for some reason.  That's just setting yourself up for disappointment.

Under the railway line and a left, onto the Cottingley estate.  It had that empty, unloved feeling that the worst of town planning can throw up; tower blocks at the centre surrounded by cul-de-sacs and footpaths.  Great in principle.  In reality a warren of blind corners and alleyways to make even the stoutest man tremble.

I stuck to the perimeter road.  The railway station appeared on the horizon, but first I had to avoid two exuberant dalmatians, straining to get at me on their leads.  At first I thought they were being playful - my aunt has had a series of adorable, lovable dalmatians over the years - until they started barking.  It was clear these were unfriendly dalmatians, which just seemed odd.  I wondered what had happened that overturned their naturally sunny personalities.

The station has just celebrated its 25th anniversary.  This manages to simultaneously credit and damn the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive; it's great that they opened a station on the route into Leeds, but shouldn't they have done it twenty years before, when they built the estate?  I looked at the newer houses to the side of the station and I concluded that the station was only deemed feasible when there were private residents in the area.

I had half an hour until my train arrived so I sat cross legged on the platform - it's strangely short of benches - and rubbed at my sore feet.  I had a blister coming, I knew it.  Still it was worth it: I'd conquered eight stations that day - a hell of a splurge.

Saturday 20 July 2013

The Cheap Date

This blog costs money.  It costs me to travel all over the country, trains here there and everywhere.  It's not like when I was "doing" Merseyrail, and all it cost was a fiver for a Saveaway.  Going cross country to Newcastle can be expensive.  Day rangers are usually about twenty quid.  Staying in Travelodges so I can get some of the really obscure stations - it all adds up.

And have one of you bastards sent me a cheque?  No.  You just come here, take your free entertainment, then complain in the comments because I've misidentified an engine.

I KID OF COURSE.  I love you all.  And spending money on train tickets gives me pleasure.  I'd only spend it on heroin or prostitutes or something otherwise.

I do try and minimise my costs where I can.  I use RedSpottedHanky, because, despite their twee name, they usually have good deals and they give you loyalty points.  I've got about fifteen pounds of free train travel sitting in my account.

I also leap on any cheap deals when I see them, which is how I got a trip to Leeds at eight quid each way.  The downside was it was a six fifteen train from Lime Street.  My fellow passengers all had that dazed, slightly out of it look of people who aren't entirely sure why they're there.  It was like they'd been woken roughly by a policeman, given a briefcase and bundled onto a train before their brains had switched on.  Bleary eyes stared incomprehensibly at laptops, trying to make sense of spreadsheets and e-mails.

As you may have guessed from the picture, I got off at Dewsbury.  It saved me the effort of going into Leeds and going back out again, and it was a new town I'd never visited before.

The station's only two platforms, but they've been built to accommodate the longest of trains, giving it a strangely lopsided look.  It feels a lot larger than it actually is.

I headed over the footbridge and down into the nicely turned out ticket hall.  I needed to buy a day pass, so I went to the counter and asked for a West Yorkshire Day Rover.

The woman behind the glass eyed me suspiciously.

"They're not valid until 9:30, you know."

"Yes, I know," I said cheerily.  "I've got some things to do before then."  This was a lie - I had nothing to do - but I felt like I should have a reason for buying the ticket now.  She had that cold interrogative look to her, like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, except in a FirstTranspennine uniform and without Ilsa's natural warmth and joie de vivre.  After a moment's pause - perhaps she was wondering where she'd left her cat o' nine tails - she deigned to print me out a ticket.  She still clearly thought I was lying and I'd immediately try to board a train without permission, because she got out her biro and wrote on the back:

That told me.

Dewsbury station dates from 1848, but only half of it is still in use for railway business.  The other half - the prettier half, of course - is now a pub, the West Riding Refreshment Rooms.

While the railway station is almost hidden by an ugly portico and a taxi rank, the pub part is covered with ivy and advertising its real ales.

Obviously I approve of this change of use.  I'd rather it was still part of the station, of course: the passenger facilities are now a glass box on the platform, not some mahogany panelled waiting room.  If it must be turned over to private enterprise, though, a place that serves good beer is top of my wish list.

Now I just had some time to kill until my ticket was valid.  Dewsbury was always associated in my mind with an episode of Victoria Wood's playlets, The Library. Valerie Barlow (aka Anne Reid) goes on a blind date in a museum but is afraid of being molested ("he may be a pervert.  He might have come here with the specific purpose of rubbing up against a scale model of Saxon fortifications") so she gets Victoria to tag along.  Valerie Barlow's date - Dennis Tanner (aka Philip Lowrie) notes this with, "Now if you were from Dewsbury, you'd be a goosebury from Dewsbury."

And that is the sum total of my knowledge of Dewsbury*.

What I found was a great little town.  Dewsbury's initial wealth came from wool, and its buildings had a refined charm.  Warm Yorkshire stone fronts with interesting carved features.

I wandered through the central precinct, completely empty at that time in the morning, with the shops shuttered.  Workmen filed into McDonalds for a breakfast of grease; street cleaners manoeuvred their robot carts over the paving slabs.  An Asian man, dressed head to toe in white cotton, leaned back on a bench outside the Town Hall to let the morning sun soak in.

There was a statue there, too, which was supposedly a representation of the Good Samaritan but looked more like an entry for Viz's Up The Arse Corner to my filthy mind.

The elegant Victorian arcade was sadly half empty.  Most of the shops had deserted fronts, interiors covered in brick dust.  The only sign of life in it were some builders having their morning tea.  Outside, though, in the main square, flowers bloomed in planters and a tiny coffee stand doled out cappuccinos to council workers headed for the Town Hall.

It's also the home of a combination gunsmith/florist, called - yes! - Guns & Roses, which put it in the Premier League of shopping destinations as far as I'm concerned.  I can't tell you how many times I've wished I could buy crysanthemums and a pump-action Wetherby in one transaction; it means you can buy both the murder weapon and the With Sympathy bouquet without paying too much for parking.  There should be more two for one retailers like this - a pet store next to a canal that also sells puppy-sized burlap sacks, or a kebab shop that also houses a branch of WeightWatchers.

Sadly it was too early in the morning for me to stock up on ammo and azelias so I headed towards the market hall.  I thought markets opened at the crack of dawn, but it seems the one in Dewsbury operates during working hours only.

Another place that was closed, though rather more permanently, was Dewsbury Central station.  It was built in 1880 by the Great Northern Railway, but that man Beeching came along and shuttered it in the sixties.

For years the building simply crumbled away, until, in the 1980s, it found a new use - as the country's most elaborate flyover.

The Dewsbury Ring Road was installed into the spot where the tracks used to run, in a metaphor for British transport policy so trite it would get thrown out of a Hollywood script meeting.  Still, it's nice to see that they used the building as the road's foundations rather than simply knocking the whole thing down and sticking a couple of concrete posts pillars in its place.

I passed the redundantly named Station Hotel and under the bridge for the walk up into the hills.  It was a straight road, but the angle was ridiculously steep, and even at that early hour the sun was baking.  The reward was a great view across the town.

It was coming up to nine o'clock and so the streets began to fill with children walking to school.  They were excitable and noisy, the combination of the good weather and the end of term making them buzz.  Two primary school girls walked arm in arm, whispering gossip to one another, while their mum followed behind at a respectable distance.  Her sari floated in the morning breezes from across the valley.

Once I'd passed the school gates I was heading downhill again, under a massive viaduct that carried the Leeds line over the valley.

There's only one train an hour from Batley station so I walked into the town.  It was like entering a post-apocalyptic landscape.

I don't think I've ever been to a town as sad and unloved as Batley.  Everywhere I turned there were magnificent Yorkshire stone buildings sitting empty, collapsing, with trees growing out of their roofs.  Windows were boarded up and litter bunched up in doorways.

It was as if a virus had swept through the town, killing off most of the residents and leaving the shops and offices vacant.  It was neglected, ugly and depressing.  The Mill Outlet Centre was a rare moment of life, but it was one of those behemoths that's filled with all sorts of things you don't need at a combination of outrageously cheap and eyewateringly high prices.  I was thoroughly unsurprised to spot an Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop at the entrance; my retail nemesis, the symbol of a truly awful shopping centre.

Past the admirably daffy Gothic arch (it has bats on it, because BATLEY) I hit what remains of the town centre.  There was only one business making any money here: Tesco.  There was a Tesco Extra so huge it had a bridge to get pedestrians into it over the mammoth car park.

I think we need to stop blaming Tesco for destroying towns; we need to turn around and look at what's been done to the town before they arrive.  The people at Tesco are just preying on carrion, like vultures.  As I walked round Batley I realised that this place had been dead for a very long time.  A big supermarket was just the final death rattle, a fifty thousand square foot gravestone.  Tesco were effectively shagging Batley's still warm corpse; it's not classy, it's not admirable, but if they weren't there it'd still be dead, so what does it matter?  They may as well get something out of it.

I got about halfway up the high street before the pessimism and misery took me over completely and I had to leave.  It was a dark, ugly place, and I didn't want to be there any more.

I walked back to the station, past a Wetherspoon's that already had customers smoking on the doorstep with pints of beer in hand.  The station's at the end of a run of particularly derelict buildings, giving any visitor to the town a great idea of what it's like without them having to walk too far.

The station's not terrible.  It's an early building, low and unsentimental, but pleasingly symmetrical.  The car park outside has been left cobbled to add to the heritage feel.

There aren't any facilities as such - no ticket office of course - but the interior's brightly painted and pleasant, and a rooflight allowed the sun to light the corners.  It felt airy and well-appointed.  Northern Rail had done a good job here of convincing you that there was someone who still cared about Batley.

I crossed over to the southbound platform via a dark underpass.  There was still about twenty minutes until my train so I found a bench in the sun to have a bit of a bake.

The station sign was sponsored by the Mill Outlet store, because of course it was.  It was another ugly garish blight on the town.  This one wasn't even very well done, and was coming away from its moorings; I was severely tempted to rip it off and throw it in a bush somewhere to try and bring a bit of respect back to the station.

Naturally I did no such thing.  I just sat in the sun and listened to my iPod and looked forward to a train taking me away from there.

*The Library also contains one of my favourite Victoria Wood jokes ever:

Dennis Tanner: Now, call me a dashingly romantic sentimental old softheart, Vicky...

Victoria: I haven't got time.