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The scrounger’s day out

Regulars | By Wilfred De'Ath | October 2015


Wilfred De’Ath enjoys Christian kindness.

I had a train to catch so I got up very early in my favourite Bournemouth hotel, the Elstead, and paid my bill by cheque – something that is rapidly being phased out. I think the manager, who is a friend of mine, and his receptionist both knew it would bounce.

The barriers were shut at the station, but I lied and told the ticket lady I was just going for a cup of tea at the café on the platform. She let me through and I boarded the 8.45 to Manchester Piccadilly via Reading. A kind lady overheard me explaining to the inspector that my Senior Rail Card had just expired, and offered to pay my fare (there are still some nice people in the world). It cost her £40. I asked for her address so I could send her another (dud) cheque, but she refused to give it (perhaps she thought I was trying to pick her up).