Tuesday, March 03, 2015


Crismill Lane in the village of Bearsted here in Kent is an ancient lane that leads from the outskirts of the village up to the Pilgrims Way.   It`s quintessentially English and in years gone by you can imagine it making its way through the countryside of the Garden of England with views to the North Downs and the rolling Kent farmland.   Not much happened then but these days the lane is crossed by the M20 Motorway and the High Speed Rail line which carries the Eurostar trains from London to the continent.  Crismill Lane overcomes these obstructions by way of bridges and tunnels before meandering on its way.

Yesterday came the tragic news that someone had died having been hit by a train on the railway line in the morning.  British Transport Police are describing the incident as `non suspicious`but it seems to have all the hallmarks of a genuine human tragedy, details of which are yet to emerge.   Consequently, the high speed line was closed in both directions, affecting services between London and Paris and in all nearly 20 trains were cancelled throughout the day.

What was not only interesting but which also provided an accurate summary of life in today`s fast lane was the reaction to these events.   These were mainly from passengers stranded at St. Pancras station who were complaining about the lack of information from Eurostar.  The Twitterati were in full swing, of course, with such comments as `Have waited five hours for the train and now there`s not enough room for everyone.`   One gentleman from Belgium was bitterly inconvenienced when being told that he could not get home until today.

And in all the sound and the fury, not one single note of understanding, of compassion, of sympathy for the fact that someone had lost their life in whatever tragic circumstances had befallen them.   Maybe today we are more concerned with the priorities of time and our personal convenience than we are with sparing a thought for our anyone else?   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd ashamed to confess that in my London commuting days it was hard not to feel a tinge of irritation when stuck for hours between New Malden and Wimbledon because some poor soul had leapt upon the line at Surbiton.