I had to be in town this evening so I caught an earlier train, avoiding the closed District line and its attendant replacement bus fiasco. I got to the station just as the train was pulling in & found the platform knee-deep in small children being ushered onto the front carriage. Thinking quickly, I skirted the ankle-biters and hurled myself into the next carriage just as the pips went, only to discover that the carriage in question was the first class one, which also has a small atrium where they have put the loos, a place for bikes and about eight seats suitable for plebeans where they can shield the first class passengers’ delicate noses from the smell of the bogs and meditate on their humble place in society in adequate comfort.
Of course, no sooner had the train pulled out than the first child appeared, needing a wee. SouthWest train bogs aren’t too horrible, as it happens, but they have big shiny slidy doors that need to be latched shut fairly firmly or they slide open when the train accelerates. These kids were about five or six and locking doors wasn’t really their forte so one of their minders ended up having to come and guard the door, holding it shut and waiting for the children to knock when they’d finished so they could be let out again. You have to wonder what sort of career path one would go down that left you standing outside a train toilet shouting ‘are you finished?’ through the door. It certainly put not sitting in the first-class carriage into some sort of perspective.