Well the mystery of where all the station staff were during the power cut has now been solved: they were taking advantage of the cover of darkness to steal all our benches. Or so it would seem. For when I got to the station this morning, paper in hand, and with five minutes to wait before my train, there was nowhere to sit on the platform. My normal bench had gone, as had most of the others and the waiting room had been filled with miscellaneous builders’ equipment and padlocked shut with a very stout chain.
Closer examination revealed a few, slightly nervous looking, benches right down at the bottom of the platform which had survived the massacre and what looked like some brand new benches still in their wrappings, ready to be installed. So it’s not all part of some government anti-obesity initiative, at least and there’s hope we may get our benches back. Seeing as the old ones were perfectly good before they were ripped out and removed, I’m hoping the new ones will be worth the wait. Although it’s hard to see how you can do much to improve a bench. Comfy cushions? Footrests? Maybe even a cupholder?