I was on the platform at the station in Oxford this evening. We’d been to see a show (Shrek the Musical) and it had been a bit of a break neck race to get there after the show finished about 20 minutes late meaning we had approx 18 minutes to get out of the theatre, over to the station and on the train. And there wasn’t going to be a train for an hour after the one I’d booked on. Also I’d forgotten to check how late Didcot station is staffed tonight so I thought if I had to get the next one it’d be ok but I wasn’t sure.
It was a definite argh stress moment and a very quick walk for my friend who was keeping pace with me. But we got there with a couple of minutes to spare and immediately spotted a staff member
I went over to him and said “I’m going to need the ramp please. I’ve got assistance booked to go to Didcot.”
He said whatever he said in reply I can’t remember exactly but along the lines of OK. And I think he mentioned the time of the train. The he grabs his radio to call over to his colleague. My friend and I were right next to him and could hear the conversation.
“can you come over to platform 1 and get a ramp please?”
“what do you want a ramp for?”
“For a wheelchair. Obviously.”
We were amused by that and the look on his face. Then conversation with his colleague over he put his radio down and looking at us went “What did he think I wanted it for? BMX tricks?”
A few minutes later a train pulled out of the station and our slightly delayed train pulled in. The colleague appeared and a ramp was produced and put down bridging the gap between platform and train.
Sadly it wasn’t used for BMX tricks or anything exciting like that. Just to let this wheelchair user board her train home after a night out with a friend at a good but not great musical and a crazy rush to the station. Which is probably exciting enough at just before 10pm on a Friday night. And anyway ramps are for wheelchairs.