Sunny disposition

THE news this week that here has been a huge rise in the number of rail passengers travelling between London and Glasgow reminds us of previous train stories in The Diary, including a Dumfries reader who told us he was travelling up from London on the train when a group of American tourists, just south of Carlisle, started wondering excitedly if they were near Scotland. One turned to the other passengers and asked: "When will we know we are in Scotland?" "It will start to rain," was the immediate reply.

On the case

TALKING of travelling to London overnight, a reader did so one Paisley Fair Friday when a well-dressed and well-refreshed businessman came on board, threw away the ticket from a reserved seat, sat down and began to sing The Song Of The Clyde before falling asleep. Said our reader: "He only woke to dodge the ticket collector during the night. When we arrived at Euston he disappeared again but came up to us on the platform to ask, 'Did you folks notice if I had any luggage when I got on last night?'"


A PLAYER of the clairseach – the Celtic harp – once told us of being on a late-night train home where a friendly drunk, spotting his instrument, encouraged him to play a tune. Reluctantly, but to keep the peace, he began removing the harp from its case. The inebriated traveller got to his feet and declared: "Quiet, please. The harpoonist's gonnae gie us a tune."


A READER at a conference in Aberdeen returning by train to Glasgow confessed to us years ago that he had sat down opposite the late darts star Jocky Wilson and blurted out: "Are you Jocky Wilson?" "Yes," replied Jocky, "and are you Gordon Davidson?" "Yes!" said a delighted, but puzzled, Gordon. "But how do you know my name?" "It's on your lapel badge," said Jocky.

In the past

AN English chap working in Glasgow told his colleagues in the pub: "I got a train to Airdrie the other night. The ticket chap said it would be 19:45 when we arrived.

"He was being a bit harsh – it looked more like the early sixties to me."


A READER was travelling on the east coast line from Edinburgh to London when the train was delayed. Eventually, a member of staff came through the carriage and told passengers: "The bad news is that we've lost power.

"The good news is we're not cruising at 30,000ft."

Well trained

WE were once told by a reader that he caught the train from Helensburgh to Glasgow where the passenger across the aisle was a well dressed woman, travelling with what looked like her grandson, and she immediately buried her face in a magazine while he looked out of the window. After the train had trundled eastwards for a while, the little one asked: "Where are we?" Without looking up she told him: "I don't know, Justin. But it won't be anywhere nice."

Coining it in

WE never knowingly turn down a Chic Murray story so we recall a reader telling us: "Chic once told the story of being at Glasgow Central station and asking at the ticket office, 'Single to London'. The ticket seller, trying to be helpful, told Chic, 'Change at Preston'. Chic immediately replied, 'No thanks – I'll take my change now'."

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