The Time: Friday morning.
The Place: St Pancras Station
The mission: Catch the 8.25 to Derby for a day of high speed thrills at Alton Towers.
The Team: Earth Girl, The Office Heart Throb (OHT), Posh Anne, Gavinder, Carlos & Carlos' Fiance Cath.
As anticipated OHT was late, (he is constantly late and not, as you would expect from an OHT becouse he was fixing his hair, it's because he can never get out of bed on time) and becouse he was staying over at Carlos and Caths place made them late too. Anticipating the lateness factor the rendevous was set for 8am in the waiting area next to the gates. I was five mins early, Anne was exactly on time, Gavinder strolled in at 8.20 and the terrible trio dashed full speed towards us at he entrance to platform 6 at exactly 8.25.
As one Gavinder, Anne and I turned on our heels towards the gate to beign a mad dash to the 1 remaining open door only to be stopped in our tracks by a blue blet type barrier (you know the type they use to make you que in lines in shops) that had been pulled across the platform entrance by the 2 stern looking platform attendants. The looked at us grimly and shook their heads when i waved our tickets at them. They repeated the phrase "you're too late the train is about to depart" several times. To our pleads to be let on the train and the irate protestations of the business man who had arrived at the same time.
We stood at the entrance to the plat form for 3 minutes wondering weather to get on the next train (which was in ten minutes)even though our tickets were now invalid, run down to the ticket office and beg and plead with them to re-issue our tickts and not force us to buy new ones -we decided against this as it would have taken waaaay more than 10 mins, or go home and get the cars and drive the 150 odd miles up to the happiest place in the UK. Instead we settled for reitterating to the platform controlers that 'there was still one door open whay couldn't we run down and get in through it ?' and 'we wouldn't mind missing it if we were really late but we were exactly on time' and 'it's 8.28 now and the trains late so why can't you just let us on?'
By this point we had been joined by about 5 other people who all wanted to get on the train who were all enquiring about the misteiously open door. 'Its the train managers door and there is no access to the rest of the train though there' repeated the Jobsworth who was deninig us access to the stationary train. (SO. you're telling me that the train manager stays locked up in a tiny room the whole 3 hour journey up to sheffield with absolutly no access to the rest of the train - yeah right)
By this point the female jobs worth was so fed up of our complaining and obviously realising that we wern't going to stop grumbling and move along until waaaaay after the tarin has left got on her walky talkie to the train manager who said yes, we cousld get on the train. The male Jobsworth had stated about 40 seconds earlier that there was no way of contacting the train manager - 'cos he'd never heard of walkie talkies or even considerd such a thing as walking 30 meters down the platform and verbaly comunicating our request to the train manager.
With the barrier removed the me and the 12 or so people who had been clusterd around the gate legged it to the aforementiond door which was infact the first door of the first class coach (the lying bastard). And then lurch our way down the length of the moving train into the economy section.
Alton Towers when we finaly made it was great. I highly recomend going in the off season. Not only are there hardly any kids the ques are fantasticaly short. Oblivion and Air are the best rollercoasters in the universe ever. In fact I'm still getting flashbacks of that rollercoaster buzz just thinking about them.