Despite the rain, ‘the gang’ converging from different parts of London decided to go to the Oval as apparently match rules allow play up to 20:45 - I’m no expert so please don’t complain if I am wrong.
I arrived at Abbey Wood station in torrential rain only a couple of minutes after the previous train was due but the crowded platform indicated it had not arrived. On the other side they were announcing that the Barnehurst train had failed again. The sixth failed train I had encountered in my four most recent travelling days. The seventh if that was the reason for the up train not showing, but the London bound passengers were given no information at all.
The Cannon Street train I planned to catch was briefly indicated as following the later Charing Cross train although it eventually arrived in front of it, but ten minutes late. So I spent nearly 20 minutes along with sixty or seventy people on a station platform that has shelter for about eight. Some crowded under the footbridge and others had no alternative but to risk a drowning.
The lift attendants who are always to be seen hanging around on the footbridge poised to react to the bell were nowhere to be seen. Who could blame them, it has no roof? The railway companies, whichever is responsible for the disgraceful conditions at Abbey Wood station, can expect to get a vivid description of the situation at the next Crossrail Liaison Panel meeting. Another two or more years of what took place yesterday is totally unacceptable.
Following an unfortunate incident with an umbrella a friendly conversation broke out among several unhappy passengers. There was considerable ignorance about the station construction stages and my statement that half the new footbridge would be removed was met with incredulity. “How will anyone get into the station?”
No one, literally, was aware that the access would be via Harrow Manorway to two island platforms.
My train eventually limped into London Bridge 25 minutes late, the cancellation notice went up on the Oval gate just as I arrived and we managed to find a city branch of Wetherspoons which was charging up to £4·25 for a pint of beer. Not the best of days out.