I went on one of my monthly jaunts on the train over to Rochford to show the council a few more pieces of paper and jump through a couple of bureaucratic hoops. It’s something I like to do when we get a fine day.
I was surprised to see a grand total of seven (yes, SEVEN) ticket inspectors waiting at Rayleigh station. Two on the eastbound platform, two on the westbound platform, two to catch the people slipping round the side and one standing next to the footbridge generally keeping an eye on it.
I was rather surprised that a ticket was demanded from me before I had got to the point where one was able to buy tickets, but the answer ‘I haven’t bought it yet’, though treated with some surprise seemed to be acceptable. However, after leaving the train (ie the point at which I could easily be practicing ticket evasion) only the very quickest of glances at whatever ticket I had was taken. I could quite easily have got through with a ticket for the Isle of Wight ferry from 1978. In fact I suspect that’s what half the passengers had.