Written by Sidney Bollocks
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Friday, 3 December 2010

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A remarkable tale of survival against all the odds has emerged, amidst the absolute chaos that the UK's transport network has descended into.

A local man, Arthur Crapper, has been found sitting in the waiting room of the snowbound railway station, which once served the tiny village of Holton-Cum-Feckwit. The railway station has not been in operation for almost 31 years.

Mr Crapper, who was the village idiot and a relative of everybody in the village, was also seasonally employed as a livestock semen collection technician. On the morning of 3rd January 1979, Mr Crapper left home to catch the train to the town of Cowpat-In-The-Dale, where he was to purchase an additional two gallons of bull semen, in order to replenish his employer's stocks of the product.

Whilst waiting for the train, inclement weather arrived and Siberian blizzards brought most of the country to a standstill for almost a week. In fact, trains in Mr Crapper's region were never to run again.

During that week of snowbound transport turmoil, the then government's Strategic Rail Review reported back and the small rural branch line, which had faithfully served Holton-Cum-Feckwit for 60 years, was closed. The closure was with immediate effect.

Since that fateful January day in 1979, Mr Crapper has patiently waited for his train. The thought of returning to his employer, without the requisite two gallons of bull semen, is not one that he can easily entertain. He is afraid it will cost him the job, from which he was dismissed in absentia, in mid-January 1979.

Mr Crapper has grown old over the 31 years he has waited for his train, and has often wondered what became of his wife and children. He never thought to return to the family home, which can be seen from the end of the station platform.

Mr Crapper says, "It has been a long wait, but then the trains never were that reliable. The 1980s seemed to pass quickly, and there were some good summers in the mid 1990s. Life has not been too bad and I've stayed well on a diet of sparrows, squirrels, acorns, dandelions and the odd small child which has come blackberrying along the railway line".

Mr Crapper continues to wait patiently for his train, with his two gallon jerry can by his side.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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