Each week the Romford Recorder has the Steve Allen column. And now you can find it in the Ilford Recorder too. If you're around East London and West Essex you can buy the newspaper every Thursday/Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.
You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.
There are many things that make me happy to be part of this local area. The people, the hopes for the future, the great radio show you can listen to in the afternoons. And now I can add to that list the trains.
Normally I am one to complain about public transport. No one enjoys being squashed into a metal box with strangers unless you're into that kind of thing, and why aren't schools these days teaching the meaning of the words “quiet carriage”? But I have to be grateful that we are not serviced by Southern Rail.
Yet more strike action led to the company saying customers were 'strongly advised to consider alternative methods of transport wherever possible'.
Bless them for trying to help but don't they realise, if someone had an alternative method of transport to one where you pay thousands a year to arrive at work late and smelling of the armpits of others they may have taken that option by now.
I was just about to send the Southern passengers a commiseration card when I saw the Post Office was going on strike too on the run up to Christmas, aka the only time you have to send anything in the post.
Kevin Gilliland, the Post Office's network and sales director, said, “It will be business as usual.” You know, when lots of people refuse to go to work and it doesn't affect your business, it not a good sign.
The only real difference is that some older folk won't have a queue to stand in and chat to strangers. So if that happens on the run up to Christmas go and get on a Southern train. They'll be back from striking then and the people you talk to won't be able to go anywhere.