Cutty Sark Train Station Attack

originalOn  19th  June at 5.45pm I walked  into Cutty Sark Station. Alone. I took the escalator.  (In Pic)  The metal bars  line the right end of disembarkment area of downward escalator. Two drunk men blocked this passage. The escalator deposited me upon them. They were between 50 and 60 years.   They  shouted at me and blocked my path so that I could not continue to the second escalator off to the left of the photograph.  Their aggression grew more intense.  One wore  a  St Georges flag t shirt.   In fear for my safety  I  returned up the escalator  on the right hand side of the metal bar in the photograph and out the station.  I tweeted at 6.05pm  “Two drunk men set on me at Cutty Sark Station”  I spoke to two people as these following events unfolded.     I spoke to Duwayne Brooks the SDP councillor for Lewisham Council and to Bradley the producer of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. 

I was disorientated.  I waited to regain my bearings  then returned down the escalator  straight to the security office. It’s behind the pillar in the picture above. The  security officer  escorted me down the second escalator to the train platform.  I got onto the train.   I missed my stop.  I was at Limehouse. I meant to be at Canaray Wharf.   So  I got off the train at Limehouse,  to get the next train back,  oIMG_6951nly I hadn’t touched my oyster card at Cutty Sark. A  ticket inspector was  on the stairs at Limehouse  to catch fare dodgers. Two police officers were stood behind him. They are not in the picture.    I tried to explain  what had happened minutes before even showing the tweet  but the security guard was not listening.  He was from the same company as the one who escorted me to the train. I was  fined  forty pounds for dodging my fare. I walked up the adjacent stairs to the opposite platform and took this picture on the left.   I got on the returning train and changed at Canary Wharf.  Where the shock of what had happened to me. Really hit home. There’s nowhere like Canary Wharf to be in shock and invisible.    My journey ended eventually at Hackney Central. The next day I caught the same train to Greenwich to begin my work as writer in residence for Greenwich and Docklands International festival. All smiles.

I am posting this blog on 26th August.  It’s here as a point of record. The reason I didn’t put it up at the time was so not to get in the way of the press for the i festival and particularly for the arrival of The Whale.   I  did not report it to the police though both Duwayne and Bradley advised that I should. Nor did I appeal to Independent Appeals Service  PO Box 212   Petersfield   GU329BQ. I received the reminder to pay through the post and paid the bill. This is a point of record

13 thoughts on “Cutty Sark Train Station Attack

  1. I would be inclined to appeal Lemn as you deserve nothing less than understanding and justice.

    Having taken on many varied appeals myself (and won a very high percentage) in my experience, if you think that you are in the right then you most likely are!

    Take care,

    • Thanks man…I hadn’t the time to appeal as the next two weeks was taken up with the residency. Also I was more disturbed than this blog shows. I was in shock. I spent half an hour in side Canary Wharf lost and wondering which train to get. My brain turned to scrambled egg.

  2. I read your tweets at the time (following you since World Book Night) so I remember this story. I think official acknowledgement of what happened and a refund of your fine would be both just and cathartic. Interestingly, I live in Petersfield if that’s any help with the appeal?

    I was the victim of a bag snatch once so know what you mean about scrambled brains…

    • Yes Pearl. I’m glad you caught that scrambled brain comment I made. It’s strange isn’t it. I was so disorientated (the word is disturbed) in Canary Wharf that I wasn’t sure where I was going or how to get there or if I had come the right way. I had to call someone to say “I don’t know what I am doing here and I am not sure I can get out”. It took me half hour to get it together. It felt like I’d fallen off the grid into some strange other reality. Like I’d slipped through the cracks. The worst thing about it was that so many people saw it happening.

  3. Really sad to hear about this. For the last eight years of my 20 years working in London I lived between Cutty Sark and Deptford Station and used them both, often in the evening after a late shift on a newspaper or after being out with friends. I read recently that Boris is looking at axing evening staff at stations, so there wouldn’t even be any help for anyone suffering this kind of aggression from idiots. These incidents leave a bad taste – hope you’re OK.

    • Michelle Thanks, it’s crazy that he would cut back on security at stations, not that security did me any good. I’m good thanks.

  4. There must be thousands of these incidents of injustice every day. Rabbit in the headlights people are the least likely to fight back.
    I would fight them to the death and get your money back, if I was you.
    Want someone to come with you? I am quite good at it, especially on someone else’s behalf. I have fought the bank and my local council, and won when they said it couldn’t be done.
    Round here, putting up with it is called ‘swallowing’ – isn’t that vile? I spent many years of my life swallowing.
    But no more never no more.

    • I have my own ways of getting back. Ways that fit my criteria. Your way suites you. Mine suites me. GET 18 YEARS OF MY CHILDHOOD TAKEN STOLEN AND LOST BY A COMPANY CALLED THE DIGITAL MOUNTAIN ON BEHALF OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES. ALL MEMORY OF ME. I have done everything to get those files over 18 years. I don’t have, I can’t have faith in the records of officialdom. Yes your reference to swallowing is wrong.

      • Sorry – I didnt mean to make you angry. I dipped my toe in the water to maybe see my records… They put so many stipulations, I changed my mind. They are afraid of being sued, aren’t they? And so many of us have plenty to sue them for.

        • No I’m sorry. You didn’t make me angry. I just ahe an approach to the police and officialdom which means that yes I lose forty pounds but I am not “swallowing” either. I jsut wanted to show there are more reasons to not make a claim. And there are more ways to skin a cat.

  5. You need a companion on your walkabouts, Lemn. An ex Royal Marine, Para or Gurkha veteran. Not black because that could inflame the situation, bumping into a bunch of thugs sporting the Cross of St George, high on Super Ts or something else. In my day it was EvoStik. Especially since the Woolwich tragedy, you need to take extra care. We want to see you back in La Romieu sometime!

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