Notes from the Underground
A couple of months back I wrote a story loosely based on my experiences working on the London Underground.
I’m delighted the story ‘The Debt he Carried’ has been published today by London literary magazine Notes from the Underground. You can read it here
After graduating I spent two years working as a transport policeman on the Piccadilly and District lines until I could no longer afford London rent. I met some interesting characters struggling to survive on the streets (and beneath them). They came from all over the country. Some of the regulars I chatted with, and sometimes cautioned, were from Glasgow, Nottingham, Liverpool and Stoke. London was an escape, or perhaps it just brought anonymity, numbers to get lost in.
The Underground was like a spin cycle that spat you out…
It was a hard and often dangerous existence. Anyone who believes the streets are a soft option should try out the nearest doorway (in February). I’d begin night shifts and, after chucking-out time, grab a coffee and watch the pavements glitter as frost spread and foxes began to emerge scurrying away with discarded kebabs and chicken bones. Violence was commonplace. So was drink. Commuters shunned these people, raising newspapers against the sight of grimy fingers and the smell of cheap grog and stale sweat. There was kindness too, but you had to look for it.