I have been travelling to London on quite a few occasions and have noted that politness and manners have left not only the trains but also the platforms of some of our iconic stations. People seem to think they are back in the time of survival of the fittest. People race past you at the station to get on trains that are not leaving for at least 15 minutes. Why I asked myself is there this mad panic? Well it is simple, they all want to get the holy grail...a train seat! All common sense goes out of the window and ladies are pushed aside by these so called gentleman who try to get a seat before anybody else. Gone are the days when a gentleman would make sure a lady has a seat on a locomotive, or indeed help her board the train she is travelling on.
There is not even an offer of assistance to ladies, children or the elderly. The so called gentlemen make the pilgrimage to their thrones. I have been horrified to see this and now feel the time has come to remind gentleman that this is exacly what they are suppose to be, gentlemen! At my Royal Etiquette classes at Blenheim Palace and The Ritz Hotel in London, we can not stress the point enough the importance that a gentlleman should always act as such and I assure you that this is not taking place at our train stations accross the country.
I have noted that nobody ever asks if they may sit next to somebody regardless of if they have a seat booked or not. Out of common politeness before you invade somebody elses space, it is a common courtesy to ask if you may sit next to that person, and again out of politness they should be more than happy to allow this. It amazes me when boarding a train that others commuting put bags or laptops on the chair next to them to try and claim two chairs. This is just plain rude and I do not encourage this at all. May I remind all true gentlemen to help ladies put items in the storage areas where appropriate.
Let us try to put the Great back into a Great British Railways.