Friday, 6 June 2014

A Guest Post from Deborah & Leslie Smith - THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

From Deborah Smith

My dear uncle, Leslie Smith, has been a resident of North London since he moved to the Capital from The Midlands as a young man of 30, back in 1958. Now in his mid-eighties,
Leslie continues to be admirably active in his community – and so it was particularly heartening to hear that the community supported him when he needed it. Here is his story…

Recently, late on a Friday evening, I was dismayed to discover that my wallet was missing. I had travelled in the afternoon by bus from Finsbury Park, North London to my home in Islington and was unsure whether the wallet was lost or stolen.

I walked again over the streets I had used when leaving the bus, to no avail, and then to Kentish Town police station to report the loss. 

The policewoman on duty was very helpful – straight away calling Cardguard, where my bankcards are insured, so that I could speak to them promptly to report the cards lost with the wallet. She took my name and address and telephone number and shortly after I arrived home 'phoned me to see that I had got there safely, which I thought was most kind. (An EverdayFolk thumbs up and thanks to the policewoman thumbs up)

The next day I mentioned the lost wallet to my neighbours who immediately offered to lend me some money, though I did not need to take them up on their kind offer, as I had a few US Dollars at home that I was able to change for Sterling at the local post office. The post office cashier was extremely sympathetic and helpful – as was enquiry lady at Archway tube station, where I went next, to purchase a temporary Oyster travelcard, as my senior citizen’s Freedom travel pass was also in my missing wallet. (More EF thanks and thumbs up to the neighbours, the local post office and the enquiry lady at Archway station thumbs up)

Later that evening I received a very welcome 'phone call from Cardguard to tell me that my wallet had been found and handed in to the London Transport bus garage at Cricklewood.  

I travelled on three buses to reach the bus garage, each time offering my temporary Oyster card to the drivers, while explaining why I didn’t have my senior citizen’s Freedom pass, and each one kindly waived me through without charge.(EF thanks to those drivers
thumbs up)

At Cricklewood bus garage I found the contents of my wallet to be completely intact. I asked which driver had handed in the wallet as, of course, I wanted to thank him. The manager, though very courteous, said that he could not disclose the driver’s identity. (And a huge EF thanks and thumbs up to the manager and the driver that handed the wallet in thumbs up)
One hears such stories about impersonal and uncaring behaviour in London, but here is an incident where everyone was completely the opposite: concerned, kind, considerate - and honest.

My heartfelt thanks to them all.

Leslie Smith

Deborah Smith and her Uncle, Leslie Smith

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