Friday, 8 Dec 2023

Comedian stuck on train for 11 hours praises city’s ‘Monday night drunks’

A man who endured an 11-hour trip to Edinburgh has told how he met the “nicest drunks” after disembarking his cancelled train at Preston.

James Nokise was among hundreds of people catching a train to Edinburgh from London’s Euston station at the weekend which was cancelled as it crawled out of the capital, forcing passengers to get off at Preston.

They arrived in the Lancashire city after 7pm to find that no other trains were heading north that day and were forced to remain in the area as providers Avanti West Coast sought alternative transport.

Mr Nokise and his fellow passengers were stranded in the city until 10.30pm, and he has since recounted his unusual Preston adventure to the media.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the comedian told how he encountered the “nicest drunks” during his unplanned night out on the city.

READ MORE: How to claim train refunds from rail operators for delays as short as 15 minutes

He said Preston has “some of the friendliest Monday night drunks you’ll ever meet”, adding that many of them invited passengers to the pub.

The friendly drunks were representative of the mood that day, with the “couple of hundred” stranded passengers well tended to by their fellow travellers and other locals.

He said that people were ensuring vulnerable people, the elderly, and those with children were first able to board taxis arranged by Avanti to take them to their final destination.

Mr Nokise added: “I think when you’re in that kind of situation, the humanity warms you up a bit.”

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The comedian also told how some local people provided fish and chips – enough to feed a group of 50 schoolchildren.

The children from Greenfaulds High School in Cumbernauld were pictured sitting on the ground while eating.

The high school’s Modern Studies department posted about the act of kindness online, saying that 60 bags of chips were delivered to the youngsters.

Posting on X (formerly known as Twitter), the department wrote: “This is what 60 bags of chips getting carried across Preston look like.”

“It’s certainly lifted spirits as we await our golden carriage home. Big thanks to Micks House in Preston for pulling this out the bag for us.”

Mr Nokise concluded that the spirit of northern England helped keep people “sane” while they waited hours for their transport home.

He said: “I don’t know much about the north of England, but the spirit of the people who were waiting there was what kept us all a bit sane.”

Avanti West Coast said in a statement that anyone affected by Monday night’s disruption “will be entitled to compensation”, and they can “get in contact through the normal channels to process their claim”.

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