Ok, here’s a post that isn’t about climbing. Typing on a train to London. With Clare, climber extraordinaire, and the lovely sisters too. CLIMBING!!!! WE STARTED A CHARITY!! check out https://climbingforallsheffield.com, better still our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cfasheffield/ , and see the amazing bunch of climbers and volunteers we get to meet at club sessions.
So, London is a bit of an adventure. How does wheelchair travel work out? How can Clare survive a day without the usual health props of supported standing, nebulisers, etc.? WHATEVER!
Try new stuff! We wanna be out there, living it. Climbing gets you in the mood to Go For It.
So far so good. Parking for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle at Sheffield station: check. Lifts to platforms: check. Friendly traveller insisting we needn’t lift chair into train: check. Prompt arrival of long & robust ramp: check.
There is space in Coach A for one good sized power chair but we’ve left Clare’s drag-it-anywhere manual chair parked there & got Clare to wobble down the narrow gap to seats.
New bits of London Underground are accessible but having checked out the (in)accessibility London Tube map (http://content.tfl.gov.uk/step-free-tube-guide-map.pdf) we knew that the four stations near the British Museum are impossible. Nice walk from St Pancras though – flat & kerb-free, and a leafy bit through Russell Square.
And the BM is great. Yup. All that history and inspiration. Visible from 3 foot off the ground and in a wheelchair, even the Rosetta Stone. Also big interior spaces, eating & drinking, excellent book shop amongst the gift shops, and spacious accessible toilets. Gave it 5 stars on TripAdvisor, though it would be good if they put in a Changing Places toilet so that people who can’t hop out of their wheelchair can do a full day at BM.
Back to good ol’ St Pancras, via MacDonalds to keep the rest of party happy. A member of station staff spots us & asks where we’re going…finds ramp…. full train but we swap our seat reservations to sit in and around the wheelchair space.
“But we’re sitting in Priority Seating…”, say the sisters.
“You are priority people!” say friendly co-travellers.
Hey, the journey was too easy. Tate Modern next time. And back to climbing for the next challenge!!