A girl was waiting outside Beaconsfield station. I guess she was about 14. She looked as though she was waiting for a friend.
Sure enough, after a couple of minutes her friend turned up - from over the footbridge on the platform side of the barriers.
It quickly became apparent the the waiting girl had neither the intellect, nor the ability, to purchase a ticket unaided. She did not appear to have what are described as 'learning difficulties'. Quite simply she was what I would call 'scatty'.
Anyhow, through the railings her friend patiently described the process of buying a ticket and the girl eventually flourished her train ticket in the air proudly saying "How do I get in?".
There are two ticket barriers to the platform. Having spent 20 seconds trying to ram her ticket into the 'way out' barrier (the one with the big RED light), she eventually gained access through the 'way in' barrier (yes, you guessed it, the one with the big green light on it).
Most Chiltern Railways stations have automatic Ticket Vending Machines. They are generally pretty straight forward to use. They are also good because if you buy tickets online, all of the TVMs will print out your tickets, provided you designated the appropriate station as your collection point.
Following some robberies, a small number of Chiltern's un-staffed stations have had their ticket machines removed. This is a significant inconvenience for some passengers. It is thought that the thieves may be currently enjoying a stay away from home at Her Majesty's Pleasure.
It would be nice if the railway company could reinstate the machines, but that is as likely as it starting to snow Smarties.