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20 Nov 2021

My Journey From Hell - WCC to LFCC

This was my first time at Wales Comic Con - Telford Takeover (WCC), a new experience for me. Getting to Telford and The Ramada Hotel, was smooth and without incident. But the problem started after leaving WCC to get the train to London Marylebone, where I was staying before going to London Film & Comic Con (LFCC) the next day.

Bearing in mind I’m in a wheelchair, distance between the venue and the rail station was a concern and whether I would need other transport between them. As the distance between them was short I didn’t think other transport would be necessary. How wrong I was!

I left, The International Centre, on time even though activities at WCC ran over, thinking I had enough time to get to my train. The shortest route was through, The Telford Centre, the main shopping centre for Telford. Together with others heading to the rail station, we get to The Telford Centre, to find Security just letting out the last few shoppers before locking up. Even though they could see I was in a wheelchair and others begging just to allow me through, the Security refused and said we all had to go around the Centre. 

The journey around the Centre, was long and went uphill and downhill and also meant navigating busy roads. Eventually, I get to the station, but I missed my train. And, that just the beginning of my troubles. 

Saturday Evening At Birmingham New Street Station

So, I missed my train at Telford, and would you believe it, it was the last train to Birmingham Moor Street, to catch my connection to London Marylebone. What was I to do?

Telford station is unmanned, so using the station’s Help Point call box, I was told to catch the next train to Birmingham New Street, where they would help me further. I get there for 20:32, after making enquiries I was to catch the 21:10 to London Euston. Whilst awaiting to be boarded, is when further problems started. 

You tend to find rowdy young Saturday nighters and football fans, all who had a bit too much of the amber liquid; congregating around the Customer Service Area due to missing or cancelled trains. They are all blaming the staff, for them missing or having their trains cancelled and demanding they all have taxis to their destinations. Due to all the altercations, the staff could not get me to catch the 21:10, so they promised to get me on 21:30. Guess what?, the 21:30 was being delayed, eventually boarding commenced, but due to the increased rowdiness the staff couldn’t get me to the platform in a timely manner. As we got there, the train was just leaving, and that was the last train to London. The staff member just looked at me and said we need to get back to Customer Services, and they will now have to get me a taxi. 

Once back there I stayed quietly in the corner awaiting my taxi. But with the staff dealing with all the rowdy travellers, my taxi wasn’t called until 23:30. It didn’t arrive till 00:30 and I eventually got to my destination at 03:45. As I was to leave the hotel at 07:00, there was no point in sleeping. I got to bed at 23:00 Sunday evening, once I got home. 

I am still recovering from the weekend’s adventures and probably will be for another few days yet. 

17 Nov 2021

Comic Con Weekend Is Nearly Here

I’m all set for a heavy weekend of Comic Cons. First the Wales Comic Con (WCC) this Saturday 20th Nov 2021, and London Film & Comic Con (LFCC) on the Sunday. I have my ‘Space 1999’, Eagle Pilot Cosplay ready, and waiting for Mission Control for the order to lift off. 

This my first time at the WCC, that’s taking over, The International Centre, in Telford this year. So this this will be an experience for a new place and Con. LFCC will be at, Olympia London, so travelling between the two Cons will be arduous. Friday, I will take the train to Telford, then after WCC on Saturday, the train to London Marylebone. Then after, LFCC on Sunday, back on the train home. 

Unfortunately, due to my MS, this weekend will take its toll on me. It will probably take all next week for me to recover, especially when I will be fighting my fatigue this weekend. It will impact on my new interest of Wheelchair Rugby, where my team Berkshire Banshees Wheelchair Rugby Team, that I play for have a tournament the following weekend. I just won’t have the energy to play. Which is a shame, especially when there is a chance for the Banshees being promoted from League One to the Championship League. 

Never mind, one can only concentrate on one interest at a time.

Ready for a weekend of Comic Con
Ready for a weekend of Comic Con
13 Nov 2021

One More Week … Then It’s ‘Action Stations’

One more week, can’t wait 😝, I’m so excited. On Saturday 20th Nov, I’ll be at the Wales Comic Con, and Sunday 21st Nov the London Film & Comic Con. For Cosplay, I’ve decided to go as an Eagle Pilot, from the iconic Gerry Anderson show, Space 1999. 

I’ve arranged ‘assisted travel’, to help get on, off and changes with the trains. So will see how well that fairs, funnily enough, I was contacted by one of the train companies to conduct an in depth report on their ‘assisted travel’ arrangements. It would involve using an app during travel, going through an online survey and participating on a ‘Zoom’ interview afterwards, on the experience of using ‘assisted travel’. 

Past Experience Of ‘Assisted Travel’

It will be interesting to see what happens. In the the past, using ‘assisted travel’ was a bit of a nightmare. I was once stranded on a train unable to alight as there was no guard with a ramp to help me get off with my wheelchair. 

I had to shout through an open door to get get attention. This was due to the train being delayed, by a broken down engine and passengers were being asked to change trains at an earlier stop to make any connections, but I couldn’t being in a wheelchair. There was no guard that came to ask me, if I wanted to change trains, so I had to stay on. 

And, when we got to my destination there was no one there to meet me, despite arranging ‘assisted travel’. There was no communication regarding the fact there was a wheelchair user on a train, where passengers are being asked to change trains. 

So let’s see what happens this time. 

1 Nov 2021

Back to Comic Cons - Wales Comic Con & London Film and Comic Con

Well it’s been a long time coming, but the wait is over. Comic Cons are back after being suspended due to COVID-19. 

My first event will be the Wales Comic Con (WCC), quickly followed by the London Film & Comic Con (LFCC), being held the same weekend in November. It’s going to be a busy weekend, meeting; Mitch Pileggi; Sean Pertwee; Brian Cox; Edward James Olmos; and more at WCC; and Brain Blessed; Veronica Cartwright; Tom Skirritt; and Ben Browder; at LCC

I’m really looking forward to returning back to my hobby of meeting and collecting autographs/photo ops, of actors of Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies and TV series. 

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