22 OCTOBER 1954, Page 6

Patronage at Euston

A reader writes to report his experience of what sounds like a minor racket on the railways. On October 11 he travelled to Manchester on the 11.45 from Euston. He got to Euston early, found, rather to his surprise, that every corner seat on the train was reserved, and sat down in a middle seat. Presently an attendant ushered into the reserved corner seat next to him a traveller, who later revealed that he had not reserved that or any other seat but had merely given the attendant two shillings. A woman with a baby (but without a reservation) was awarded the reserved' seat opposite; the two other corner seats in the carriage had been booked in the e normal way through a ticket agency. My correspondent enclosed specimens of the labels used (` penalty for unauthor- ised removal £5.') What may be called the. bogus reservations were made with labels issued at Euston and stamped with the e date but bearing, unlike the bona fide labels, no other par- ticulars except the coach and seat numbers. It is no doubt expedient that the station staff should have a few reserved seats on every train up their sleeves against unforeseen contingencies; but it seems hardly fair to the travelling public to put all the corner seats (so to speak) under the counter.