Porter’s Response, 1898

There’s a good story from 1898 about a particular Blantyre businessman who was well known for his meanness.

When travelling by railway as he often did, he would keep the railway porters at Blantyre busily attending to his luggage, getting them to load the bags on to the train carriage. He would meander, acting indecisively until the train was almost ready to go. The idea being he would be safely on board with his bags at the very last moment as the train started to pull away, leaving the porters on the railway platform, and thus avoiding their very much deserved tip. As the train would leave, tipping would be impossible.

One morning however, when heading to Glasgow and an onward journey to London, he executed this particular crafty manoeuvre once too often with the same railway porter, who this time seeing the businessman, was prepared.

After the usual bags carry on, the businessman gleefully was up the carriage steps on board the train as the whistle sounded the locomotive was ready to leave. Looking at the weary porter on the platform, he announced from his elevated train position his usual, “Dear, dear my man. I am so sorry. I quite forgot to get change.”

The train started to pull away. The porter had a response ready and walking alongside the train, shouting out back to the businessman , “What a pair we are! I’m sorry too! I forgot about your largest bag, still sitting here at the platform office!”

I’m guessing the businessman got off at Newton.

Illustration: AI generated.

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