Lost driver’s thanks to Crawley cabbie

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Having always avoided driving to Crawley I decided to take the plunge a couple of weeks ago so that I could visit someone at St Catherine’s Hospice.

Having successfully navigated my way to the building in Malthouse Road and after an hour or two of pleasant chatting I left about 3.30 to return to Brockham before it got dark but at the first roundabout everything went wrong.

I somehow took a wrong exit and of course every turn after that made things worse. After a great deal of time and cruising, with several stops to ask in vain for directions, I eventually found myself alongside a health and fitness centre and stopped the car, preparing to seek help yet again.

As I sat there pondering my next move and wondering whether to simply call the AA, a chap came out of the building and walked in my direction. He bent forward and looked in my little Honda. “Are you alright?” he asked. “No, I’m totally lost.”

I got out of the car and one of the gent’s questions, naturally, was where I was heading for. Settling for a place en route to Brockham I asked him if he knew Charlwood. “Do I know Charlwood?” he said, “Of course I do – I’m a cab driver!”

After several more minutes swapping ideas about how to get me on the right road, this guardian angel suggested that I should follow him closely as he steered me. So off we went. Now dark and through increasing rush-hour traffic, in due course I was relieved when the cabbie signalled left into a bus stop. I pulled in behind him, he got out and walked towards my window. “Should be ok if you just follow this road, it takes you right into Charlwood.”

“I think I recognise where I am, thank you so much,” I said. “You’re very welcome, take care,” and he turned to go back to his taxi.

“Just a minute!” I called, reaching for my handbag. He looked back at me as I opened my purse and ensured me that it was quite all right and I shouldn’t even think about it. “But . . . .” I started and his reply was, “Look, I’m not very well. Just give me a prayer some time .” and he disappeared into the darkness, away in his cab. May God bless him always.

Ann Power, Brockham