Posted by: barbaraneill | January 22, 2013

An encounter I once had with my friend, her grandmother, Patrick Mower and an escalator

It was in the seventies and my friend, Linda, was quite a fan of Patrick Mower, who was due to open the new Tesco branch in the Stoneborough Centre, Maidstone, in the south east of England, and Linda and I decided to go along during our lunch break.

Linda had pre-arranged to meet her Nan that lunchtime but it was OK because she was quite happy to come with us to the Stonborough Centre. Tesco was on the ground floor but we went into the centre from the bottom of Gabriels Hill, which meant that the only way up was via the escalator. Unfortunately, Linda’s Nan had never been on an excalator before (or since, I suspect!) and she was extremely wary.

Linda stepped onto the escalator first, then her Nan, who was so anxious that, as she stepped onto the escalator she was actually leaning back and, as the inevitable happened and she fell backwards, I had already put one foot on the escalator but I leaned forwards to grab Linda’s Nan while my other foot was still on the floor. Linda also tried to help her Nan by turning round and reaching down to her, while I watched my ‘escalator foot’, gradually moving away from me, meaning that I couldn’t put any weight on it to lift my other foot off the floor.

So, Linda was going up the escalator backwards, on her knees; her Nan was quite sedately laying on the escalator and travelling up, feet first, and I was doing the splits. Fortunately for us, a kind gentleman managed to leap past us and get to the top before we did, picking us off the escalator one by one! As soon as we established that we were all OK, we were all crying with laughter at how undignified we must have looked.

It’s certainly an episode I’ll never forget and it earned Linda’s Nan the nickname, “Escalator Nan”!

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