Recently there were several Blogs taking part in Manu’s RAK (Random Act of Kindness) month. The idea was to give help, and kindness to a stranger, or to a friend who was in need of a helping hand and then to write about the experience on their respective blogs.
Reading about the involvement in the Random Acts of Kindness of other Bloggers reminded me of an similar experience I once had many years ago. It brought home to me just how uncaring and selfish some members of the public can be.
Let me first give you some background information. At the time I was 30, a Radio Amateur, callsign G6AFY/T, and I had a shack in the garden with my own Amateur TV station. I only transmitted in monochrome then, but I was keen to get my hands on the special components needed to build a colour camera so I visited every Amateur Radio and Electronics show I could get to. It was at one of these ‘Radio Rallies’, as they were called, that I had the experience I’m going to tell you about.
In my paper journal of 1967, I wrote the following:
Sunday 21 May 1967. Weather – Cool, showery.
Today was the day of the Drayton Rally. I went round to Robin’s place and picked him along with John. When we arrived at the entrance to the park there was a long queue of cars backing up down the drive all the way to the main road. It took us about three quarters of an hour to get past the ticket booth and into the main park.
Rob and John decided to visit the Bring and Buy sale by the lake, but I decided to go directly to the main hall where I would most likely find the three vidicon tubes and the dichroic mirror I needed.
As I walked along the path to the main doors I noticed a man on crutches who was struggling to walk about 50 yards in front of me. As I watched he suddenly fell over. He lay on the ground and it was obvious that he couldn’t get up unaided. I walked briskly towards him fully expecting the 10 people or so in front of me to stop and help him up, but surprisingly no-one stopped or even looked down at him. One person actually stepped over him in his haste to get into the hall! Bastard.
When I reached him I noticed that one leg was broken to the extent that it was folded forward of his knee joint, and his foot was facing backwards! I thought “Oh my God! this is an ambulance job. Yet he was smiling up at me and saying “It’s OK mate, I’m alright, this has happened to me before, help me up please.” I tried to lift him up without doing any more damage to his leg. Finally another man stopped and we got him upright and sat him on the low wall. Someone else ran off to fetch the St Johns Ambulance men.
By this time quite a crowd had gathered, one women was heard to snort “Drunk at this time of day! He should be ashamed of himself!” and walked away. Cow! Michael, that was his name, was laughing as he rolled up his trouser leg and showed us his prosthetic leg, broke into two pieces which were held together at the knee joint by one loose bolt, which was the reason why the lower part had twisted round to face the wrong way. “Bloody Hell! I have lost the other nut and bolt, has anybody got one on them like this other by any chance?”
At this point I volunteered to go into the main hall and see if anyone was selling nuts, bolts and other hardware. Luckily I found a stall that did, so I explained the situation to the owner, and leaving his missus in charge, he grabbed his toolbox and a handful of assorted nuts, washers and bolts and followed me out. Micheal was still sitting there, explaining to the First Aid man that his services were not needed, because the AA were on their way!
The stall holder looked at the damaged joint and managed to straighten it out and put two new bolts in with lock nuts this time. “That joint will see you out.” he said and went back into the hall. Michael got up, thanked us, and walked into the hall as if nothing had happened to him.
I saw him later returning to his car with a “goodie bag” full of components, switches, packs of resistors and capacitors. “Thanks again pal, for your help. I thought my day was ruined, but you saved it”. I felt a glow inside me knowing that I had helped someone out of a mess. He tried to give me a £5 note, but I refused it even though he insisted. I said if you are so keen to part with it, then put it into a charity box.
I continued round the stalls, then to a the marquees that contained the overflow stalls. I managed to find the three vidicon tubes and I bought an extra two as spares, but I didn’t find the dichroic mirrors I needed. One stall holder told me that they were “as rare as hen’s teeth”.
Later I met up with Robin and John to go for. . . . .
No need to read anymore, it’s not relevant, but we did have some fun in the Fun Fair later; on the Big Dipper and the Water Splash. We behaved like big kids! Disgusting!
“That’s all folks”.