There must be many passengers who travelled on the Manchester to Plymouth Virgin Voyager train today who feel as upset as I am right now. Especially the ones who sat in Carriage C. It was the swearing first wasn't it? A heavy male North West English brogue. But it wasn't the brogue was it. When did you first notice the baby crying and it being told to 'Shut the fuck up'. Then an older child started to cry. It wasn't just crying. The young child was gasping for breath between long drawn out sobs. The tiny baby sounded as if it was being hurt. It was scared.
The male moron, who seemed the be the father, was drunk. I heard the tins popping. I heard speech begin to slur. I heard his language get worse as he threatened to stick things up these babies arses to shut them up. One of the two females was the mother of these two unfortunate children, the other woman was her sister. They both giggled inanely at the drunken father's 'jokes'. I imagined if they didn't laugh at his jokes he would hit them. Maybe not. They sounded as bad as him. The baby began crying again and I heard one of the women say ' It's because you pinched him'.
I was sitting three aisles in front of them. I couldn't see them - but I could hear it all. I needed to see what they were like. I went to the toilet and had to pass them. Moronic male was slumped, slurring and still drinking in his seat. The sisters were immature girls. They were surroundeed by empty lager tins, plastic carrier bags, a mess of food, used nappies - pure chaos. He was a very big bloke, shaven headed and pissed. The faces of the individual travellers sitting near them said it all. Everyone looked in shock. Four young women travelling together left their seats near this family and moved into four empty seats in front of me.
I heard one of them say 'He's shaking the baby now'.
I got off the train at Taunton. This family were going on holiday to Devon.
I made no eye contact with the rest of the passengers. We were all so very British. Keeping quiet, not drawing attention to ourselves, not making the first move to do something, like interfere, when all the while two very young babies were at risk from a family who were drunk on a train in the middle of the day.
What could we have done?