The train for Glasgow had been stuck just outside - not at, or we could have gotten off, just outside - Preston Railway Station for nearly four hours.
The buffet carriage had run out of sandwiches. More urgently, it had run out of booze. And the toilets had been unable to cope with the demand. A pool of pish seeped under the door of the carriage and threatened our shoes.
The stress was getting to some folk. The carriage had slowly filled with the acrid haze of cigarette smoke. A group of kilted rugby fans returning from the Scotland vs Wales game in Cardiff had a great idea to cheer people up. One of their number started playing the bagpipes at ear-splitting volume, marching up and down all the carriages in the train.
This tipped one wee Weegie wifie over the edge, who stood up to scream in the piper's face "shut up! Shup up! Fucking shut up!"
The elderly gentleman opposite me had taken in the scene with gentle amusement. He leaned over and tapped me on the knee to get my attention.
"You know," he said in cultured tones, "this reminds me of when the Luftwaffe used to bomb the railways during the War."
"At least then we knew who to blame."