Would you strike up a conversation with a fellow commuter?

Team Ward prepare for their campaign day

Team Ward prepare for their campaign day

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A group of youngsters are encouraging Bexley commuters to make new friends on public transport.

Elena Peach, aged 16, from Elwill Way in Beckenham is one of 15 young people encouraging people to 'ask me how I am.'

As part of their National Citizen Service (NCS), a course aimed at teaching teenagers aged 15 - 17 valuable life skills, the group have organised the 'Ask Me How I Am' campaign which will see commuters given a free wrist band if they wish to take part in a day of socialising on board buses, trains and tubes on September 20.

The group will also host a stall in Broadway Shopping Centre, Bexleyheath giving people the opportunity to mark where they made a new friend on a map.

Miss Peach said: "We're trying to break the stigma of talking to people on public transport.

"Sometimes I'll overhear a conversation that I'm really passionate about and would like to join in."

Members of the group, named Team Ward, have reaped the benefits of talking to people on public transport.

Miss Peach added: "I met a man on a bus the other day and we had lots in common.

"It really made my day and now with social media it's really easy to keep in touch with people you meet."

For more information on the campaign search 'Ask Me How I Am' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Comments (8)

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3:26pm Sat 9 Aug 14

white rabbit9 says...

Teacher.........leav
e those kids alone!
Teacher.........leav e those kids alone! white rabbit9
  • Score: 4

10:42pm Sat 9 Aug 14

bexleyman says...

No. Do not talk to me. I'm psyching myself up for work. The last thing I want on the train, whilst trapped in some awkward place by Southeastern's shocking service, is a lefty nit-wit do-gooder inviting me to ask me about themselves. I really don't care & enjoy the commuting time to myself. When I get to work, I'm on company time, I have so little of it left for myself as it is.

And if they hear one of my conversations that they "really want to join" then I can assure them said conversation will take a rather negative tone, very quickly indeed.
No. Do not talk to me. I'm psyching myself up for work. The last thing I want on the train, whilst trapped in some awkward place by Southeastern's shocking service, is a lefty nit-wit do-gooder inviting me to ask me about themselves. I really don't care & enjoy the commuting time to myself. When I get to work, I'm on company time, I have so little of it left for myself as it is. And if they hear one of my conversations that they "really want to join" then I can assure them said conversation will take a rather negative tone, very quickly indeed. bexleyman
  • Score: 5

10:49pm Sat 9 Aug 14

flea_in_ear says...

There is no stigma as suggested in the article about talking to other commuters. You just do not know how you may be apparently striking up a friendship with, how they view that relationship. It may not be the lighthearted chat that you see it to be.

Yes, there are commuters I have talked to. Generally after many months of travelling together, and often it starts with complaining about the appalling service. There is also a deep understanding that when the other party wants to be left alone, or you want to be left alone, you both go along with that.

I am not interested in inane chatter for the length of the journey.
There is no stigma as suggested in the article about talking to other commuters. You just do not know how you may be apparently striking up a friendship with, how they view that relationship. It may not be the lighthearted chat that you see it to be. Yes, there are commuters I have talked to. Generally after many months of travelling together, and often it starts with complaining about the appalling service. There is also a deep understanding that when the other party wants to be left alone, or you want to be left alone, you both go along with that. I am not interested in inane chatter for the length of the journey. flea_in_ear
  • Score: 2

2:12am Sun 10 Aug 14

oBLiVioN 70 says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
Teacher.........leav e those kids alone!
Shine on you crazy diamond ;)
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: Teacher.........leav e those kids alone![/p][/quote]Shine on you crazy diamond ;) oBLiVioN 70
  • Score: 4

1:29pm Sun 10 Aug 14

goldenbroomboy says...

Conversation on commuter trains ended in 1986 when the then Network SouthEast unilaterally banned smoking, since the smokers compartment was the only one in which people held converstaions. They even smiled at each other as well.

Yes the smokers carriage used to smell of stale tobacco. But at least it was full of friendly people, unlike todays sourfaces with plugs in their ears. Hey if I tried to strike up a conversation with somebody today I would be considered, depending on gender, either a loony, or a sexual predator. I can see it now, NS subheadline, "This man tried to talk to a woman on a train to London".
Conversation on commuter trains ended in 1986 when the then Network SouthEast unilaterally banned smoking, since the smokers compartment was the only one in which people held converstaions. They even smiled at each other as well. Yes the smokers carriage used to smell of stale tobacco. But at least it was full of friendly people, unlike todays sourfaces with plugs in their ears. Hey if I tried to strike up a conversation with somebody today I would be considered, depending on gender, either a loony, or a sexual predator. I can see it now, NS subheadline, "This man tried to talk to a woman on a train to London". goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 3

8:22pm Sun 10 Aug 14

flea_in_ear says...

goldenbroomboy wrote:
Conversation on commuter trains ended in 1986 when the then Network SouthEast unilaterally banned smoking, since the smokers compartment was the only one in which people held converstaions. They even smiled at each other as well.

Yes the smokers carriage used to smell of stale tobacco. But at least it was full of friendly people, unlike todays sourfaces with plugs in their ears. Hey if I tried to strike up a conversation with somebody today I would be considered, depending on gender, either a loony, or a sexual predator. I can see it now, NS subheadline, "This man tried to talk to a woman on a train to London".
When I was still a smoker, I entered a smokers' carriage and immediately left it. The air was thick. It burnt my lungs. A woman with a toddler in a pushchair got in though. Child screamed its head off, must have been in agony. But she had to have her cigarette, she didn't leave.

I seem to remember the non-smoking carriages being packed solid as people tried to avoid the smoking compartments.

I don't believe that the plug-in-ear section of society has replaced the smokers. You will find smokers sitting at tables outside cafes etc carefully going through their text messages, ear-plugs in.
[quote][p][bold]goldenbroomboy[/bold] wrote: Conversation on commuter trains ended in 1986 when the then Network SouthEast unilaterally banned smoking, since the smokers compartment was the only one in which people held converstaions. They even smiled at each other as well. Yes the smokers carriage used to smell of stale tobacco. But at least it was full of friendly people, unlike todays sourfaces with plugs in their ears. Hey if I tried to strike up a conversation with somebody today I would be considered, depending on gender, either a loony, or a sexual predator. I can see it now, NS subheadline, "This man tried to talk to a woman on a train to London".[/p][/quote]When I was still a smoker, I entered a smokers' carriage and immediately left it. The air was thick. It burnt my lungs. A woman with a toddler in a pushchair got in though. Child screamed its head off, must have been in agony. But she had to have her cigarette, she didn't leave. I seem to remember the non-smoking carriages being packed solid as people tried to avoid the smoking compartments. I don't believe that the plug-in-ear section of society has replaced the smokers. You will find smokers sitting at tables outside cafes etc carefully going through their text messages, ear-plugs in. flea_in_ear
  • Score: 1

8:37pm Sun 10 Aug 14

oBLiVioN 70 says...

flea_in_ear wrote:
goldenbroomboy wrote:
Conversation on commuter trains ended in 1986 when the then Network SouthEast unilaterally banned smoking, since the smokers compartment was the only one in which people held converstaions. They even smiled at each other as well.

Yes the smokers carriage used to smell of stale tobacco. But at least it was full of friendly people, unlike todays sourfaces with plugs in their ears. Hey if I tried to strike up a conversation with somebody today I would be considered, depending on gender, either a loony, or a sexual predator. I can see it now, NS subheadline, "This man tried to talk to a woman on a train to London".
When I was still a smoker, I entered a smokers' carriage and immediately left it. The air was thick. It burnt my lungs. A woman with a toddler in a pushchair got in though. Child screamed its head off, must have been in agony. But she had to have her cigarette, she didn't leave.

I seem to remember the non-smoking carriages being packed solid as people tried to avoid the smoking compartments.

I don't believe that the plug-in-ear section of society has replaced the smokers. You will find smokers sitting at tables outside cafes etc carefully going through their text messages, ear-plugs in.
Quite true about smoking carriages, my aunt, a non smoker, often used to travel in the smoking part just to get a seat.

As a smoker I don't like having my home smelling of smoke and no way would I subject a child to a smoking zone.
[quote][p][bold]flea_in_ear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]goldenbroomboy[/bold] wrote: Conversation on commuter trains ended in 1986 when the then Network SouthEast unilaterally banned smoking, since the smokers compartment was the only one in which people held converstaions. They even smiled at each other as well. Yes the smokers carriage used to smell of stale tobacco. But at least it was full of friendly people, unlike todays sourfaces with plugs in their ears. Hey if I tried to strike up a conversation with somebody today I would be considered, depending on gender, either a loony, or a sexual predator. I can see it now, NS subheadline, "This man tried to talk to a woman on a train to London".[/p][/quote]When I was still a smoker, I entered a smokers' carriage and immediately left it. The air was thick. It burnt my lungs. A woman with a toddler in a pushchair got in though. Child screamed its head off, must have been in agony. But she had to have her cigarette, she didn't leave. I seem to remember the non-smoking carriages being packed solid as people tried to avoid the smoking compartments. I don't believe that the plug-in-ear section of society has replaced the smokers. You will find smokers sitting at tables outside cafes etc carefully going through their text messages, ear-plugs in.[/p][/quote]Quite true about smoking carriages, my aunt, a non smoker, often used to travel in the smoking part just to get a seat. As a smoker I don't like having my home smelling of smoke and no way would I subject a child to a smoking zone. oBLiVioN 70
  • Score: 1

9:18pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Wiff180 says...

Wouldn't want to talk to anyone when I am on the train. I am pretty sure once these children start earning money and doing the commute they'll also feel the same.
Wouldn't want to talk to anyone when I am on the train. I am pretty sure once these children start earning money and doing the commute they'll also feel the same. Wiff180
  • Score: 6

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