Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Return of the Rickshaw

In the lanes of Kent, young lads riding their bikes dismount to stand and stare. Outside rustic village pubs, old codgers pause from sipping their pints. Cricket matches on village greens are briefly halted so that the players can enjoy the unfolding vision. And from one and all, the cry goes up 'It's the Rickshaw!' as the Valley Express service is affectionately known.

Sharon Larkin from Donkey Street on Romney Marsh commented, 'We used to say that when you saw the first Saga coach, it was a sure sign of the arrival of spring. Now we say that seeing the Rickshaw in our lanes is a sign that summer is coming to an end. Not much happens on the marsh, so I like to see the fans in their gaily coloured uniforms. And it's a nice day out for the old folk.'

On a more serious note, the progenitor of the service has commented that the Valley Express offers a proven mechanism for increasing match day sales, needed even more with season ticket sales revealed to be down by 1,700 on this time last year. The club needs bums on seat, but to do that it needs to get its pricing right. The Wigan match will be a good test.

So on this beautiful summer's evening I am going to go out to the garden and open a Belgian Abbey beer to toast the Rickshaw. Good luck to the Rickshaw and all who ride it.


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