COMMUNITY is a word commonly used these days by the media in the wake of the events in our inner cities.
Community breakdown and individual selfishness are also key words used to illustrate the selfish disregard and individual selfishness of certain members of our community.
Maybe we expect this in our inner cities, but when it extends to the ordinary village shop and post office in a rural area, it is something else.
On Sunday my car broke down in Eastergate 2.5 miles from my home.
I needed to phone the RAC, only to find I had left my mobile phone at home.
As the RAC number was on my phone, I called into the village shop enquiring whether they had a payphone I could use so I could call my son in Bognor.
I am 65 years old and I was hoping my son could drive me home.
I was told they didn’t have a payphone and, even though I offered to pay for the call, they redirected me to a phone box a good distance away.
They kindly changed a £5 note for me for the change and once arriving at this phone box, I found it vandalised.
I walked 2.5 miles home.
I was a pensioner stranded and they refused me a local phone call which I offered to pay for.
Where is the community spirit?
Where is their compassion for someone who needed help?
It’s a local post office and a local village shop where a sense of community should thrive.
Once my car was fixed (it was a coil), I returned home and complained to the owner of the shop.
He defended the lack of help and only apologised when I asked him to.
A small local rural shop refusing to give a stranded pensioner help is a symptom of how selfish this country has become.
It is no wonder the events of recent weeks have hit the front pages of newspapers all round the world.
Spinney Walk, Barnham