After a long day in the city, most people dread the gruelling commute home – but this group of commuters have found a fun way to look forward to it.
Jason Sutherland-Rowe, 48, who travels from Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, is a member of a ‘commuter’s club’, who get together on a train home from London Bridge.
The 48-year-old, who works in IT for an investment bank, joined the club three years ago – when one of its members offered him a glass of wine and asked him if he wanted to join them.
He travels for nearly three and a half hours each day to get to the capital – four times a week.
He said: “I thought it was very sweet and a great idea. You can sit across the same person everyday and not say a word – we have all now become great friends.”
The club has been going for seven years and the commuter said it has now ‘taken on a life of its own’.
He said: “It has really evolved. Sometimes it’s 15 to 20 of us and we all chat and take the pressures off the day. We dedicate Thursday’s to having a drink, but we don’t do this every night otherwise this would become a bit of a habit!
“Everyone thinks its such a wonderful and unique thing but it just makes sense for us.”
The club have regular parties to celebrate members’ birthdays and Christmas is always a special highlight, the IT worker said.
“This usually involves the whole carriage – a lot of us in the city don’t have Christmas parties so this gives us one and it it definitely more fun.
“Sometimes we miss our stops on purpose and stay on until we get to Littlehampton which is the last stop so we get more time!”
Stress levels can be high in the world of commuting, especially at a time when boarding a train on time is something of a miracle. But despite this, Jason said he returns home ‘chilled’.
“I get all the moaning out my system with my friends on the train, rather than my wife and when I get home I don’t feel like I’ve had a terrible day.”
The club also meet up in the outside world and bring their families along and they have a Facebook group to let each other know if there are any train delays.
One of its members includes councillor Angus Dunn for East Worthing and Shoreham, who holds a ‘summer party’ each year.
“Angus had a marquee last year and with food and games which was great fun,” he said.
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