Life can be cruel to you at times but try and make the most of it as its not a trial run.
My beloved Millwall made it the the league 1 play off final at Wembley. I so wanted to go but was petrified of traveling across London in a wheelchair. In steps my daughter Christine, nothing appears to phase her. So we decided to go.
Lots of planning about which stations to use. Normally the best route would be Ebbsfleet to St Pancras International but due to upgrading of the lifts this would not provide step free access for me.
Plan B was to go from Rochester to Victoria. The staff at Rochester station were very accommodating, lifts from the ticket hall to the platform to be met by staff to help us board the train with ramps. 45 minutes later we arrive at Victoria where staff were waiting to help us get off the train.
Next the underground. It took us a while to find the lift to the Victoria line, but we found it eventually. We boarded the tube with great ease as they had level access for wheelchairs, buggy and people with mobility issues. 1 stop was all we had to Green Park and to change for the Jubilee Line. This was were we hit our first problem. The signage for the lifts could have been better, but we found it eventually. The journey from Green Park to Wembley Park was uneventful with good access from the platform to the ticket hall.
Cries of “No one likes us” echoed round the station in a sea of blue and white. Now I’ve been to Wembley many times in the past so you would think I would know where I was going, no. A quick question to one of the ticket hall staff soon pointed us in the direction of the lift. Very soon we were down on Olympic Way were we met a Wembley Stadium courtesy bus. This dropped us at the main entrance for the stadium. We were met by Wembley staff who guided us through the main entrance to our seats inside.
We made it!
Well we won the match 1-0 thanks to a 85th minute strike from Steve Morrison, talk about leave it late.
Wembley staff were on hand to guide us back to the mini bus and our trip back to Wembley Park. TFL staff gave us advice on getting across the station and which lift to use. Easier said than done as a mass of bodies is difficult to cross in a wheelchair. But we did it and got to the platform unscathed.
This was were we were unsure if we had got on the right part of the train. A couple of signs with arrows pointing down the platform to tell us further down or up the platform for level access at Green Park. At this point a group of Millwall supporters helped get us on the tube. We would worry about Green Park when we got there, as there were enough people to lift me up or down when we got there. As it turned out we got on the right carriage but still the Millwall supporters insisted on helping us get off safely.
Once again poor signage at green Park for the lifts slowed us down, with more offers of help near the escalators, I think they intended carrying me up in my wheelchair. We found the lift a bit quicker this time and were soon on our way to Victoria, after a TFL guy held the tube so we could get on.
Soon were travelling back to Rochester after an exhausting day.
Next stop The Den!