Sunday, 20 October 2013

Out with the Angels: Girls Night Out

The excellent cartoons are by fellow Street Angel, Cate Field, an illustrator and art teacher. They capture the spirit of street angels, who are 'here to help people by listening, caring & offering practical help'

Friday night we had three teams out in Woking, 7 of us in all. Here are a few highlights to give you a flavour of what goes on in the Town centre, as part of what is called the Night Time Economy.   I've changed names to protect individuals...

10:15 Team 3  
Met Angel, an Irish Gypsy Traveller (ex con) who was feeling rather nostalgic  ‘everything not what is used to be’  I told him nostalgia is a thing of the past, but he didn't get it...
King the bouncer at Yates told us he had stopped a man with a rucksack full of drugs who was then arrested by the police. 

10:30 Team 1  
Young couple walking along, having drunk – he was verbally abusive to everyone he saw ‘attacked’ the ….. around the building  …  he started to get aggressive to girlfriend so we called on walkie-talkie. Police arrived immediately. Eventually they went towards the station, but vying for  a fight with anyone along the way. Went to subway & then heard girl scream – police ran to investigate….

11:30-1 Team 3 
Nice chat with Pakistani Taxi driver who said we shouldn’t give out flip-flops cos girls should bring their own. Also mentioned one girl he’d given lift to where WSA had paid fare was doing it for a laugh. She had the money…(its what you call being taken for a ride!)
Kevin was under canopy with a girl and a bloke who called him grandpa. He seemed to like the attention.  Checked he had something to eat. Said he had Chinese burger! (also saw him outside MacDonald’s later checking paper bags and he found 2 more burgers!
Drunk, scantily dressed, mouthy girl, falling about the Canopy flower beds was very abusive to female angels (her friend apologised) We walked away.

01:30 Team 2 
Attended slightly cross couple of ladies who had suffered slight cut to ankle as a result of a glass being thrown near them. Police also in attendance who said they would speak to the lady who had allegedly thrown the glass.  Wet wipes and tissues handed to lady who cut her ankle. They appreciated our help and left. We swept up the broken glass 

02:15 Team 3
Fight outside KFC a young Zulu Man and 2 older white men and younger woman.  Very racist comments being made. I asked Pakistani Taxi driver who was there who started it – he said ‘50:50 same same’  The two East European Bouncers did really well keeping them apart.  Radioed in and CCTV kept eye on it and Police came.  They talked to all concerned, took details and decided to check CCTV to decide whether to proceed. The Zulu man was picked up by his girlfriend. 

02:30 Team 3 
Opposite Yates – a girl sitting in gutter with her girlfriend. Falling about, very drunk. a young medical student & boyfriend helping. Ambulance called.  Given blanket to keep her warm and water  Ambulance crew decided she was being dramatic, acting, but taken off to St Peters anyway (at great cost!)    

03:00 Team 1 

At 01:45 Nigel was kicked out of Bed Bar and walked with us for a while. We left him outside and told bouncers he was waiting for his brother inside. At the end of the evening it turned out he’d been ‘bottled’ and taken to St Peters. His brother went to be with him at St Peters after negotiation with Taxi Driver (fare paid from Kitty).  Loads of time spent swapping SIM cards to make contact with police, brother etc  because of his phone had run out of battery

03:30 all teams
We decided to call it a day after we’d got Nigel's brother in taxi. The Woking Town Marshalls (Whiskey Tango Mike) had after all also left at that point ….. 

Paul McCartney was in concert on TV back at Council offices singing Eleanor Rigby:  ‘All the lonely people,  where do they all come from?’ Seemed rather poignant..... 

The Best quote of the evening  – one angel was told: “Oi Mate, you’re a legend……. you fought in the war didn’t you!"  (I wasn't even born then)

We decided it was a very strange atmosphere tonight (not jolly under the Station Canopy as people were leaving, as is often the case). Maybe it was because so many girls seemed particularly bitchy during their night out ….  which might be why we gave out so many lollipops to blokes (as a sort of compensation?)

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