Douglas Bax, Rondebosch
With reference to your front page report about repairs to the Kenilworth railway station crossing and its booms (“Boom problems persist”, Tatler, July 11), I would like to point out something to which the agency in charge of the repairs needs to pay particular attention.
About two years ago I was riding through the level crossing on a bicycle. Large concrete blocks lie on either side of the rails. I did not notice that two of them ahead of me had moved apart slightly. The front wheel of my bicycle fell into the gap and jammed there. The bicycle and I went head over heels, so that I landed on my head and spread-eagled across the rails.
Fortunately I had been riding uphill (towards the mountain) and slowly, and I had a helmet on; but despite that I was so badly stunned that I could not figure out how to extract one leg that had got jammed in the triangular frame of the bicycle. A couple of cars passed, but took no notice.
Fortunately, however, a woman driver saw that I was in a predicament, drove through the crossing, parked on the other side and came to help me – before the next train arrived.
I was left with nothing worse than a badly bleeding index finger and a small piece of loose bone in it (which I still have). But something needs to be done to see that the concrete blocks are more tightly and firmly fixed against one another, so that, that sort of accident does not happen.
(In my state of mind at the time I did not get the name of the woman who helped me, but if by chance she reads this I would be glad if she could contact me at 021 686 6321).