STRANGE ENCOUNTERS: The first happened when I was returning from a school athletics meeting and climbed aboard a branch line train which still used separate compartment carriages. Amazingly all the carriages were full and the compartment I entered was occupied by men carrying brown paper parcels. I noticed they were all very tanned. '˜Where have you been?' One asked looking at my sports gear. '˜Running for my school' I replied. '˜Did you win?' Proudly, I answered '˜Yes, first in the 100 yards'. As they were friendly I said '˜You're looking very brown. Have you been on holiday?' With a big smile one replied '˜Yes, thanks to Her Majesty.' It was then my time to get off so I never asked why she would have given them a holiday. It was only later that my mother told me that men carrying brown paper parcels were recently released prisoners, probably from the prison further up the track.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 12:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:01 pm

The second happened when I was at university, studying for my Law degree. It was suggested that it was beneficial to have various vocational legal work experiences. One was called ‘Shadowing a Judge’. This entailed two weeks of accompanying a judge to various Courts and listening to his judgements. Another student and myself were assigned to a very eccentric character. He drove us to the Courts in a less than roadworthy car, and his decision in one case was unbelievable. A fellow came in who announced he was going to defend himself without a barrister. Not a popular stance where the legal profession are concerned. He was not wearing a suit, had on a navy blue shirt and sported a very bright yellow tie. The judge, whom we were sitting near said, in an aside to us, ‘I don’t like his tie’. The man was doomed. He didn’t stand a chance. He lost his case all because of a tie.

SMILE FOR THE DAY: What is round, evil and very angry? A vicious circle.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @sussex_express

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Sussex Express - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.