Having thought about it overnight, we decided NOW would be the time to pay a visit - to be able to do something practical perhaps AND to see for myself how he is.
SO - First thing Friday morning we set off to the station having worked out a route involving 3 trains, a taxi and a drive. In theory, we'd catch a train from Appley Bridge to Manchester, Manchester to Leeds and then Leeds to Wakefield.... We KNEW it was going to be one of those days when on arrival at the station to pick up the tickets, some men in hi-vis appeared and began dismantling the machine - to replace it with a newer one... luckily, they allowed us to print ours out first.
RMT had other plans for us though and what with one thing and another (and by that I mean announcements we couldn't hear on the train apologizing for something or other) we missed connections and had a bit of a scramble. I can only presume drivers weren't in the right place due to the previous days strike.