Bridgnorth Cliff Railway staff member, 73, lunged at by teen after asking him to wear mask

A heritage railway boss has written to the police after a yob flouting face mask rules lunged at an elderly member of staff.

The director of Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has written an open letter to the Bridgnorth police sergeant after 'non-existent' support of face mask enforcement
The director of Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has written an open letter to the Bridgnorth police sergeant after 'non-existent' support of face mask enforcement

The worker at Bridgnorth Cliff Railway was so frightened by the experience he handed in his resignation, but colleagues rallied round and convinced him to stay.

Director Malvern Tipping said that people ignoring the rules and being rude to staff has become a daily problem, and wrote to the local police sergeant to call for action.

He said: “We’re having staff being abused on a daily basis.

"We had a 73-year-old member of staff who was lunged at by a 17- to 18-year-old. There were three lads and two girls. The lad had his mask round his chin and didn’t have his face covered. He was politely asked if he would cover his face but he lunged at our member of staff.

"If one individual wants to put themselves at risk, that’s up to them. But it’s wrong when it affects others.”

Dean Harris, the High Sheriff of Shropshire and the Mayor of Bridgnorth Councillor Kirstie Hurst-Knight looking at various areas of the Cliff Railway top station

Dr Tipping also said people have been going to extraordinary lengths to avoid wearing face masks, including buying fake medical lanyards.

Masks have been compulsory on public transport since June 15 and in shops since July 24 to try and slow the spread of coronavirus while society returns slowly to normal after restrictions.

But some people have not taken well to the new normal.

Dr Tipping said: “There have been people buying lanyards off the internet saying they have certain conditions and they’re exempt from wearing a mask.

"We’re not accepting those unless they’ve got something that has been signed by their GP.

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway engineer Barry Evans

"We’ve had to put numerous regulations in place. Our carriages normally carry 18 people but we’ve had to reduce that down.

"We’ve got extensive signage in place and we even had cartoons made specifically. The reason we did that was to bring a bit of humour to the situation.

"We’ve got protective equipment and hand sanitiser. The overwhelmingly majority of people are doing as they’re asked and we thank them for that.

“There are some exemptions where we don’t expect people to wear masks, if they have certain conditions or if it’s young children.

“But we’ve had some people arguing the toss over this. I don’t know if any other transport have had this kind of problem.”

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