Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bury St Edmunds

East Anglia is not a part of the country that I visit very often so when a friend of maytrees max who I also knew from HCPT, asked that I came to support him at an Employment Tribunal at Bury St Edmunds for a few days, there was little difficulty in agreeing. Added to that, his counsel is also an old friend whose work over the years I knew well.

One of the great advantages of attending an ET purely as an observer/friend, is that there is of course no need to spend hours on the papers rehearsing the arguments.

Traveling to and from Bury St Edmunds by train was convenient and enjoyable. The train from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich ran on time, was comfortable and not too full. Changing at Ipswich it was pleasantly surprising to find the small local train already waiting at the adjacent platform ready to pick up passengers, many of whom were on their way to Cambridge university - Cambridge being slightly further up the line from Bury St Edmunds.

Bury St Edmunds turned out to be a very attractive small city (it has a cathedral) with some smart restaurants and shops. Probably during WWII the city was so far out from London or industrial centres that it largely escaped the bombing that devastated other towns and cities.

Rising early in the morning to buy a newspaper before breakfast it was interesting to learn that although newsagents tend not to open before 7am Costa Coffee and similar shops were open at that time and happy to sell copies of the Times even without coffee.

Some early morning photos in the mist:

Although our hotel was cheap and cheerful, its setting (bottom right photo) was fine. Restaurants  were full most evenings so I assumed that people were either not too short of cash or that credit  is the key.

The ET case itself continues for a couple more days with judgement probably not being issued until November/December. However the presence of friends on the claimant's side probably served to counter balance the 10 or so witnesses the Respondents called from the UK and elsewhere for their case. 

My own view, which after retirement is obviously an amateur one,  is that the claimant will be successful. 

Perhaps blog-posting any details  of the case itself,  is best deferred until after the  (public) judgement is handed down.

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