We had decided that we would travel to Crawley to see if we could meet up with one of G4S’s senior executives at their HQ, to tell them face to face about the activities of some of their rogue employees. Although G4S is not one of our favourite companies, the people in charge there were most likely to identify the men who had imprisoned us and deal appropriately with them. Also, because of the company’s South African connections, it offered the best hope for us of locating and freeing Ken and Tom.
We decided to leave the car at the pub, walk into Dorchester and then catch the train into London and then onto Crawley. Travelling by car would take a long time unless we went via the main roads and we were worried that the rogue G4S people might spot us on CCTV cameras and somehow intercept us. Besides, we thought, the walk into Dorchester would do us good.
We chose to travel from the Dorchester South station which would take us into Waterloo with a direct connection to Crawley. Looking at the train times we saw that we would arrive at Crawley station at about 2.30 in the afternoon, hopefully getting to G4S HQ by 3 pm. This was a bit later than we had originally envisaged. Maybe we should have started out a bit earlier, but hopefully there would still be a senior member of staff around to talk to us at this time.
Once on the train we settled into our seats and used Penny’s mobile phone to contact both my Head of Department at the University of the South of England and Dave’s departmental head at Barclays. Ted, my HoD, said that he hadn’t even noticed my absence until Penny had contacted him. I hadn’t missed any classes or meetings. Academics are (still just about) in the fortunate position of being able to work from home provided they had no onsite commitments. As I was free on Thursday afternoons and all day on Fridays nobody had regarded my absence as unusual. By contrast Dave’s departmental head had been very concerned about Dave not being at work. Dave had not phoned in sick and the thought that he might have followed Ken out of the door with money taken from Barclay’s accounts was starting to form in his boss’s mind. He was much relieved to get Dave’s account of what had happened but also of course very concerned for Ken’s welfare.
We had with us all the envelopes with the files and reports to be sent off to the newspapers and other key addresses. We could post them in London as we were travelling there anyway and that would speed up their delivery.
We had brought with us the morning papers. Given what had happened to us over the last few days we hadn’t been able to keep up with world events. As we settled down to read them with a cup of coffee we were somewhat taken aback to find that G4S was in the news again. Certain pressure groups were pushing again for action to be taken against them and Serco for misappropriation of funds on various government contracts. We hoped that this wouldn’t mean that G4S senior executives would be preoccupied in dealing with the media and so not have time to see us.
Unfortunately the train into Waterloo was delayed outside the station and we had to run in order to catch our connecting train to Crawley, so we didn’t have time to post the envelopes. But as we hoped we did get to Crawley by 2.30 and we took a taxi straight to G4S HQ. Would there be someone available to talk to us?