Keeping a toddler quiet on a packed train is no easy task – especially since such struggles can be met with disapproving tuts from impatient fellow passengers.
So single mother Samantha Welch was moved to tears when a generous stranger – impressed by her parenting of her three-year-old son Rylan – gave her £5 with a letter praising her as a ‘credit to her generation’.
The mystery passenger had written his message on a scrap of paper folded around the cash, which he handed to her as he got off the train.
The note said: ‘Have a drink on me. You are a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners.’
He signed off simply as ‘man on the train at table with glasses and hat. Have a lovely evening.’
The note went on: ‘PS I have a daughter your age… Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you!’
Miss Welch, 23, had kept Rylan occupied by playing games and listening to music. He later fell asleep and when the train became busier she moved him on to her lap to free up a seat.
She said yesterday that she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the man’s gesture and has launched an appeal on Facebook to track him down so she can thank him in person.
She explained: ‘As he walked by he tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I think you’ve dropped this out of your bag,” handed me the note and got off.
‘I honestly couldn’t believe it when I read it. I read it about ten or twenty times, over and over trying to take it in.
‘I was shocked that someone I didn’t know and hadn’t even spoken to before had done this.
‘I didn’t know what I had done to make him write what he did. I was so moved, I was overwhelmed. It meant so much to me.’
She added: ‘He shows there are still good people out there and I want him to know I am truly grateful. We definitely do need more people like him – the world would be a great place.’
‘HAVE A DRINK ON ME’: READ THE GENEROUS NOTE IN FULL
Have a drink on me.
You are a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners.
Man on train at table with glasses and hat
Have a lovely evening.
PS I have a daughter your age, someone did the same for her once. Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you.
Miss Welch and Rylan were on a gruelling five and a half hour journey, which included changing trains – enough to test even the most placid child’s patience.
She said: ‘He was good and there was no crying. It was quite exhausting for him but then he fell asleep with his head on my knee. The train was quite busy. A couple of people got on and were standing up and I offered to put him on my knee so they could have a seat.’
She had not really noticed the man until he gave her the note as he got off the train in Bristol, about an hour and half after she and Rylan had boarded in Birmingham. Miss Welch went on: ‘People look at you and judge you every day when you’re a single mum but getting that note made me feel special and proud. That might sound silly, but all I’m trying to do is make a better life for my son.
‘It really shocked me that there was money with the note, especially as money is tight for a lot of people these days.’ She has put the cash into her son’s savings account.
Miss Welch recently moved to Plymouth from Crewe, Cheshire, where she worked as an IT technician. She is looking for a similar job. She and Rylan had visited her sister in Crewe and changed trains in Birmingham on the way home.
They were on the 6.12pm train from Birmingham New Street to Plymouth on Thursday when she received the note.
Understandably, there is now a media campaign to find this lovely, kind stranger. But….we think that maybe they shouldn’t hunt him down. Perhaps they could let this man keep his anonymity and leave him in peace. If he wanted to leave his name and number then surely he would have done. What say you?
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