IT was one of those ‘blow the froth off my cappuccino’ moments I experienced while reading a specialist railway magazine.

I don’t want to sound unduly geeky, but my father and grandfather were railwaymen and I grew up on the railway. That’s my plea in mitigation.

Although I have never written down an engine number in my life, I am a huge fan of the railways.

Down the years there have been, I’ll admit, magazines bought from high shelves in newsagents, carried home in brown paper bags and hidden under the bed.

Now my private proclivity is perused predominantly online.

Anyway, back to the froth. And I don’t mean the kind you get from politicians, the kind I can see through from 100 metres, the kind I can smell, the kind it was my job to wipe away with straight down the middle reportage built on decades of experience and a cynicism which frightens even me at times. The magazine reported a quirky solution to an enduring issue.

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The Newcastle Metro was having problems with vandalism and gangs of youths hanging around stations engaging in anti-social behaviour. Their vacuous excuse was that they were bored.

Happily I don’t think I have ever been bored in my life and if I have, it was only for a matter of moments before I picked up a book or a pen or went for a walk or listened to some music.

Ah. The key word. Music! The panacea to most problems.

Some bright spark in Geordie land had come up with the brainwave of piping classical music through the public address systems of Metro stations.

For whatever reason, maybe he or she was a fan, Delius was the composer of choice.

In an instant the youths moved on and vandalism and anti-social behaviour evaporated on the network.

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The flip-side of this is that some people even enjoyed the music and welcomed the change, although I’m sure that in that same froth-blowing article, someone wrote in to complain that not enough Puccini was played. Still, you can’t please everyone.

So this radical tactic could start here tomorrow. I have a few LPs and a turntable whoever is in charge could borrow.

Or perhaps we could just install more CCTV cameras around the place as has been called for in the town after the ghastly murder of Sarah Everard in London.

And I’d start on the stairs to the car park at Helensburgh railway station which has for far too long been used, with impunity, as a urinal and drug den.

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A brief introduction to yours truly

Helensburgh Advertiser: Mike EdwardsMike Edwards

THANKFULLY there is no shortage of ideas for this column.

I lived by my pen for 40 years in newspapers, radio and television. I was the senior news reporter at STV for more than 25 years, and in a parallel double life I have served in the Army Reserve for nearly three decades, being mobilised for active service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Two of the books I wrote have been published, although Steven Spielberg has yet to call.

I am a Deputy Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire and spend my days working as a trustee of Erskine, the service charity SSAFA and Alzheimer Scotland.

Plenty of scope, I hope, for a bi-weekly browse through Helensburgh happenings.