- 7 Jun 2005
[url said:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4139682.stm[/url] ] Raising a hat and smile on Tube
A teacher has taken it upon himself to bring a little cheer to the Tube this summer with a bizarre one-man campaign.
Dressed in a pinstripe suit and bowler hat, Dominic Nelder has been reciting a rhyme asking people for a hello, nod or a wink to "lighten their journey".
It is part of his campaign to collect 1,000 "hellos" a day.
Mr Nelder, 34, from Enfield, said he was inspired to do something positive after reading about a bomb survivor getting back on a train.
Last week it was revealed the number of people using the Tube dropped significantly in the wake of the 7 July bomb attacks.
'Tip a wink'
Since 1 August, the history teacher has been spending hours a day on the Tube network, greeting passengers with his cheery rhyme.
While assuring them he is simply there to "lighten your journey but not your pockets", he goes on to wish them a safe journey and asks them to "say hello, tip a wink or raise an eyebrow" if they feel like it.
"I don't imagine there's going to be a sea change in behaviour on the underground," he told BBC News.
"Hopefully, even if it is just helping people get back on the Tube ... just to show we stand united, in a friendly way, that's what realistically I can get out of it."
He intends to adopt a more low-key style of greeting for the rest of the holidays and does not want to be intrusive, so keeps moving from carriage to carriage.
"I don't stick around because I don't want to embarrass people and make them feel awkward," says Mr Nelder, who says he can be a bit shy and awkward himself.
"I'm very sensitive to when people are not in the mood, in the afternoons everyone is a bit drowsy and just want to slump in their seats.
"One person has taken their book and walked into the next carriage, but that's the only [negative] thing I have really noticed."
Since it started, he has been meticulously making a note of every greeting and says he has counted up more than 6,500 so far.
But the majority of London commuters, hardened to buskers and beggars, ignore him, which he says he "totally respects".
He's been spotted
Today on the District Line (copy and paste) http://thelondontube.uk.to/FeelSafe,FeelVerySafe,HisBrollywillprotectYou!.wmv