I've received the following contribution from Ian Smith, one of my regular readers and correspondents, and though he's not a member of staff I think it's a wholly appropriate story to include here, as it's most certainly relevant to these recollections.
If you have any stories of a similar type do send them to me.
Ian's story reads as follows:
'I do not know whether this story would fit into the 'Past' section or not, but certainly it was a very odd District Line occurrence, and how it ever came to pass remains to this day an abiding mystery to my brother, friends and myself, who all witnessed it.
It was during a late 1970 evening, at the beginning of the evening rush whilst we were returning from central London. We caught a District train from Paddington to Putney Bridge, where it terminated in the bay as was usual during the rush hour in those days, and always rather annoying when one was travelling through to Wimbledon.
After a short wait a Wimbledon train hove into view formed of the excellent 'Q' stock, with a Q23 motor leading. The train was an 8 car as it pulled right up to the platform end at Putney Bridge, and the end doors were tripped out as usual, for a full 8 car set almost overlapped the platforms. We all squeezed aboard a process made all the more difficult as one leaf of the innermost double doors did not open fully. Once inside we were standing right down by the guard's bulkhead, and we set off surrounded by all the euphonious sounds of a Q stock train in full flight, and we settled down to enjoy our ride.
It quickly became clear that this was no ordinary car, as the doors seemed to be sticking rather a lot, with some only opening half way, though they all closed all right. Further examination revealed that several of the opening quarter lights above the windows were missing altogether, glass, frames, the whole blooming lot! Moreover instead of the emergency door by the guard's position there was merely two bits of 2 x 1 nailed across the opening were the door should have been. . but wasn't, however the guard's bar was up so you couldn't get too close The train made it's very draughty way to Wimbledon and we wended our way home.
Over the years we have puzzled many times how a car in this condition could have ever made it into service. We surmised that perhaps as part of a two car set that had been added to a six car set for the rush hour, and the pair might have been added in error, as certainly their condition would seem to indicate the cars had been stored or more probably withdrawn. Regrettably we did not stay to see if the train departed eastbound again, as it would have been very interesting to see the guard's reaction to the condition of his charge.'
An interesting experience! I tend to agree with Ian's thought that the cars had been used in error. Perhaps others may have some thoughts on the subject?