Stanstead. I overheard someone in St James's (where else?) saying about Stanstead that 'it was not an officer's airport.' Quite.

Though light and airy the Foster terminal does feel like a rather sophisticated marquee - not really built to last. The real horror is the station. The change of gear is brutal as you descend into the Stygian gloom from the main concourse. Why does anyone think, after even the briefest visit to the South Bank Centre, that bare concrete is a finish that is acceptable - unless, of course, you like urban brutalism? Is it something about trains? Why, in the same building, do you have a style for flying that is white, clean and airy and one for trains that is grey, stained and dark? Is it about expectations?

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