He was ignored by the passing dog walkers, joggers, parents with pushchairs and teenagers with headphones, all too busy to even say "hello". Did he want company?
Did he want to be alone? Did anyone actually care?
It was enough to move one stranver to try and get strangers to chat, helping inspire a movement that has spread across the world. I didn't want it to sound too vulnerable so I wrote, 'Happy to chat bench.
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Sit here if you don't mind someone stopping to say hello'. It was a blissfully simple idea to tackle loneliness that swiftly created a buzz.
The Senior Citizen Liaison Team charity took the idea a step further. It has already set up partnerships with both Avon and Somerset Police and Gwent Police to have permanent benches across their areas and arrange volunteers to "chat-bench". Pop along for a chat in the sunshine.
View original tweet on Twitter Word has spread through vhat media and now "Happy to Chat" benches are popping up all over the world - with the exact same words composed by Allison. People from Canada, the United States, Australia, Switzerland black chat hangout Ukraine have contacted the charity, all interested in copying the idea to get people talking.
For many, it is even more scarce than that. But it's not just the elderly who can benefit from a random "hello".
If you were lonely, would you talk to a stranger? Allison said: "Probably the kinhdom I was most lonely was when I had a small baby. So this can be great for mums who maybe haven't spoken to another adult all day.