Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Are We Nearly There Yet?

The challenge for this week’s Sepia Saturday themers was ‘trains’, not a subject I am very familiar with, so I was surprised to find  some examples among the family holiday albums. No sepia I’m afraid, and only dating back as far as 1988, when we had a holiday on the Yorkshire Moors. I seem to remember that we thought the children would be thrilled by a trip on the North York Moors Railway. After all, everybody loves a steam train don’t they? How wrong we were. I don’t think the adults got excited either; is that me engrossed in the newspaper?

The views were mostly bucolic, typical Yorkshire Moors, with the occasional stop at a rural station, such as Pickering, Levisham or Goathland. The latter is now better known as Aidensfield in the TV series ‘Heartbeat’ and as Hogsmeade in the first Harry Potter film.

So, as compensation for being bored rigid, it only seemed fair to give everyone a treat in Scarborough. Great! The Ghost Train, that’s much more like it. Trembly smiles all round; “It’s all right Daddy I’ve got you!"

Steam trains can be very evocative and romantic. Who could forget the part played by Carnforth Station in David Lean’s film ‘Brief Encounter? But for me the very mention of a steam train reminds me of the words of one of my favourite poems of the First World War era, Adlestrop by Edward Thomas.

Yes, I remember Adlestrop --
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop -- only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. 


  1. At least rain rides are more interesting and exciting than plane rides.

  2. I;ve not been on that line! Although, I've done The Haworth one in West Yorkshire.I must admit the train journey was..er...like a "train Journey" & not that exciting in itself.I,m not sure what kids would make of it.For me, I loved the nostalgia;the smell;the rickityness of it all.although all those Train Buffs (blokes of course!) are a little weird.Those notebooks in hand and glazed eyes!!!!One even hid behind a hedge as we passed & stuck a furry boom-microphone above the hedge as we passed.Very Strange!!!!

  3. Great post. I saw a quote somewhere once, can't remember where that read something like, "You never stop wanting to be a train driver" ... part of me still does.

  4. Entertaining post. We are within easy reach of the North Yorks Moors Railway which we haven't been on it for years. My memories of steam trains are coloured by the daily journey to school on a push-me; pull-me.
    Then of cause there's Betjeman's "Pershore Station" and "Monody on the Death of Aldersgate Street Station."
    Trains seem to inspire poets.

  5. Very reniniscent of the single 1980s train journey that I remember making, even though a continent apart.

    "No one left and no one came
    On the bare platform. What I saw
    Was ... only the name."

    Isn't that so true of those places the train stops at, nothing happens, and the train starts up again, and you think, "What was that for?" Bereft of reason.

  6. Oh the first photo of the countryside and the train is stunning! I'd hang it on the wall! Great family photos of an awesome destination too! Thanks for sharing them (Sepia or not) it was like I could journey along...all aboard !

  7. I love the top picture! the one below it of your family really screams 'British Rail'. The carriages look old, presumably for use with the steam locomotive.

  8. Oh, I would have loved to take that trip. The children look a little bored though. I guess they'd rather be running around doing something.

  9. Well I'm perfectly jealous you got to go on that ride. I love riding old trains that go from nowhere to nowhere and back again. How wonderful to go across the moors in one.

  10. What a lovely railway poem to finish with...

  11. that first pic did it for me!! i'm sold!!

  12. I love this post! Thank you for sharing your family memories from long ago. Though the pictures aren't sepia, I can tell that they are older, and give my imagination something to ponder.

    Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi, and I hope that you have a wonderful week,

    Kathy M.

  13. I love the poem! You can see how excited the kids are with the train ride. Too bad there weren't spies - is that a spy hiding behind the newspaper - or is that you? - and secret agents and women wearing great suits and using cigarette holders and having little French poodles and martinis.