Train a-trundles

Train a-trundles daily
inland from the sea
cross a river, through the fields
familiar to me
A journey I know all too well
although it differs every day
as the scenery changes
when the weather has its say

Sometimes it is murky
river mist obscures the view
And on other days the sunshine
brings a squint and all’s askew
Some days it is raining
and there’s a monotone of grey
But when there’s blue sky overhead
there is colour every day

Train a-trundles through the winter
when sometimes it is white
A panoramic vista that
provides a lovely sight
And it trundles through the spring
and yes, the summer too
onward into autumn
with its red and golden hue

It doesn’t take me very long
Twenty minutes either way
but it’s regular most working weeks
though not quite every day
And the nicest thing about it
is as I’m travelling through
I can never tire of seeing
something every time anew

©Jemverse

Bequeathed by grace

Bereft of foliage
great trees stand
proudly gracing
England’s land
There amongst
the winter green
the rolling landscape
clearly seen
And pausing here
before this view
we are completely
thrilled anew
This is England
where we live
where nature has
so much to give
And we feel a peace
when in this place
bequeathed to us
by simple grace

©Jemverse

No wizardry

It’s been mistaken for Hogwarts
up there on the hill
Lancing college’s chapel
remains with us still
There are no Harry Potters’
in those Victorian walls
and no wizardry practiced
in its hallowed halls

But captured in paintings
and photos and more
It’s place in our landscape
is brought to the fore
A landmark to Adur
Lancing’s heritage sealed
It’s vista stands proudly
with beauty revealed

©Jemverse

 

Beeching’s Blunder II

Caught the train as usual
but travelled back in time
The years slipped by like miles
along the Horsham line
The steeped and cut embankment
rebuilt and clear again
As clattering past the Shoreham points
sped my old steam train

The by-pass it had vanished
as the trackbed took its place
And I passed through Bramber station
with a sense of pride and grace
The tree-lined cutting past the castle
Steyning station’s smoke-clad bridge
Then up the line to Henfield
along the Adur valley ridge

My train slowed into ‘Beechings’
Henfield’s ironic testament
to the axing of a way of life
by a sixties government
The Cat and Canary station pub
Afforded interlude
Not pausing there for half a pint
Would have been a little rude

Then back through the Adur flood plains
my trip through time took me
Unfettered views across the valley
to the hills and out to sea
Thought, in sixty years this landscape
will not be recognised
And people passing through today
would be dumbfounded and surprised

It was a journey of nostalgia
the years now lost in time
the passing of the age of steam
along the Horsham line
And as twenty-fifteen brought me back
Across some sixty years
The memory of that long-lost time
Brought with it several tears

©Jemverse

 

Following a report written by Dr Richard Beeching for the UK Government in 1965, around 5000 miles of track and 2,363 stations of branchline railway in the UK were axed. A way of life ended and the lifeline to hundreds of villages was cut off forever. All in the name of progress. Now, over 50 years later, many of the axed line routes have since reopened as footpaths and bridleways. One of these covers the length of what was once the Horsham and Guildford branch-line in Sussex. Its route remains but many of its stations have since been lost to commerce and time, the landscape ever changing. ‘Beechings’ in Henfield (for example) was once a thriving station and goods yard but is now a housing estate.

%d bloggers like this: