The Old Straight Track

The greenest valley spread far and wide

Slowly settlement starts on either side

Bronze age people, eventually two villages grew

Looking from a distance at one another, what next to do?

Great plans are conceived, as elders confer to discuss

To be better able to trade, a track we’ll make between us

The Dodman by description, early surveyor of the land

Making sure the track was straight by his own fair hand

And straight for sure it became, shortest route attainable

Two villages connected in peace, with a bond unbreakable

Trading, marrying with their neighbours in the valley

A thousand years or more co-existing quite happily


An invasion, alien ways, ruled by another hand

Roman legions taking over exactly as planned

The people settled eventually, amicable existence

Alongside the Romans, yet still kept their distance

Across the valley, the villas and bathhouses grew

Centurions marched the old straight track anew

The gromatici, Roman surveyor, got a commendation

Made the track their own through their time of occupation


Middle ages two villages either side of the valley floor

People travelled on horse, just as on foot once before

Taken for granted, the old track, as history unfolded

The industrial revolution next upon the scene exploded

A great engineer had a plan, Brunel by name

Unite this land together and do it by train

Our valley he viewed, surveyed and found it good

We’ll lay track here, using the old route we should

Two villages either side of the valley, connected by steam

Twenty minutes’ journey must have seemed like a dream

A hundred years the villages prospered, became rich

Track surviving two wars, trains continued without a hitch


1960’s the railways needed to profit, pay their way

Dr Beeching tasked to make it happen, the final say

Brutally, with logic his tool, he closed stations and lines

To the old straight track the end, it seems had come the time

Two villages either side of the valley far and wide

No longer connected, their togetherness just died

Three thousand years of harmony gone in a flash

Community sacrificed over the gods of hard cash

The old route overgrown, for the first time unused

What now, to disappear forever, train track removed


Twenty first century begins, looking forward at the past

A local Council meeting and a question finally asked

“let’s make a footpath, across the valley floor

Connect the two villages once again, like before”

It came to pass, the way cleared, gravel lain

A new era, new time, the old track born again

Along the way picking up a national tourism award

Ten years it’s been open, it’s future now assured

Two villages, countless generations been and gone

Yet all have enjoyed the old straight track to walk upon

#inspiration #spiritualgrowth #nature #meditation

◄ Wisdom Of The Tree

Stanley ►


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Sun 29th Nov 2020 08:33

Thank you Julie and Paul 😃

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julie callaghan

Fri 27th Nov 2020 13:37

Enjoyed the journey through time along The Old Straight Track.

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Paul Sayer

Fri 27th Nov 2020 10:45

Dean this is a wonderful write mate.

It works on so many levels.
A history lesson (we can learn so much from history).
A lesson in how far we have come, and how far from where we are now from the simple life.

I smiled as I read this because it is 100% exactly what happened right on my doorstep, literally.

Here in Sleepy Hollow built by the old railway line, on the old railway track... (Now a bridle way and cycle track) way before steam was even invented.

Thanks for this.

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