Barter Books, Alnwick

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Dozens of trains went back and forth daily

to and from the junction in its heyday.

Fifty-five years ago, the last service.

The terminus building still stands,

grand, too grand for just a branch,

but maybe not too high and mighty

for royalty visiting a duke of Northumberland.


Now far more browsers than ever waited

on the platforms throng the old parcels

and waiting rooms, while a model train

trundles round with immaculate

timekeeping below the canopy of glass,

above the recycled volumes

of history, poetry, and old railway lines.



◄ Song of the Ofsted Inspectors

It's not his fault ►


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Greg Freeman

Thu 30th Mar 2023 09:14

Glad you enjoyed this one, Steve, Keith, Graham, Uilleam, and John. Thanks for the Likes, Aisha, Stephen, and Nigel!

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john short

Tue 28th Mar 2023 13:29

I'd like to visit this place. Nice to know there are still some good things in the world. Cheerful poem!

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Tue 28th Mar 2023 11:12

Thanks for that Greg. I've seen it on telly, and would love to visit it. Real book shops are a precious asset for any community; our town lost a gem of a family-run concern a few years ago; fortunately our due-to-close Waterstones was given a 5 year reprieve; I called it the "last vestige of civilisation" in our declining town.
I agree with you 100% Keith, on myopic vision, and nationalised industry working for all. I remember travelling with dad on the last trolley bus out of town-a red hot day, sat on the top deck-phew!

I'd not be in the least surprised if certain politicians were in the pay of certain road construction companies in the Beeching era!

I'm fortunate enough to live not too far away from this beauty of a railway staffed by volunteers, and I believe not-for profit management: the ELR- East Lancs Railway.

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 28th Mar 2023 09:54

Well described Greg. I have visited Barter Books on several occasions, Alnwick being the home of Hardy fishing tackle too!
Is this going to be one of your new hangouts?

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keith jeffries

Tue 28th Mar 2023 09:50

Another example of how this country has been mismanaged in the past by those with myopic vision. Branch lines took us to exactly where we wanted to go by a nationalised industry working for the benefit of all. Trolley buses and trams with little or no pollution rambled their way through the streets of our towns and cities. Now the trams are back, a reversal of policy. We are governed by those who fail to learn the mistakes already made. Too late!!!!
Greg, thank you for this.

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 28th Mar 2023 08:14

Love the atmospherics of this one, Greg. It is sobering to think that at the time of Beeching the internal combustion engine was seen as providing the transport of the future and that in a few years time its phase-out will begin. Nothing stays the same for ever; perhaps it is the turn of the branch lines again.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 28th Mar 2023 06:33

New poem to mark the 60th anniversary of the Beeching report that resulted in the closure of most of Britain's branch line railways.

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