If you should ask what brings a tear to this grown man's jaundiced eye

It's the grateful memory of a boyhood spent watching trains go by.

Waiting on the platform of an unattended village station,

Learning early on in life about patience and determination.

Gazing towards the nobly porticoed entrance of the hidden funnel

That marks the mile long measure of Brunel's brilliant Box Tunnel,

Blowing at intervals on small hands that threaten to turn blue,

In excited expectation of what is shortly due in view.

Suddenly - with an approaching ear-piercing whistle shriek -

Appears the swaying thundering beast a boy is there to seek,

Followed by a billowing halo of vanilla coloured steam,

And a train of attendant carriages of delicious chocolate and cream,

With a headboard and three numbers that brought unbridled joy

To the distant devout disciple that was contained within that boy.

Behold! they said, and mark me well, I hurry from East to West,

Non-stop between great ports of old - note well my noble crest.

And sixty years on that memory can still dampen an old man's eye.....

A long-gone lad on a lonely platform watching THE BRISTOLIAN rush by!






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M.C. Newberry

Wed 12th Oct 2016 22:11

TD - thanks. I've since changed a couple of words but
the meaning and the memory remain. Box had two stations
then: the larger archtypal local GWR station complete with sidings and depots - and nearer to the village with simple up and down platforms (no staff) a station that allowed a
fifties boy wonderful unchallenged access - even the fun
of placing pennies on the line while waiting for the next
express to pass...followed by a search for the remains
if any along the "sleepers" afterwards.

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Tom Doolan

Mon 10th Oct 2016 15:55

Nice work M.C. - Definitely on the right track.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 10th Oct 2016 13:33

JC - it's true that there is a absence of railway poems
from women. However, their presence with their kids at
steam train gatherings is encouraging. Perhaps it is the
prevalence of men designing and building these great
works that chimes with the male sensibility and obtains
lines from the likes of yours truly.
TH - thanks. Beeching was a product of his time, with the
existence of a transport minister
who was a construction boss keen on mega-highways, busy
pushing for more of the same as the public became more
affluent and thus more mobile and keen to get a personal
conveyance above and beyond two wheels. We live with
the results!

Tony Hill

Mon 10th Oct 2016 09:27

Enjoyed this poem, MC. Standing in a small station waiting for a train to arrive is one of life's pleasures. I still haven't forgiven Dr Beeching. Tony

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John Coopey

Sun 9th Oct 2016 22:26

There is a pull about steam trains for our generation. Yet strangely it is almost exclusively a man thing.
I can feel the rhythm of the engine, MC.

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