Monday, August 9

From A Railway Carriage [with many thanks to R.L.Stevenson].

Last week the family treated us to a day out on the Heverthwaite Steam Railway, in Cumbria.
There were lots of serious men with even more serious cameras who seemed to have gathered there from the four corners of the earth. And they were examining the tracks and the carriages and all the accoutrements of the wonder of steam locomotives.
But I was taken back in my memories to outings that took me with Aunt Helen, on the train up to Portstewart and the north coast of Ireland . Then even further back to the age of five and the very first day that I was introduced to the joy of rhythm and rhythme. I walked through a door, egged on by my mother, who possibly wanted an hour or two for herself on a Saturday morning, and was confronted by a gaggle of five year olds all sitting in a row facing one way and Mr. Graeme Roberts [teacher] reciting this with gusto!
So here is the updated version courtesy of family.

" Quick get in the carriage before it goes"

" All aboard"


Off we go.

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses,

hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,

All through the meadows the horses and cattle;
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;

And ever again, in the wink of an eye,

Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,

All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;

And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;

And here is a mill,

and there is a river:

Each a glimpse and gone forever!

So we reached the end of the line and all got off the train,

 and went to see the driver,

 and the fire in the belly of the engine .

And then it was off to the next bit of the adventure.
But that is a story more for Swallows and Amazons and it would take a better man that I am to tell it!


  1. This is just delightful .... perfect for old and/or young readers. Your photos and the poetry so enjoyable.

  2. __I enjoyed the verses intertwined with these photos... 'twas like stepping on board and taking the ride. Lovit! _m

  3. I still enjoy these rides. I understand the serious men, but preferred it when the children were young enough to give me an excuse to do it more often.

  4. Actually Dave ,I loved the serious men!! I couild be a bit of a nerd myself..but the family would soon let me know! The station master was on the train and he kept up an information talk which was also funny so we were all in stitches and that passed the children by!

  5. Love that poem, love your accompanying pictures - I can almost smell the smoke and feel I may well have got a bit of grit in my eye!

  6. What a great ride! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  7. Ah Weaver so that happened you also! well aunt Helen was a toughie and there was no sympathy as I hung my head out the window of the train. That's where I learnt to blink and blink to clear my eyes!!

  8. How weird - a week ago last Friday we were there as well as part of out family hols... :-)


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