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I Dream of Steam

The 'tock', 'tock', 'tock' of the station clock, the clickety clack of the board. Telling the time and destinations but no one to cry 'All aboard!' The 'bang', 'bang', 'bang' of the carriage doors, the shrill of the guards silver whistle. The announcement that, the next train to arrive, is the 10:10 from Oswaldtwistle. Bikes are loaded and bags are stowed, hikers study their map. Babies are fed, old men nod their head, or else simply doff their cap. A sudden jolt, the clang of a bolt, the smooth getaway from the station. The buildings and trees form a colourful frieze as they blur into perfect striation. The grey of the town gives way to the gown of mother natures bounty. Fields and fells, copses and dells, as we glide through shire and county. Tickets are punched, and businessmen lunched, as snappers take nappers and smile. The world rushes by in the blink of an eye, fields stretching for mile upon mile. Bucolic splendour turns to render of brick, steel and concrete sprawl. Railway sidings and hoardings with tidings of promise and prospects for all. Graffiti scrawls on lineside walls, smoke blackened windows with nets. Glimpses of lives, of husbands and wives, singletons, bedsits and pets. And now, journey's end, as friend greets friend and commuters decamp to the city. The romance of steam, now a pipe dream, and the world faster paced, more's the pity.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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