Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Watercress Line

Although I am finding it increasingly difficult to devote any time to this particular blog, I am determined not to give up as this is my only real outlet for things which I cannot neatly pigeon hole in any of my other blogs. I suppose on a positive note, it's been great that I have been so busy getting out and about doing the things I enjoy that I've struggled to find time to blog about them.

A couple of weeks ago we visited the Watercress Line, which is a heritage railway in Hampshire, running between New Arlesford and Alton. The weekend we went saw the line, its building and occupants all rolled back 70 years to what it would have looked like in 1942. As well as the steam trains there were vintage cars, people dressed in 1940's fashion, soldiers, spivs, and even a remarkable match for Churchill and Monty. The station cafes were selling cakes made to 1940's recipes, although hopefully not with 1940's ingredients.

 Steam train pulls out of Medstead & Four Marks Station
 Steam train pulls into Medstead & Four Marks station

Vintage cars at New Arlesford station

I particularly like this next picture which shows a vintage railway poster with the great strap line of Ease the Strain, Go By Train. If all the train journeys I took were as clean and peaceful I'd use the trains a lot more than I do. I can only imagine what the equivalent picture would have to look like today to match today's rail environment ... dirty windows, overcrowding, litter, annoying people shouting into their mobile phones.

Vintage railway poster at New Arlesford station

If I'm honest I have become a bit obsessed with rail travel, both vintage and modern, over the past few months and have started reading several accounts of train journeys that you can still take today which do take you away from the hustle and bustle of the daily commute, and also some books whioch document the rise and sad demise of our once great rail network. A few favourites are featured below.

    

So, I seem to have some spare time this weekend in amongst the ususal child related taxi services, so I may even get to complete another blog update before next week, when I am travelling to India on business for a few days.

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