From a Railway Carriage.
From a Railway Carriage.
This little boy, enjoying the view from a railway carriage, is the future. Diddley never knew him but he will know all about her in the fullness of time. For this is Jay, her great grandson. Son to Jasmine and Jay (senior).
He is, of course, Bobby’s great grandson. His first great grandchild. And Bobby’s future too. As soon as he was born, Bobby could only think how long it would take to get him on steam trains. Not long at all. Just over two years.
The future is rosy and here is Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous poem to celebrate. Bearing in mind the Victorian railway he refers to still exists in part on the Bluebell Line.
“From a Railway Carriage”
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 for ever!
Robert Louis Stevenson
From A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885)
This picture from The West Somerset Railway’s recent gala. Looking from the railway carriage across Blue Anchor Bay and the Bristol Channel to Wales on a clearer day. Our heritage railways once struggled to survive. Now with an army of volunteers, we treasure them. The galas in particular, when the railways are alive with happy smiling people. Going from nowhere in particular to somewhere else and back again. Not just the engines, but the carriages, the stations, even the volunteers all recalling a bygone age when everything was so much better… through rose coloured spectacles… It’s not just ageing former trainspotters either. Families, couples, grandads and the next generation. During the next few weeks there will be more stories about our steam railways. Not just for trainspotters, but rather for people who smile a lot.
Here is a record of when one little boy had his first taste of just what it will be like having Bobby and Bertie as his best friends.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
Diddley loved her Grandchildren. And they loved her. She really was the ultimate Granny. Loyal, loving, embarrassing, crackers, funny, even hilarious. Just one thing she wasn’t. Boring! They still call Laurel Cottage “Granny’s House”. And sleep in “Granny’s bedroom” when they stay.
Jasmine was the first Grandchild and had a special place in her affections. She would be so pleased that Jasmine is now a Mum herself. Making Bobby a Great Grandad. So this candle is lit in memory of the special friendships that Grandchildren have with very special Grandparents.
(The pictures were taken on a heavenly day in the Surrey Hills back in 2000).
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