Monday 15 June 2009

A Swan[n] Song for Stations

flanders&swann Heard on the radio today that they are talking about re-opening some of the railways lines and stations axed back in the days of Dr Beeching. For my 21st birthday, I was given two LPs[those round black vinyl things] of songs by Flanders and Swann.

One of those songs was lamenting the demise of those stations - I never dreamed I would end up living in the second village mentioned!

Miller's Dale for Tideswell ...
Kirby Muxloe ...
Mow Cop and Scholar Green ...
No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortehoe
On the slow train from Midsomer Norton and Mumby Road.
No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street.
We won't be meeting again on the Slow Train.
I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw.
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more.
No whitewashed pebbles, no Up and no Down
From Formby Four Crosses to Dunstable Town.
I won't be going again on the Slow Train.
On the Main Line and the Goods Siding
The grass grows high
At Dog Dyke, Tumby Woodside
And Trouble House Halt.
The Sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate.
No passenger waits on Chittening platform or Cheslyn Hay.
No one departs, no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, from St Erth to St Ives.
They've all passed out of our lives
On the Slow Train, on the Slow Train.
Cockermouth for Buttermere ... on the Slow Train,
Armley Moor Arram ...
Pye Hill and Somercotes ... on the Slow Train,
Windmill End.

I am not sure which of these will be re-opened. I've been to a few of these places. One thing that does fascinate me though - not far old johnfrom Kirby Muxloe, there is a folly in Bradgate Park called 'Old John'

Here's Old John - and below it, a picture of the folly at Mow Cop


mow cop


Strangely similar, don't you think?

I wonder if any of the other places in the song have matching follies?


The biggest folly of all was letting Dr Beeching close those railway stations in the first place, if you ask me!


  1. How interesting. It must be wonderful to live in a country with such rich history. Our USA is just a babe.

  2. I do agree, he was an axe man!
    I loved Flanders and Swann, and can still recite reams of their songs (when no one is listening!)

  3. I remember hearing this song on the radio years ago and getting excited by the mention of Kiby Muxloe. Less than a week now and I will be back in Kirby myself - can't wait!

  4. Yes, I loved Flanders and Swann too. I miss their clever, rather sardonic humour that always seemed to have a second, hidden, funny bit too. Not quite sure what I mean, though, but I loved them!

    One of Dr. Beechings cuts is now a lovely walk right up to Marple, called the Middlewood Way. Lots of people here still remember using it when trains still ran.

  5. Thanks for all the comments.
    Elizabeth, we at KMFC can't wait to have you back and catch up with all your news of India!


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