Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Smardale Railway Track

One of our researchers has been looking at some back numbers of the Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Magazine and in 'Phoenix 1974' came across some poems about the railway by students including this one about a visit to Smardalegill 

Interesting to realise that even thirty six years ago to local teenagers the Stainmore line was already something from history ...










We ran up the banking at top speed

On the top, lay gasping
Hearts beating fast
There’s the sound of a tractor
Spreading manure!
In the distance were the blue hills near Kirkby Stephen
On the track was a decayed rabbit
Bones whitened in the sun
Myxomatosis or dinner for a fox?
On rushed Form 2I
Past bridges, ditches
On to the cottages
They put on their brakes
Stopped!
In days gone by these were nice homes
And snug
Now – empty broken windows
Holes in the roof
Snails on the wall
Hay on the floor
No more fires to keep the house warm
Slowing
Moving on to the blackened Lime Kilns
Gathering Speed
Round the mossy viaduct
Through the ferns, past the silver birches
Down the long sloping valley
And on to the crossing

David Hunter 2nd Year KSGS 1975

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