Saturday, February 23, 2008

Psssh t'kooff

1.
Dr Richard Beeching's report of 1963, The Reshaping of British Railways, led to the closure of 3,000 stations and 4,000 miles of track. The results of its implementation on the British landscape were immense, not least the disused railway lines that still litter the countryside and suburbs, and the boost the so-called Beeching Axe gave to car ownership, road frieght and road building; where crossing the road had been a straightforward matter for pedestrians up to the mid-1960s, the increase in traffic necessitated the creation of more darkened, piss-stained underpasses.

Of course, the real question is, if Beeching's recommendations had not been accepted, what would Morrissey be doing now?

2.
I had a strange dream the other night. I needed to iron a shirt, but couldn't find the ironing board. It was only then that I remembered that (for some reason that must have seemed entirely sensible within the parallel universe of dream logic) I had left the ironing board on the footbridge at Petersfield station.

12 comments:

Murph said...

1. Morrissey would have gone off to Merionethshire and become "Evans knows I'm miserable now".

2. It was an ironic dream.

3. ...er, sorry....

M.A.Peel said...

There is an Avengers episode built around the closed stations--the diabolical masterminds use one of them to knock off government people to get to the PM. ("A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station")

Clemens and crew was always so au courant.

dh said...

Funny that. I kept hearing someone with a Welsh accent say Ivor is the only engine in the village.

Tim Footman said...

Apology accepted, Murph. Just about.

Is that the one with the train set at the beginning, Mrs Peel?

But Ivor couldn't be that way inclined, Dick. He is first bass, after all.

Boz said...

[Instantly reverting to seven years old] Ivor the Engine was brilliant. The one where the dragon egg hatches in the baker's oven was my favourite.

Billy said...

"Of course, the real question is, if Beeching's recommendations had not been accepted, what would Morrissey be doing now?"

Maybe a strange fear WOULDN'T have gripped him and he WOULD have asked.

Valerie said...

1. Is there anything like Rails to Trails Conservancy in the U.K.?

1.a. I love trains.
1.b. Adrian Belew's "Rail Song" is apropos here.

2. My dream self wonders if it can borrow your dream iron in exchange for lending you my dream ironing board. I have dream troubles with appliances turning into whirling luminous sculptures that can only be seen under black light when I plug them in.

2.a. I love the human steam sound effects for Ivor.

Tim Footman said...

Hello, Boz. Yes, Idris the dragon, I remember him. Magic realism before we knew what it was.

And then where would he, or we, be, Billy? For a start, you wouldn't have got that bass playing gig when you were 12.

I don't know of such a scheme, Valerie. When a railway line goes out of service, it's usually left to the elements. The link does make me think of Stand By Me, though.

And talking of nostagic melancholy, if you like Ivor, check out some more of the Smallfilms back catalogue, such as Bagpuss and The Clangers.

pleite said...

Valerie, I know of one case of a bit of disused track in London turning into a walk. Part of it was colonised by gay men who took the returning-to-nature part of the idea at face value.

Tim, thanks for Ivor. It led on to Bagpuss and a whole half-hour of wishing I was 9 again.

Tim Footman said...

A pleasure, Pleite. Like spaghetti on toast, isn't it?

llewtrah said...

All together now: Oh Dr Beeching, what am I going to do ....

Tim Footman said...

I knew it, Llewtrah. You're Su Pollard really, aren't you?