Ghost Train

Bridge

Miles walked 2018: 345 / 1,000 on the 1,000 miles in a year challenge.

Ah… Bank Holiday weekend AND – Good Lord – the sun was out in full force!

We spent Saturday and Sunday in the garden, as we have a thousand jobs that need doing.

But as Monday approached we thought we should get out and about.

Mrs E suggested we go out for breakfast. When Monday dawned it was another beautiful day. I messaged the eldest daughter to see if she wanted to join us for breakfast. She did, and suggested we could follow it with a walk somewhere.

We long to get the whole family back together but the youngest one is still living in Iceland for a few months more.

So a very pleasant breakfast was had by the three of us at Hollow Trees Farm, in Suffolk.

After breakfast we decided to drive over to Clare Castle Country Park and do a little walk there along the old railway track.

ClareCastleSign.jpg

It’s a beautiful place and what was once a noisy steam railway has now been almost completely taken over by nature.

ClareStation 2018-02

The track has been removed and the old track bed forms a linear walk for a nice stretch.

It reminded me of the old railway station at Clayton Bridge, in Manchester, where I went to watch the trains when I was little.

Clayton Bridge

We’d never heard of Dr Beeching  (or Suffolk for that matter!) but I do remember going down to the station to watch the last steam train go through, back in the 1960s.

In Manchester, the track is still there but the station buildings have all gone. The track is part of the Manchester to Yorkshire route and still used to this day.

Meanwhile, in Suffolk, Clare station is the opposite – the station is still there but the tracks have long gone.

ClareStation2018-01.jpg

Clare Station was closed in 1967 and the land was eventually sold to make Clare Castle Country Park. The old station building now houses a cafe.

clare(jmc_c1959)old9

There are so many places in England where the ghosts of the old railway network can be seen.

For me, a sort of ghost train, rattles and chuffs past now and again, bringing memories of childhood holidays, the smell of steam, the glorious noise of a steam engine, and fond memories of when my life was all about buttered toast and trains.

I was never a proper train-spotter – I never wrote down numbers or anything – but there is something about the railways of this little island that still transports me back to the halcyon days of childhood – even in places where Dr Beeching nicked the tracks.

 

 

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