Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Travels with Ben and Rosa

Posted in Great Britain, Infrastructure, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 17 June 2013

I’ve spoken a lot about heritage railways and the roles that they can play, both in terms of their links to the past, in keeping our railway history alive for people to enjoy (rather than just static in a museum), and their potential as genuine transport links. However, it has been a very long time since I’ve actually been to one. Until last Saturday that is, when I took a trip down to the daddy of them all, the Bluebell Railway. You may recall that this came about when I discussed with two friends of mine that the Bluebell had finally completed its extension to East Grinstead, allowing direct interchange with Southern’s services to Victoria. Well, we arranged it, and on Saturday we all chuffed along down to go to the Bluebell for the day. And what a nice day it was. It didn’t rain, the locomotives and coaches were sparkling and, most importantly, the children were excited. And a little terrified, especially when the locomotives were coupling up at Sheffield Park and expelling steam. But they are both under 2. Nevertheless, the day went well, and the kiddies were as good as gold. There weren’t even an excessive number of terrible twos tantrums, with the worst being at lunchtime. And even then, that was a result of the food being eaten inside and out of sight of the platforms (and thus the trains). I will admit that I was badly behaved when I did that, as I soooo wanted to be outside :P. Seriously though, both of them were, for the most part, as good as gold. I’m not sure whether this will indoctrinate them as gricers; indeed, I had a brief coversation with a chap running a bookstall there (from whom I was able to pick up a copy of the complete Awdry) who said that he only had granddaughters who had all reached an age now when trains were not the most fun things, and that he longed for a grandson. So I do somehow see this as not being the beginning of a lifelong passion for little Rosa. However, it is entirely possible, with encouragement from his parents, that young Ben may well gain a genuine enthusiasm for the iarnród. Perhaps a trip to the Spa Valley is next on the agenda.

A pair of future gricers?

I foresee at least one of these little cherubs (or rugrats) will be a future gricer


One Response

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  1. chocolateeclaire said, on 17 June 2013 at 11:38 pm

    AWW, tiny!! They (especially Rosa) are too young to be able to remember the event in the future but, yeah, everything has an impact in the formative years, so you never know. It sounds like Ben’s already a junior gricer. I’m glad it was a nice day. I can understand the children’s fear of the trains. I remember feeling rather daunted at railway stations when I was little (I know I still am little :P). I’m sure the trains themselves were big and scary to me but it was the stations that got to me actually – they always felt eerie. I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that’s a fear I have long overcome. Our relationship would be somewhat harder to conduct if I were shying away from railway stations.

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