Sunday, 16 January 2011
The train to Glasgow
Heading for the 13.15 train to Glasgow last Saturday. We were taking our son and belongings back to university, and to free up room in the car my daughter and I elected to take the train and meet the men there. Very noble of us. It also gave us a shopping interlude together in Glasgow before taking the underground to student flat land in the West End.
Here is the train to Glasgow.
I hope Scottish readers will recognise this as the first line of Wilma Horsburgh's poem of the same name. I didn't see the driver, and thought the embarrassment factor for my daughter would be too great if I asked the guard if I could take a photo of him. So I can't really say:
"Here is the driver,
Who drove the train to Glasgow.
Here is the guard from Donibristle
Who waved his flag and blew his whistle
To tell the driver,
To start the train to Glasgow."
It's a great poem for chanting with children, who even if they can't remember the whole thing, always come in triumphantly with '...the train to Glasgow' at the end of each verse. The poem has a cage of escaped hens on the train saved by the actions of a wee boy, Donald.
"Now Donald was quick and Donald was neat
And Donald was nimble on his feet.
He caught the hens..."
No hens on our train, just a quiet 40 minute journey through the snowy countryside.
Above, Linlithgow, with churches and chimneys and crow-stepped gables.
At some stations the original buildings have survived. Looking at all the chimneys, I was nostalgic for a station waiting room with a glowing coal fire.
Others are of post 1970s bland box style.
But even here there are compensations, when you can glimpse the hills beyond the Firth of Forth.
Even the 'output' from the oil refinery at Grangemouth didn't look too bad.
And finally to an empty Queen Street station. Everyone was in the shops, that's why...