21 November 2011

All Aboard!

Upon entering the tiny ticket office, I felt as if I had walked back in time. The early 1900s to be precise. Everything about the station was quintessentially British. Beautiful leather suitcases printed with bold black lettering, a bright red post box, checked tablecloths draped across the six tables laid out in the pretty yellow tea room. 1930's advertisements littered the picket fencing that ran across the edge of the platform, and lovely cast iron lamp posts lay dotted alongside. I only wished I'd worn a fur muff and a cloche hat. I heard the steam train before I saw it, clickety-clack and toot-tooting along the track. Billows of smoke rose from beyond the signals and the giant green beauty pulled into sight, more impressive and enchanting than any train I'd ever seen before. People leant out the train windows to watch the station pass them by, but there were no white handkerchiefs in sight, as I might have imagined there would have been around a century ago. The steam billowed around the station, and I pictured the gentlemen opening the doors, ducking as they stepped out onto the platform and holding their hands out for their wives. Closing my eyes for a moment, I could see young ladies' tightly buttoned gloves waving furiously to their beaus, who were looking proud in their uniforms as they set boldly off to war. I took in the sooty smells, the whistle from the guard. I was at once a leading lady in a quaint and romantic old black and white film; I was Laura Jesson in Brief Encounter, listening to the teacups rattle in the bustling railway tea room as the steam train flew by.

Taken on a sunny Sunday afternoon, in the West of England near Cheltenham. A short trip back in time on the preserved Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway.


  1. Fantastic photos. There is something in our DNA about the sights and sounds of the steam railway. Lovely post.

  2. What a lovely thing to do. Really delightful post.

    I love going on steam trains and we went on this one a couple of years ago. It was brilliant fun.

  3. Nice!!! Ha, it's what I'd imagined our train trip from kings cross to northern Scotland was going to be was i wrong (worst part was how they kept all the lights on during an overnight trip!)...

  4. Aww..that is as sweet n falling into that olde worlde stuff. We have a train here called the Puffing Billy that is similar...nothing seems to have changed since 1920 as an old steam train takes visitors through the mountain ranges east of Melbourne.
    Well the screaming spoilt children whom I witnessed on my last sojourn on the 'Billy did snap me out of my reverie.
    In my day...oh if only the rod and the cane had not been outlawed....corporal punishment screws kids up....psh! Didn't hurt me....
    Great post! :)

  5. That's so neat! There's a historic railroad where I live too, though it's a lot less posh than the one you rode. The photographs were fantastic.

  6. Lovely photos and even lovelier story.

  7. Oh I'm so jealous! I dream of a vacation by rail someday. There is something so romantic and old fashioned about it. Lucky you. Thanks for sharing this! Loved it.