T

THURGARTON

 

Malcolm Goodall, July 2006, with acknowledgements to ‘Adlestrop' by Edward Thomas

 

Thurgarton.

With screech of brakes, the train stopped, as it must.

Compulsory now, and not just by request.

No-one stirred.

 

Flaming June, and not a breath of air.

Beads of perspiration trickled down my face.

Commuters dozed, or solved the crossword in ‘The Times'.

Schoolgirls giggled. Books in satchels;  short blue skirts, black tights.

Shoppers gloated over bargains stashed in bulging plastic bags.

Skimpy summer tops, bright lipstick, fake tattoos on midriffs bare.

Feet in flip-flops, toenails painted blue.

 

The engines idled gently ‘neath the floor;

Cummins, Voith, Gmeinder final drive.

Metro Cammell on the step-plates, the maker's name

Proudly cast in steel, a declaration for all time.

Neil released the doors, surveyed the empty platform;

Black tarmacadam soaking up the heat.

 

Impassive station building, steep-pitched slated roof;

Barge-boards curved and slotted just for ornament;

Multifarious chimneys striving hard to reach the sky;

Mellow buff-hued brickwork spalling gently in the sun;

Quoins in long-and-short work, in the Anglo-Saxon style.

While in the hen-run, poultry squawked and scratched.

 

And in the distance did conveyors hum,

Moving sand and gravel from the pits

Continuously to the screening plant.

Concrete castings curing in the factory yard.

 

Fields of tangled rapeseed ripening well,

Colour changing day by day, soon ready to be swathed;

Small black seeds that crush to golden oil

Ideal for frying fish and chips.

The wheat yet green, but droughted here and there;

The Staff of Life when grains are duly filled.

 

::           ::           ::           ::           ::           ::           ::           ::

 

The searing heat:           ::           The blazing sun ::           ::

 

Midsummer Day           ::           At Thurgarton. 

 

::           ::           ::           ::           ::           ::           ::           ::

 

Neil closed the doors, and pressed the buzzer twice.

Sally replied, and in a trice

The engines growled, and off we homeward sped.

Crosswords now completed, newspapers all read.

 

 

The engines' roar:         ::           ::           Transmission's scream  ::

 

Quiet Thurgarton was just a dream.

 

 

 

This was recorded from life, just as it happened. There is no imagination, no creativity. The very long pauses attempt to convey a sense of eternity.

Cummins, Voith, Gmeinder final drive.

Metro Cammell on the step-plates, the maker’s name

Proudly cast in steel, a declaration for all time.

Neil released the doors, surveyed the empty platform;

Black tarmacadam soaking up the heat.

 

Impassive station building, steep-pitched slated roof;

Barge-boards curved and slotted just for ornament;

Multifarious chimneys striving hard to reach the sky;

Mellow buff-hued brickwork spalling gently in the sun;

Quoins in long-and-short work, in the Anglo-Saxon style.

While in the hen-run, poultry squawked and scratched.

 

And in the distance did conveyors hum,

Moving sand and gravel from the pits

Continuously to the screening plant.

Concrete castings curing in the factory yard.

 

Fields of tangled rapeseed ripening well,

Colour changing day by day, soon ready to be swathed;

Small black seeds that crush to golden oil

Ideal for frying fish and chips.