Thursday, 3 January 2013

It's a Terrible Thing....

When the good pictures run out and there is nothing left to say.  However while passing through Shenfield Station I saw this run down apparition parked at the far side.  A guards 'brake van' from the days of long ago.  Goods wagons in the past had no brakes, they merely clinked and clunked against one another when the train slowed down or stopped, the brake van would be used to control long goods trains, often carryinhuge amounts of weight.  When young, the shunter  sorting wagons far from us on a dark night could be heard at my home, the soothing clinking sound coming miles through the darkness.  No such sounds exists today, and the Edinburgh I once knew is far noisier at night than it was then.  Mind you down here in the wilderness the night is quieter but no romantic noises are ever heard, unless you count the Sainsburys lorry passing by of course.  I wonder what this brake in need of refurbishment is doing there?  Please explain.

At Stratford the underground, national rail and the Docklands light Railway meet together along with other transport termini.  A huge amount of work has been done here since I last passed through.  The Olympic Games led to much improvement (they say) and the Euro trains also helped.  However so many of the buildings are modern, shapeless or just plain ugly to me that I find myself thinking the acres of electric pylons and rail lines of the past more worthy of praise.  Note also the strange yellow, blue and white shapes in front of the office block.  I think these are an attempt to deflect noise away from the buildings, I wonder if it works?

Talking of 'dereliction' reminds me of this picture I took while passing by Waterloo on Saturday.  Dismal and gray, and this just after noon at that, this was the best pic my weary hulk could obtain of that palace of rogues.  I see what looks like a large poster high up in the middle of the building, I think it reads 'Guy Fawkes wanted, Apply within.'

That's my lovely warm Christmas now at an end.  No more living amongst warm, generous lovely people, no more good food that has taste, no more warmth and happiness, reality begins to hit home now.  So some rant or other will appear soon, grumbling and complaining and scowling at the world will once again be my lot I suspect.  We'll see.    



A. said...

So, what you're saying is that we, your public, are not warm, generous, lovely people. I see. OK.

the fly in the web said...

I had digs in Stratford for a time as a student.....all I can remember is being warned not to go into certain pubs as they were the haunt of the murderous villains.

Now the latter seem to haunt the houses of Parliament.

soubriquet said...

That brake van's no ordinary brake-van, its a "Shark".
The thing that looks like a ship's wheel was used to raise and lower a blade, looking rather like a snow-plough, used to evenly spread ballast on late-night track-maintenance trains.

Lee said...

I, too, grew up with the sounds of the old steam engines huffing and puffing...their sounds would travel through the night air..there was a slight but long slope leading to the Gympie station and the poor old locomotive used to groan as it lumbered up along the track on that final incline. It used to let out a large sigh when it finally reached the station! Then the diesels took over; and the romance ended. The old "Rattler" has been resurrected and now takes tourists out for day trips to a country area surrounding Gympie...the town in which I grew up.

Relax Max said...

At last another train post! You know how I love trains, usually I prefer the steam engines but this will more than do. I think your "brake" is now an art object.

I don't know what to make of your lovely Parliament buildings emitting gloomy skies.

Jenny Woolf said...

I would guess that the brake van is waiting for some restoration fans to come and tart it up. If I was into restoring things I would join such a group, it always seems like rather fun. But I gave up half way through painting a very small filing cabinet white recently. Someone else finished it for me, which is good but not quite what you want in a restoration group. this is also why I have abandoned plans to find and restore a country cottage or transform some derelict bungalow somewhere into an eco home out of Grand Designs. '

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I cannot recall ever hearing about a "brake van" before, and Soubriquet's comment adds all the more to it!

Adullamite said...

A, Only a woman can take a simple straight forward comment and use it to make me feel guilty! Of course you ad other warm lovely people are making me warm and lo....hold on, what I meant was I was not with such people exce...

Where is that cheap Spanish brandy when you need it....?

Fly, Stratford does have such places, friends of mind got into trouble there once!

Soub, Well if that indeed is a 'Shark,' then it makes sense for it to be standing there.

Lee, Sadly the diesel & electric trains are far more practical but not so romantic. It's a shame.

That parliament has had a thousand years to emit gloominess.

Jenny, I suspect Network Rail would allow you to renovate the brake van if you wished! My handyman skills are such that the think would never move again!

Jerry, That's because you never had proper railways!