In the fields at the back of my cottage there is a hefty-looking embankment running across the landscape. Part of the remains of a railway line that once ran from Market Harborough to Melton Mowbray, it is now covered in hawthorn bushes and bisected every now and then by the abutments of bridges. It closed to passenger traffic in 1957 and the last goods train trundled through in November 1963, but it is always a source of great pleasure to discover relics of railway life still hanging on amongst the cow pats and thistles. This photograph shows one of two brick huts with tiled roofs that sit in a field at the side of the road just outside Hallaton, which in 1957 would have been my local station. The one nearest the road is most likely to do with the weighbridge, this little building is smaller and probably stored goods sidings paraphanalia such as oil lamps, wagon hitching poles and a shelf for white enamelled cans of tea. Beyond the trees the station has been replaced by a bungalow, but railway cottages can still be seen on the road to Horninghold. I wonder if the ruminating cows hear ghostly echoes of their forebears lowing in the yard.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)