Stamford didn't want the railway anywhere near it at first, but when they finally succumbed in 1848 its Tudor manor architecture became an heraldic trumpet for this outstanding stone-built Lincolnshire town. It's worth a detour through the old coalyards (now crowded with new houses) to see it, and, if you like this sort of thing, to visit Robert Humm's transport bookshop housed in the old stationmaster's quarters. Over on the 'Leicester' side there is what was once an island platform, now with the far side bay overgrown. On the embankment are these white letters slowly sinking into the earth. I think they've been there since I regularly arrived here on steam trains in my school holidays. And that the makeshift sign was planted out with crocii and snowdrops in the spring, dahlias and wallflowers in the summer. Of course not much of this goes on now. The station is remarkably untouched, thanks to the stern eye of English Heritage I suspect rather than the altruism of whatever garishly-striped franchise is stopping and starting here. And trains are remarkably frequent and very well used. But Mr.Humm and his delightful assistants appear to be the only occupants. Every station door was locked on our visit, including the waiting rooms, and the only remote human contact seemed to be a timetable and a poster telling you what will happen if you don't buy a ticket.
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)