Thursday, 22 October 2009

Railway Echo No 12

Marefield is remote Leicestershire, up on the eastern approaches not far from the borders with Rutland. The Great Northern Railway opened a ten mile line from Leicester's red brick Belgrave Road station in 1882, out through Ingarsby and Lowesby until joining up with the GNR/LNWR joint track from Market Harborough to Melton Mowbray at what became known as Marefield Junction. An unadvertised daily train took workers to the dairy at John O'Gaunt (just north of this red brick viaduct) until 1957, and the last passenger traffic of summer holiday excursions from Leicester to the Lincolnshire coast finished in 1962. I must have gone over this viaduct many times, clutching an enamel bucket and spade and wondering 'are we there yet?'. We weren't. Further south from here a beautiful blue brick viaduct over the Eye Brook was detonated as a cheap source of hardcore, so I marvel even more at the continued existence of this lone survivor, admired now only by walkers and the odd cow ruminating in the field close by. Whose milk I suppose goes by road to some industrial plant far away, when once it ended up in a dairy next door that sent three or four tankers of milk to London every day.

7 comments:

Martin H. said...

Beautiful photograph -looks like late afternoon. The interestingly mangled iron rail in the foreground is just perfect.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Martin. It was taken in mid-August this year around seven in the evening. I was very lucky to end up with at all, because as I walked down the path towards the viaduct my spectacles fell to pieces.

Circe said...

Heart warming stilling gladdening... beautiful.

And I recently said I wouldn't miss Summer this year...

HA!

By the way, I hope your artistic chronicling can in some way be put towards preservation of your subjects. It definitely does shed luminous light on them.

(Hope you don't mind a mention/tag/link to your place in an upcoming post?)

Philip Wilkinson said...

Yes, it's very quiet, sitting there lost in its field. There's indeed a feeling of stillness about these railway echoes that I like very much.

Martin H. said...

You have my great sympathy regarding the spectacles, Peter. I had to buy a new digital camera with a much larger screen last year. Without my glasses, the screen on the old one was just a hopeless blur.

Thud said...

After our terrible summer I was looking forward to a few months in California but then came the fantastic sept and I found myself homesick upon leaving in early oct...Oh well!

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