Before I embark on the song list for 29th April, I am inclined to say how moved I was by Mave’s song about those last trains in the Rossendale Valley.
Oh, those sounds of loose shunting, the rattle of three-link couplings, the screech of wheels as decaying wagons traversed impossible bends, the exhaust of steam from tired shunters: these are such fond memories of my childhood in Bacup.
Those were proper trains!
By night they brought raw cotton for the mills, and coal to power their machinery. They took away the finished products of a local workforce who had no hope of more gainful employment.
The sounds of those trains were a reassurance.
They were good noises in the night that echoed around the valley.
"All is well in the world!" they said.
They were pure lullabies that could be heard through every bedroom window.
Children would sleep and dream of owning a Hornby Dublo train set.
In those days we believed in Father Christmas.
All I wanted was that little pick-up goods train hauled by an ex-LMS Fowler 3F 060T, on a small-radius oval of track, but times were hard then.
Thanks for that delightful memory, Mave.