Photo © Jim Kable (Used with permission)
My mother would pack my lunch into my globite school bag and shoo me out the door, so I would catch the train to school.
The train station was a short walk from home, and I’d usually arrive in plenty of time to catch the 8.20. It was just one stop before getting off to walk up High Street to my school. There was always a bunch of us kids who came on the train, so there was always someone to walk with.
As I waited on the platform, it was rare that there would be any other kid waiting with me. I used to walk to the far end of the platform and look down the rails as they curved in towards the next station and watch the skyline above the bridge over the tracks for the tell tale signs of the approaching train.
Sure enough, around 8.18 I’d see the puff of smoke as the old steam engine pulled the carriages towards my stop.
With smoke billowing from the chimney and steam kissing from the wheels it made its majestic entry into the station each morning.
Once you were on and in your seat, it was important to make sure the windows were closed for when the engine pulled out, an open window could result in a mouth full of smoke and more than likely a fine dusting of soot.
You didn’t much time for a lot of things before it arrived at the High Street stop and off we got to trudge the distance to school.
Each afternoon I did the repeat, but we never cared about the smoke and soot on the way home especially so in summer when it was hot and sticky and how could some smoke and soot make you feel any worse?