04/05/2008 13:59

The Railway

 

The railway

There had been a railway station serving the village for some ninety years when I was born. Black Bank Station was the place where you left from or returned to if you were a travelling type of person. Situated about a mile from the church it was the link with the outside world. Why a mile? It is rumoured that all railways stations are situated a mile from the church as the clergy of the day feared that the vibrations would crumble their edifice before they could organise a restoration fund. I don't know if it is true, but think about it folks; when you are lugging a suitcase to the station.

 

When I was young the railway ran a service fomr almost every little village in the country such was the network. At almost every hour of the day a train would leave Black Bank station. If you decided to leave the old man without trace you could go to the station , buy a ticket and few hours later you could be in York or Brighton. Nowadays you would have to wait until Thursday and hide somewhere in Ely.

 

On Saturday evenings thirty years ago it was possible to buy a return ticket to Peterborough for nine pence. The train left the station at five o' clock and arrived at Peterborough just before six. A quick dash to the Embassy Theatre enable one to witness topline performers for twenty-five pence or if all the seats were sold you could stand for twelve pence halfpenny. I've seen the cream of the country perform for less than a pound. Coming out of the theatre we used to go for a meal, often fish and chips, but sometimes for a mixed grill in a restaurant-either way it was always less than fifteen pence.

 

We would then retire to the Bell and Oak, a hostelry adjacent to the marketplace to bide our time until the train left at ten forty eight arriving back at Black Bank at a quarter to twelve. And mark this, we had change out of a pound.

 

I can hear the reader of this muttering, "Silly old devil, he must be senile, but it is true-every word.

 

At this time the tickets were issued by the porter as the normal office staff were off-duty. One of these chaps was illiterate but had memorised the word Peterborough and so had little difficulty in issuing a ticket-until one evening a lady of means ordered a first class ticket. Utterly perplexed he gave her a dog ticket, which she unknowingly presented at Peterborough. Apparently all hell broke loose-the man concerned being transferred to look after level crossing gates where all customers were equal

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Parish magazine 1897

04/05/2008 12:54

January 1897

  January 1897   ANOTHER year is gone...

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04/05/2008 12:56

February 1897

  February 1897 ONE great white sheet of...

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04/05/2008 12:59

March 1897

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04/05/2008 13:00

April 1897

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04/05/2008 13:02

May 1897

  May OUR first words must be those of...

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04/05/2008 13:03

June 1897

  June THE sixtieth year of Her Majesty the...

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04/05/2008 13:05

July 1897

  July THE past month has been one of varied...

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04/05/2008 13:06

August 1897

  August   RARELY have the crops looked...

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04/05/2008 13:07

September 1897

  September THE past has been a month almost...

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04/05/2008 13:08

October 1897

  October Two more Harvest Festivals have...

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Littledownham


Parish Magazine 1898

04/05/2008 13:16

January 1898

  January DURING the last month we have been...

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04/05/2008 13:20

February 1898

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04/05/2008 13:21

March 1898

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04/05/2008 13:22

April 1898

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04/05/2008 13:22

May 1898

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04/05/2008 13:23

June 1898

  June THE Jumble Sale in behalf of the...

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04/05/2008 13:25

July 1898

  July THE last month has been an eventful...

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04/05/2008 13:26

August 1898

  August ALL over England men are now busy...

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04/05/2008 13:27

September 1898

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04/05/2008 13:28

October 1898

  OCTOBER BITS ABOUT TEMPERANCE.-Some very...

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04/05/2008 13:29

November 1898

  November THE Annual Tea at Downham, was...

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