PowerSwitch Main Page
PowerSwitch
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

John Betjeman -- Dilton Marsh Halt

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mobbsey



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2243
Location: Banbury

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:55 pm    Post subject: John Betjeman -- Dilton Marsh Halt Reply with quote

The relevant part is the last paragraph... but without the steam trains (far too inefficient).


http://www.poetryconnection.net/poets/John_Betjeman/16960

John Betjeman, "Dilton Marsh Halt"

Was it worth keeping the Halt open,
We thought as we looked at the sky
Red through the spread of the cedar-tree,
With the evening train gone by?

Yes, we said, for in summer the anglers use it,
Two and sometimes three
Will bring their catches of rods and poles and perches
To Westbury, home for tea.

There isn't a porter. The platform is made of sleepers.
The guard of the last train puts out the light
And high over lorries and cattle the Halt unwinking
Waits through the Wiltshire night.

O housewife safe in the comprehensive churning
Of the Warminster launderette!
O husband down at the depot with car in car-park!
The Halt is waiting yet.

And when all the horrible roads are finally done for,
And there's no more petrol left in the world to burn,
Here to the Halt from Salisbury and from Bristol
Steam trains will return.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Guest






PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilton Marsh is only a few miles from me. I live next to the A36 which is the main trunk route from the South coast up to the M4. It's a busy road, full of 40 tonne trucks and sales guys in BMW's, and if I ever want a daily reminder of how reliant we are on petrol/diesel transport I only need look out of my window (or just listen).

It would be good to get the Halt up and running again. I agree about steam trains being inefficient but they are definitely poetry in motion. They are the most exhilarating thing to drive if you've ever had the opportunity to do so and no, I'm not a train spotter.
Back to top
fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: John Betjeman -- Dilton Marsh Halt Reply with quote

mobbsey wrote:
... but without the steam trains (far too inefficient).


When diesel power first replaced steam it was in the face of trials and experiments that showed steam power could be as efficient as the diesel units of the day, of course such facts were steamrollered by the oil lobby (sound familiar?).

Today's diesel technology is pretty good and I doubt you can match it with steam but I would not swallow the "steam is old and cranky and grossly inefficient" line - the gap is not that great.

The "inefficiencies" in steam were primarily in areas such as man-power-intensive maintenance and frequest stops for fuel/water - keeping people in jobs is such a terrible thing, we must put a stop to that Exclamation

The perception of steam as "old fashioned" is akin to the definition of "progress" you would get from most people that is in fact boils down to a description of shocking resource and energy wastage, "that's progress".....

Sorry for going off-topic!

Great peom
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group