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generations-a settle-carlisle poem

Tells the tale of a young man’s journey of discovery, learning more about himself and his much missed late grandfather, the action takes place on the Settle to Carlisle railway line

Ribblehead Viaduct…he’d never seen anything so amazing
For hours he stood transfixed, admiringly gazing
How can a work of civil engineering so add to the panorama?
Functional, yet with unparalleled beauty…pure drama
Starting out from Settle early one morning
To catch the steam train he is boarding
Travelling the track and travelling in time
The golden age of railways, pure sublime
His grandfather had worked on this railway
A signal-man, back in his heyday
The journey taking him to all his old haunts
The destinations of all his pleasure jaunts
As he read the Guide he’d bought
He saw how the people had fought
To keep alive this great railway of heritage
Steam fans centre for pilgrimage
His grandfather’s words came back to him again
As he felt the almost living power of the train
“Steam gets in your blood and never lets you go,
right from the top of your head, down to your big toe”
And he understood and was full of gratitude
For he had never before got grandfather’s attitude
As he sat there watching the landscape flash by
He no longer needed to wonder how or why
Unlike so many others this line got its reprieve
Michael Portillo’s decision, what a legacy to leave
Then the hard work truly began
The volunteers united in their plan
Oh yes…he finally understood all the stories grandfather told
He thought of that gentle, shy man, as his journey did unfold
He realised that he shared completely his passion for steam
He knew what he had to do, volunteer, become part of the team
Two generations of one family, one passed on…one with his life ahead
And a shared great love for spending time in the railway shed
Walk the footsteps his grandfather had trod decades before
And work on the Settle to Carlisle line that they both adore…

Dean Fraser – The Quantum Poet

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