Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Is our Cherry Popped?

Now this won't come as surprise to many, but this BM is an odd one.

We sit and see the news from our beloved Heritage Railways swipe past us on Facebook, we see the wibble and froth emanate from your jowls when you see things change colour. 

The end game is, it's all a bit of fun isn't it? Its a bit of fun that is intrinsically ours.


It is often refreshing, and a little worrying when we stop and take stock of where things are with our Railways, and where they were.

Wibble may die down, the more shocking of liveries begin to generate less froth, the 'banter' generated on forums seems to take a more modern 'Brexit / Trump' harshness.

Are we losing our innocence?

The symbol of our innocence, the sign that we are now all woman or become a man is of course - the Portacabin.

Portacabins signify a lot on a Heritage Railway, they signify your Model Railway when all you ran an Apple Green A3 with an Intercity Mk3 and that National Garden Railway plank wagon your Great Uncle Ralph gave you. That unballasted Hornby track lifted as your ramshackle service ran around, but it was still magic.

This age of Heritage Railways seems to be disappearing fast. The portacabins are being replaced for 'restaurants', The portaloos are being replaced by 'Toilets of the Year', those ramshackle services of 'anything goes' are Mk1s in the same livery pulled by a BR Black Loco.

Is the 'business' side of our Heritage Railways dissolving the fun we all loved from the start?

Those who do not remember Noels House Party, or were even born when Mr Blobby fell down the stairs have missed an era of Heritage Railways that we doubt would ever be allowed to be repeated. That is a great shame and does feel that we have all now grown up and burst our cherry.

Nobody loves it more than taking the piss out of a bad day on a Heritage Railway, where your sudden highest of standards are not being met by a Guard flapping on what to do with his ticket machine while getting it stuck in the door as he gives the right away - your ability to shout outrage from the hills is at your fingertips in your phone. 

The most lovable of nerd who likes to 'dab' beside a 'Skip' and posts the results on a Facebook Group is quite easily torn a new one within seconds. Before anyone can hit the 'Report Post' button we have that 'President-Elect Trump' feeling all over again.

Next time you see a New Build steam locomotive on a perfectly presented rake of perfect era coaches in perfect surroundings - Remember that rusting hulk in the siding, hidden away, the one that got you into Steam Railways in the beginning, the one that no longer fits into the perfect era scene has been cast aside.

Next time you see an enthusiast doing something they love, enjoy it and embrace the oddness. 
Next time you eat a bacon roll in a Portacabin Cafe at a Railway near you, enjoy it and embrace the sickness the next day. 

The 'business plan' is coming along to take your cherry.


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  2. This is spot on. So spot on it bloody hurts.