Wednesday, 27 March 2013

50 Years of Beeching's Pill: A Celebration of Mellifluousness and Superfluity

Notes to the Liturgy

Oh my dear Reader, if there is one thing other than a badly-added column of numbers that makes me angry, it is the name of Dr Beeching. A name that deserves to go down with Borgia, Blackbeard and Boadicea as a bringer of destruction - although Eileen tells me the latter is spelled "Boudicca", and that she is "one of the good guys". Although I still maintain that her destruction factor was on the high side. But not as much as Dr Beeching, who did more damage to the countryside than anyone before Tesco.
Not on the Marston Vale Line, as this is a real train.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Beeching Report - a paper which will go down in infamy as a triumph of short-sighted cost-saving over romance, the environment and - ultimately - a decent transport system. For who, when all is said and done, would want to be sat in a car in a jam outside Bedford on the A421, when one could be reading a vintage Bradshaw in the comfort of a carriage on the Varsity Line? Note that not all of these stations are closed - but the ones that are left, are but remnants of the wonder that was the British railway network.

Dress Code: Anoraks, Thermos flasks, notebooks and balaclavas.

Archchdruid: Cambridge; Lord's Bridge; Toft and Kingston; Old North Road; Gamlingay; Potton.

All: Sandy; Girtford Halt; Blunham; Willington; Bedford St Johns; Bedford Midland. 

Archdruid: Kempston and Elstow Halt; Kempston Hardwick; Wootton Broadmead Halt; Stewartby.

All: Millbrook; Lidlington; Ridgmont; Husborne Crawley.

Archdruid: Aspley Guise; Woburn Sands;Bow Brickhill; Fenny Stratford; Bletchley.

All: Swanbourne; Winslow; Verney Junction; Claydon; Grendon Underwood Junction.

Archdruid: Marsh Gibbon and Poundon; Launton; Yarnton; Wolvercote Junction.

All: Wolvercot Platform; Oxford North; Oxford.

Young Keith: Mornington Crescent?

All may throw British Rail sandwiches at Young Keith.


  1. To be followed by a rendition of the Flanders and Swan Anthem "The Slow Train," (Shouldn't Armstrong and Miller be involved somehow?)

  2. Shame on you, Burton! You missed out Sandy. Accountants can't miss items out of lists.

    I remember trainspotting there as a child in the pre-Beeching era, although I think my brother took me there more to look for the big Great Northern Pacifics.

    As a penance, can I suggest writing the missing Wikipedia article on the one time Husborne Crawley station.

    1. That you for you Gentle Wisdom, Peter Kirk. I have added in Sandy, although she left me stranded at the drive-in.


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