Tickets Please – Paul Atterbury

Trains don’t really bother me one way or the other…..however I am a man of romantic nature and that’s why enjoy the ambience of a good station. I like them, the small ones, the overgrown ones, even the forgotten ones.

What I like about them is the smell and the architecture, the quaintness and the slightly sad air of reminiscence for the glory days when the station was the hub of community life. Indeed the station I like for many reason to wit I am now going to bullet point, with a short explanation that you may or may not find informative or maybe you will just find the fact i’ve gone to all this trouble somewhat hilarious:

– Architecture; Muchos variation on this one! Many different styles were used, there was no uniformity in the main design although certain things were uniform throughout the station complex. I like architecture anyway, makes you feel close to history.

– Heritage; Apparently safeguarding English things is racist or something and as that’s not allowed anymore, I want to see what’s being maintained and how stuff looks today etc. You get the point methinks. Also I want to see what’s been left to us from them black and white days.

– Culture; Liking social/economic stuff (hardcore!) I am fascinated to see how the railway became the hub of life in villages and towns and what went on and how the closing of railways led to a ‘rebalancing’ of the economic structure and focus of towns etc.

– History; T’is I fear self explanatory.

– Power; We had an empire back then and the culmination(arguably) of the industrial revolution was unprecedented travel to sea side places for common folk and tramps.

– Iconography; You’re a film/TV man, you may appreciate this, the idea of a train station seems indicative of leaving and loss( i.e the Blitz, soldiers going off to war, Dr Lewis leaving Dr Greene at the station to go to Phoenix with her druggie sister to look after her kid instead of calling social services like a human being would(season 3 of ER that was i think)) I’m sure there are countless others but there seems – to me at any rate – less emphasis on arrivals and jollity, I feel I should explore this. Also I may get into collecting postcards, as it seems a noble art and the train station has according to post cards much hilarity to it, such as missing a train. This worries me, I must investigate further.

– Innocent times; Possibly making this up but it makes me thinks of innocent times, when everything seems rose tinted and Famous Five-esqe. I’m sure only nice people worked on railways or pantomime villains but that’s okay because they will be bought to justice at the end of the book. Ginger beers for all woo!

If this sort of stuff captures your imagination in any sort of way then this may just give you the nostalgia hit you need with lots of pictures and architectural delights that sadly, seem less and less these days with the modern obsession with glass and steel monstrosities.

5 Replies to “Tickets Please – Paul Atterbury”

  1. Not really interested in train stations in particular but the culture and heritage aspects sound interesting -you seem to have read quite a few adventure/travel/books where you learn things about a different culture or time in history lately, which is good 🙂


    1. I’m becoming more themed in my reading, recently it has been travel infused with art, philosophy, literature and poetry. There were some yeti’s too! I suppose the station is just the physical manifestation of something a lot deeper, a community thing but then again these days, there is so little community about it seems quaint. Huzzah for nostalgia.


  2. Well those themes definitely sound good and are my kind of themes! Yep, and sense of community in general in the country has changed a lot too, so maybe it’s a small example of this… can’t think of the word…


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