Monday, July 15, 2024
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The Rocket’s return


’TWAS midnight in the rail museum
And in majestic number
The locos lay, a fine array
Seemingly a-slumber. 

Then the silence that surrounded
Each epoch-making marque
With suddenness was shattered
As a strange noise rent the dark.  

The locos all bestirred to hear
A clanking and a hissing
Then ‘Hush and listen!’ came the cry,
‘The Rocket’s reminiscing!’  

The Rocket! Father of them all
From the dawn of locomotion
Whose mighty pistons, rods and wheels
Had set the world in motion.  

What knowledge, guidance, wisdom
Would this Steam Age sage impart?
The locos listened awestruck
To The Rocket’s heart-to-heart.

‘Ye know me well from history
How I triumphed at Rainhill
Guided by the Stephensons
I yet recall the thrill!  

‘Then came that 1830 day
When, belching smoke, I rode
From Liverpool to Manchester
Along the iron road.

‘The great and good I carried,
Boiler bubbling, wheels a-tappin’
(It’s true I killed one poor MP
But accidents will happen.)  

‘And from that small beginning
Steel rails through Britain grew
Bringing travel to the masses
And trainspotting hordes to Crewe.  

‘Yet I was soon retired
As stronger locos rolled
My chimney stopped a-belching
My firebox went stone cold.  

‘But I escaped the scrapyard
My metalwork was buffed
They put me in this fine museum
And I was really chuffed!  

‘From here, I’ve watched the railways boom
And then I’ve watched them bust
Saw them nationalised, rationalised, privatised
And many left to rust.

‘I still hate that b*stard Beeching
With his slash-and-burn ‘review’
Why didn’t some branch-line user
Stick a coal lump up his flue?  

‘Now, two centuries down the line
I feel compelled to speak with you
Of that botch, that bungle, that fiasco
That omnishambles – HS2.  

‘A sordid, sorry, sickening tale
Of incompetents and duffers
And now with many billions spent
It’s finally hit the buffers.  

‘The northern leg has been cut off
Just The Smoke to Brum remains
But, ye gods, it’ll be a decade more
Before we see some trains!  

‘I gave birth to the railway age
But like all us rolling stock
I’m disgusted how that legacy
Has been left to go to cock.

‘This water on my smokestack
Is tears, not condensation
I weep with rage at MPs and ‘experts’
Who’ve ideas above their station.

‘So fill my boiler, fire me up
Let’s derail these costly farces!
I’m going top speed (yes, 30mph!) to Westminster
To put a Rocket up their *rses!’

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Weaver Sheridan
Weaver Sheridan
Weaver Sheridan is a wannabe best-selling novelist, one of his efforts being the Fifties Franny series, available on Amazon Kindle books.

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