Last Train From Bacup

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By Stanley Accrington

I can close my eyes sometimes and still smell the smoke,
As old Fred the porter slams doors.
There's a glance at the clock, a nod to the guard,
And the train is in motion once more.
In the Rossendale Valley on a sultry warm day,
The clanking of wheels echoes on;
But it's all in my mind, when I wake up I find
That the last train from Bacup has gone.

I can stand in the car-park remembering old tales
Of a station that's long since pulled down;
Of fly-shunting wagons, and when they ran off the rails,
Ending up in the centre of town.
Now the juggernauts carry what's left of the trade,
With cotton-bales piled high upon;
But where I worked with my mates is now a housing estate,
And the last train from Royton has gone.

And at three in the morning, when I used to sign on,
I lie awake, half in a dream.
I'm a guard on a special, bound for the coast,
With a 4-6-0 getting up steam.
We've got packages for printers, pigeons to release;
Spare seats after Heywood, not one;
But now they jump on a 'plane for a fortnight in Spain,
And the last train to Fleetwood has gone.

And at Measurements Halt, the track has been lifted,
The platform is all overgrown.
There's willow and scrub where the Delph "Donkey" ran,
Now the valley has claimed back its own.
In the Saddleworth hills on a crisp autumn day,
A plume of smoke still lingers on;
But I'm dreaming out loud, sure, it's only a cloud,
And the last train from Dobcross has gone.

In the Rossendale Valley on a sultry warm day,
The clanking of wheels echoes on;
But it's all in my mind, when I wake up I find
That the last train from Bacup has gone;
That the last train from Royton,
The last train from Dobcross,
and the last train to Fleetwood has gone.

 

 

 

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