On either side

We are currently spending quite a lot of time on the East Coast line between Kings Cross and Leuchars. Max kindly gave us a book called On Either Side, a facsimile of a publication by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1939, giving their passengers information about places and things of interest near the railway line (many of them visible from the train).

Apart from the great deal of interesting information, it has the charm of a publication from a different age. Here are a few things it points out:

  • “Sandy is supposed to have been one of the leading Roman stations.” [And you didn’t know that the Romans had built the British railway network?]
  • “No half dozen words can possibly give expression to the innumerable charms of the Yorkshire Dales.” [Presumably even a countable infinity of words would not suffice.]
  • “Birnham Hill. The wood which formerly covered its slopes is celebrated in Macbeth. The Hill is much more sparsely wooded to-day.” [Readers of Macbeth know the reason for this.]
  • “The ruined buildings across the Spey are the Ruthven Barracks, built in 1718 to overawe the Highlanders, and destroyed by them in 1746.” [So the Barracks failed in their purpose.]

About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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