In the 1960s Dr Beeching [with some just cause it has to be said] was a much maligned figure. Flanders and Swann wrote a song called "Slow Train" which laments the closure of so many stations [lyrics here for anyone interested] http://www.nyanko.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/fas/anotherhat_slow.html] and this little ditty from the TV sitcom "Oh Dr Beeching" which is rather more tongue in cheek about the whole affair!
"Oh! Dr Beeching! What have you done?
There once was lots of trains to catch, but soon there'll be none,
I'll have to buy a bike, 'cos I can't afford a car,
Oh, Dr Beeching, what a naughty man you are!
Oh, Dr Beeching, what am I to do?
The trains have all gone missing and I'm busting for the loo,
I'll do it in a shrub, 'cos it's hidden from the road,
Oh, Dr Beeching, I've just piddled on a toad!"
As I mentioned in the last post Southwater was on Beeching's hit list and lost its one in 1966, but forty eight years on I am delighted to say that the phoenix has risen from the ashes. Nowadays the old railway line forms part of the Downs Link which is enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure/places_to_visit_and_explore/downs_link.aspx
The old railway bridge has also undergone a rather stunning transformation. Initially it was the butterflies at the top that caught my eye so being me I just had to to cross the road to investigate further.
A closer look reveals the true extent of the positive changes. Underneath the bridge and on its walls are bat boxes [my photos of that didn't work], nesting boxes and either side bee and bug palaces.
On the approach new planters have been put in which have been decorated by paintings of butterflies done by the village school children. I think the whole concept is fantastic.
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