Following on from our last issue's ambulatory nod to the long gone Wick & Lybster Railway by David Fasken, here is another tribute, this time in verse.
The Yarrows Heritage Trust, which was instrumental in preserving Thrumster Station, has a copy of the poem and believes it may have been written by a lady named Ryrie - they would love to know more!
The line closed in 1944 and the poem is written in the vernacular. There is not room here to explain any of the words, except 'Week', which is how Wick residents pronounce the name of their town. Worth explaining too that the reference in verse 3 to "dry" was because the sale of alcohol in Wick was prohibited from 1922-47!
The best way to appreciate the poem is to listen to it being read. There is a recording, made in 2016, on the Wick Society website. A link to it is on this issue's companion web page.
Some sing o' ships and flying bombs
'At hurtle through 'e air;
Some lek til praise 'e racehorse
'E greyhound or 'e hare
But o' a' 'e things that ever sped
In air, or land or sea
There's only wan 'at I wid choose
'E Lybster Train for me.
Hid wisnae chust an ornar train
'At rins wi a' 'e shither
'At has til wait in sidings
Til mak room for anither
Hid hed a line all til hidsel
Hid hed five stations too
An deil a thing til hould hid back
Except an anteran coo.
Hid didnae gie a scrap for win'
Or hail or time or rain
But chooged awa' contented lek
Til Week - an back again
Hid wandered on hid's canny way
Though "Speed" was some folk's cry,
But fa wid want til tear til Week
So long as Week was dry?
'E trains 'at run doon in 'e sooth
Are no 'e trains I lek
For if ye want til catch them
Ye nearly brak yer neck
But wi' 'e Lybster trainie
Ye didna need til mind,
If Geordie saw ye comin'
Ye werna left behind.
Hid carried kings and commoners,
Fenders and fountain pens
An' doos an' dougs an'doormats
An'coos an' clockan hens
We took hid jest for granted
Thocht hid wid aye rin on
But fortune wis against us
An' noo wer train is gone.
They said hid didna pey hid's wey
They said hid wisna worth
To those in high authority
Hid cumbered up the earth,
An' noo, in place o' a' hid's dird
An' cheerful homely din,
There's nothing bit 'e scorrie's cry
An' weary whistlan win.
But foremost in ma memories
O' pleasure or o' pain
I'll gie a place o' honour til
Ma poor wee Lybster Train.