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© Updated 06/12/2019

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Memories of Wretham

The Station was closed when we came here in 1966 and for a while Tom cycled to Thetford to work in the signal box until he retired. He was a sweetheart, cheerful, kind and helpful and a wee bit saucy! He used to reminisce about days gone by, he loved his Station and kept the best Station garden for miles around for which, I believe won prizes.

It was the telling of his memories that induced me to write this song way back in the 1970’s, which inevitably got tucked away with all the bits and pieces one collects. On seeing the picture of the last train in the February Wretham News I felt I would like to share his lovely memories with you all and in so doing I have found several things I thought I had lost! It’s amazing what you find when you’re looking for something else...

By Irene Meadows

THE STATION-MASTER’S DREAM

 

In memory of the late THOMAS SMITH – STATION-MASTER, WRETHAM/HOCKHAM STATION

 

Empty station, empty track,

No one goes, no one comes back,

The Station clock won’t let time fly,

The Station Master dreams of days gone by.

The Station house was a sight to please,

Nestled there among the trees,

The signal box has been pulled down,

There’s no trains up and no more trains to town.

The waiting room is empty and the Rails have gone

The Platforms swept, the gates are closed,

But memories linger on.

Of trains that rumbled fast and slow,

Of people travelling to and fro’

Flags and whistles, lamps so bright,

Echos of the shunting in the night.

The level crossing gates are gone,

A road lays where the line ran on,

No more trains will ever pass,

No more tickets, first or second class.

No more steamy engine smells,

No more level crossing bells,

The waiting room is locked and so,

The Station Master dreams of long ago

Little children off to school grow up too soon,

Young men leave and go to war,

Newly weds go on honeymoon.

Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring,

Trains go out and trains come in

Slamming doors and whistle blasts,

The Station Master dreams about the past.

Sometimes he hears a distant call,

Is someone in the Booking Hall?

Dare he look? or will he find

He’s only hearing memories in his mind.

Is that a train, the fast or slow?

Are people travelling to and fro’?

Of flags and whistles, lamps so bright,

The Station Master’s dreaming through the night

His Garden was the best for miles around,

But they’ve closed the line, now he’s retired

And bought this precious ground.

So now you’ll see him every day,

His wife beside him knows his way

Hears him whistle, hears him sigh

The Station Master dreams of days gone by.

By Irene Meadows