Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Brampton Valley Way and a sign in Polish

The railway line between Market Harborough and Northampton opened in 1859. If enlightened opinion had had its way in the 1960s and St Pancras had been closed, then it might today be the main line from the East Midlands to Euston.

Partly because the line was built to branch line standards, with sharper curves and steeper gradients than a main line, that plan came to nothing. So the line closed to passengers in 1960 (though it was used by a Euston sleeper to Scotland until 1973) and to good traffic in 1981.

The last working on the line (apart from demolition traffic) was a special train from Northampton to Market Harborough and back in August 1981. I was on it.

In Market Harborough itself, much of the route has been lost to new building and road widening. But to the south of the town, starting here in Little Bowden, it has been preserved as the Brampton Valley Way. You can walk or cycle for 14 miles without seeing a car and pass through two tunnels en route. Some of us used to walk through them before they were officially open to the public.

My house is near the start of this path. If you take it and walk for a quarter of a mile or so, you will see a clear track heading off through a field of barley. It takes you to a pond with an island in the middle.

It is obviously man made and may well be of industrial origin: there used to be a brickworks in Little Bowden. But it is unexpected and rather pretty. Any body of water with an island in it will appeal to an admirer of Richard Jefferies' Bevis.

The pond also has a sign - a sign of the times - in Polish. I suspect it says something like "No Fishing", but can any reader translate?


Niles said...

Quite to my surprise, Google Translate now speaks Polish.


and the machine comes up with


crewegwyn said...

I was also on the last train in 1981 : two memories -

a) I recall getting updates from somebody with a radio regarding a certain Test Match in progress;

b) travelling with the Guard on the return journey, and his regaling us with horror stories of Schoolboy Football Specials to Wembley and the horrible after-effects of over-indulgence in cherryade and crisps [by the schoolboys, not the Guard].

Ian Patterson said...

Fresh water fish is a Polish delicacy - so its a welcome sign to see supportive messages like this. One of the joys of the Polish community to see communitarian things like this.