See if you can spot the Collie dog

My mum’s dog loves her photo being taken! 

Way back in June 2018, incidentally this year turned out to be one of the longest driest and warmest on record, I took one of my many walks deep into the Windrush Valley situated in the edge of the Cotswolds.

And you’ll have guessed, for those readers following my WordPress, I was accompanied by walking friend Holly the cross collie and not forgetting my trusty cheap Fuji little camera. Incidentally it cost £8 off eBay!

It takes stunning photos when the sun’s out and absolutely awful ones when the sun disappears?

Well cutting a short story even shorter! I’d always intended to share with the readers but being truthful a blog idea ALWAYS popped up from nowhere? Anyways the other evening I came across a picture folder and it suddenly dawned on me Holly actually got herself into nearly every photograph!

Like I said she loves the camera 😀

Anyways (it amuses me ‘anyways’ is a favourite word of mine) rather than just looking at MY photos of the Oxfordshire countryside, why not play a game and try and spot Holly just as if you were trying to spot the ball,

🤔and whatever happened to spot the ball competitions? Did the internet kill the game off? Discuss! No! 

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Holly my mum’s Colle cross dog
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Wild Poppy

Above wild red poppies growing amongst the fields of crops, and I could imagine soldiers fighting in the trenches on the Western Front, if they’d turned and gazed across French cornfields they’d see blood red poppies .

Must have been quite a sight the vivid red int erspersing golden yellow in summertime, not forgetting WW1 was another human made tragedy.

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I’m not quite sure what type of cash crop is being grown in our local fields now? When I was a child I remember golden corn, as for now I guess this could be……… who knows what’s planted, any farmers out there. And notice in the foreground wildflowers growing alongside the path we’re  walking on.

Above is a montage of photos of this unknown plant and the path I’m on, keep in mind I am walking a circular route.

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Fields of long grass, no crops here

Below we’ve no walked into an animal grazing field interspersed with daisy’s.

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If I were to lay these 4 photos out they’d be a sequenced panorama view.

Below and we’re back on the trail through natural tree canopy branches.

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Above one of several ponds that lie along our walk, are you playing my game of spot the collie?

Below left and you can just make out Minster Lovel ruins, it’s behind Holly in the distance. I swear she must have walked into the shot as soon as I took my camera out.

Below a church built from golden Cotswold stone looking resplendent under the sun, I cannot be bothered to Google the name lol (I’m half an hour into this post already and I’m freezing and in need of a hot shower), except to say it’s very old and lies on the outskirts of Minster Lovell village. (We’re in Oxfordshire btw).

Notice the small pink flowers and green moss growing on the Cotswold stone wall in the foreground.

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Cotswold stone is very unique to the area!

On reflection I should have enlarged the three photos above, you can btw, because bottom right shows Minster Lovell Ruins with said church behind the trouble is I managed to get the gatepost into shot as well.

Bottom left is me standing inside the ruins looking up towards the sky. That leaves photo three which tells you all about the ruins. I guess you could Wikipedia?

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All these photographs are a reminder Britain still has beautiful countryside if you look hard enough.

Below isn’t a natural water spring, these pools form where small streams meet the pathway used by farm tractors.

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Pathway pools of Oxfordshire water

(Below) Me gazing down toward Crawley village.

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A closer shot of the bridge leading out of Crawley village

Below a photograph very important to the history of this area, VERY IMPORATANT, yes it’s a sheep……… well keeping the tale short sheep were raised on the green fields encircling my Town, consequently 8 or so Mills weaved the wool into blankets later shipped around the world…………. the reason a railway was built and a reason why this part of Oxfordshire became very prosperous.

Have you ever heard of Witney blankets?

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A Cotswold sheep, there used to be fields full of them!!

Below I’m walking beneath the overhanging canopy of trees, and no it’s not a natural scene, the avenue was planted many years ago, is very long, and follows a busy road which takes me back toward my mother’s home.

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A tree lined Avenue and quite spectacular

I hope you enjoyed looking at the views taken along the Windrush Valley one June summer’s afternoon.

A. Shepherdson 2018

(Feel free to download copy any picture (or all 48) if you wish, 😊you have my blessing and please do, thank you.)

 

“Cabin boy stuffed his arse with broken glass and now he’s circumcised the Skipper”

I love the English Language.

I have for you this evening a fun amusing (finger’s crossed) light hearted post not to be taken tooo seriously, and jeez don’t you find time passes all to quickly in life generally, oh and here on WordPress, a week’s passed and I haven’t ‘published’ (for several reasons) but there you are.

So like I said time for a post that’s a little more light hearted and how does the Muppets backing vocals to a Sex Pistols song grab you? Hey? I’d like to theme this post our love of Language and introduce you to a word you may have never heard before.

Frigging! (And yes it’s in the Oxford English Dictionary)

Frigging: My go to Blog word in place of profanity/vulgarity, I’ll even go as far as to say it’s becoming a firm favourite, you’re all lovers of the English Language, so have you ever heard the word and do you know what Frigging means? Have you ever seen it written into a Blog? I tend to use Frigging in place of swearing within my Blog, it’s less vulgar and sound’s awesome dripping off the tongue!

But before I begin, here are the Sex Pistols and quite unbelievably a Muppet cover! I dare you not to smile. 😀

(I do hope the Band’s South London accent translates and you’ll understand the lyrics if not Google! However alas I don’t think the video ‘combo’ is Jim Henson’s but apparently he loved it!)

A second reason for writing this evening’s post is I came to realise after writing for a few months on WordPress my language was appalling, and by that I mean foul language. Oh yes I used f### and s###, as noun verb and it’s descriptive sister in crime adjective far far tooo often, once or twice is ok? Any more and the F word loses all shock value, it’s okay to perhaps emphasise a calamity or the worst of behaviour but unacceptable remembering teenagers may read my Posts? Don’t please 🙂 . AND as my old School teacher used to chastise, swearing is ‘lazy writing’ and I’m inclined to agree.

Not quite acceptable in everyday spoken polite society but if you did say “Frig me” or “Frigging Hell” it’s just about acceptable………… certainly sounds less harsh on the ear than ‘F’.

I first stumbled across Frigging as an 11yr old and I can remember precisely where I was and who said it. By Martin Ashby on a Scout camp in Hampshire 19##. But I’m doubtful anyone reading this post has either used or perhaps ever heard of Frigging? ……………… OMFG I’ve only this second realised I haven’t shared The Oxford English Dictionary meaning with you………….. Frigging means clitoral stimulation or to a lesser extent male masturbation, and now you know the meaning doesn’t it sound rather delicious? Anyways I apologise for revealing so late in this evening’s post. 

So there you are, Frigging! I hope to see it written in your blog posts sooon! And btw don’t assume I’m a grammatical expert ask me to define verb and I’ll answer FU.

©A. Shepherdson 2018

A woman’s Cleavage (a cautionary tale)

If a sober guy looks at your bosom, tell him to “please stop” and 98% will.

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Moments such as these are milestones a young boy will remember for the rest of his life

I have a brief tale to tell though before you ask, because I know you are curious! NO I didn’t take these lady’s photos, most definitely not but if you’re a prolific Google imager like myself then you never know what you will discover if you search hard enough.

😋 She fit’s my post!

🤔 Perhaps a cautionary tale though, goes to show ladies have to be very aware of men and their digital cameras, lean forward ‘snap’ and the boobs are on the internet!…………….. But not to worry, I’m using this lady both for a genuine reason and I’m assured she’s an anonymous D list celebrity? Hmm lol “I’m sayin nothin!”

Within my more thoughtful posts I have touched on the serious subject of sexual harassment, with the after #MeToo fallout very much in focus, well I have a true tale which I think throws up some interesting talking points.

Several weeks ago I was chatting to a young lad at work who said he’d been out drinking with three friends the evening before, turns out the sun was shining so all four were sat outside around a wooden table in the Pub’s garden…………. a very British pastime, every Public House will have it’s own small garden or terrace for patrons to enjoy.

So these four lads were quietly drinking beer at their table, all very civilised none were drunk or being rowdy or loud, they were I’m told chatting being sociable and having a laugh. All good fun and every so often a barmaid would visit their table for I guess empty glasses, take a bar food order or bring more drinks, then my friend tells me as the barmaid was leaning over their wooden table handing out pints of beer she said,

“Will you four stop trying to look down my blouse!”,

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I’m age 52, and this scenario still happens to this day, and note the bottom left corner states this photo’s from the internet!!

He went on to give more clarity to his tale, she wasn’t p#ssed the lads and barmaid were on very friendly terms, their interactions were all proper and above board and I’d guess being as she was a barmaid and they were lads I’d guess there was plenty of flirting and light hearted banter, after she’d err told them to stop I’d guess knowing my work colleague there’d have been amused protestations such as,

😉 “WHAT me?” (His words). 

With ladles of wounded pride thrown in to good measure, and the way he shared his tale nothing more was said end of, certainly no Police were summoned or the Head Publican called to eject the lads from the premises, no the lady was quite aware they were peeking and for sure the lads were trying to glance down her open blouse…………….. I know for certain most men would!………. Now I realise ‘man hating lesbian feminists’ will disagree with what I am about to say,

“But don’t you think the barmaid handled the situation in exactly the right way?”

Btw I am also a feminist!

If she’d been getting increasingly tired of the lad’s furtive attention wasn’t warning the four 18yr teens enough? Yes the Pub garden is her very own workplace but there wasn’t any need to create a scene, the group and herself were all getting on fine, friendly and no doubt sexuality and the (adult) drinking atmosphere affected everyone’s behaviour, my friend saw the humour and the barmaid let it be known who was in charge……….. everyone had a giggle, the Pub didn’t lose four future paying customers and no scene or drama was created.

Ok I’d agree if you said my example of inappropriate behaviour is unique as every scenario will be, for one a drinking establishment barmaid won’t be any shrinking violet, she’d know exactly the right way to handle groups of leery lads who were overstepping the mark anyways you decide, I’ve met tiny barmaids who could eject fighting men just by a strength of personality.

Never argue with a p#ssed and angry woman, you’ll lose!!!

There of course could be an argument put forward by a certain British Police Commissioner that ladies should dress appropriately because short dresses can lead to unwanted attention, hmm who’s he blaming?

But I have a feeling the majority of right minded thinking adults agreed he was talking out of his arse and I’d hope his wife and daughters, if he had any, would have put him straight namely the fact a woman is assaulted isn’t her own fault, wear an open collared blouse if you wish AND I would add if a guy try’s to look down at your goodies, tell him to “get lost” or “please stop”.

And he will. Also.

If you’re in an underground train carriage and a guy attaches his grubby fingers to your ‘sweet lil ass’, tell him to “keep your hands to yourself!” And shout as loudly as you can so everyone else can hear you!

Confidence is key?

Okay I understand every case of sexual impropriety is different to another and further this blog isn’t a political platform only my own thoughts and observations, so what are mine?

For what it’s worth my own thoughts after hearing my colleagues Pub garden tale, was the barmaid handled herself correctly, the four decent hard working lads were warned and next time would hopefully be less obvious and take greater care when trying to look down a female’s open blouse!

No harm was done discuss!

Finally I’m here to say human beings are sexual animals, a woman will look at a man’s bulge in his trousers, a guy will look at a woman’s cleavage…………… you have to accept because that’s called ‘the way of the world’.

Early evening thoughts and now in comments tell me what you think please. 🤔

A. Shepherdson 2018

A blogger’s thoughts on Internet security

internet-securityI’ll theme today’s post a few thoughts on being safe on the internet because I’ve facts I wish to share. Now I wholeheartedly agree we have to be super careful on the internet, we all know that!

I’d guess we all adhere to the basic rules for internet safety like no names, no addresses, no telephone numbers, no email addresses, no workplace names, no City/Town street addresses, no photographs in fact don’t give any personal information away whatsoever.

As an aside, I read something the other day to the fact an online criminal only needs three pieces of information, three keys to unlock a carefully guarded secure safe and discover every fact about you if they have the evil skills to no how to track you down.

Yes apparently all that’s required are three facts and Jesus if true this is absolutely scary as f###, I’ll enlighten you because you may be curious, but apparently all that’s required are,

1. Your second name.
2. The City or Town you work in.
3. The name of your employer.

And what if someone you know in real life unscrupulously gives away those three sacred pieces of information?

Frigging scary isn’t it! We’re so careful with the information we tell of ourselves, but it turns out from collecting just these three pieces of information, cyber-criminals could potentially unravel your entire life, and the more I look the more I agree 123 is all that’s required.

We were sold a dream the internet is this wonderful tool for pleasure and work, turns out the internet is 90% pornography driven, then there’s the money laundering, dark web, credit card fraud, terror beheading videos on YouTube, FB and fake news and any number of signed for websites giving your personal data away to all and sundry!

A. Shepherdson 2018

‘The Three Horseshoes’, blog #6

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Blog #6 and yes it’s part of my # series ‘Caring For a Parent’, only this time I’ve titled the post ‘The Three Horseshoes’, btw if you didn’t already know my mum was on holiday with her friends and for the very first time ever I moved back home to look after Dad blah blah blah lol………….. well as of now she’s returned home refreshed, very happy (with me) and likewise I’m back at my home!

You still with me?

I’d like to add I’m not trying to make a point, convey a message, give advice this blog series is what it is an honest window into my life as many bloggers do………. and yes I have surprised myself because mum left the house with these words ringing in my ears,

“You will be patient won’t you?” which was more an instruction than a question, anyways all went well, no drama and no doubt I’ll be doing this all again which is food for thought.

Where was I?

Oh yes ‘The Three Horseshoes’, now please look at my photographs above, the building’s style lettering and swinging board and you may have correctly deduced this is a traditional English Public House, in other words a hostelry that sell beers spirits, a place where people go to enjoy a drink with friends and have a pint of beer and a ‘good old chin wag’………… put the worlds to rights!

I’ll cut a short story even shorter ’cause perhaps readers are thinking I’m getting carried away with my caring abilities, I’m not, these four days have been a learning exercise I’ve never had children so I could consider myself a virgin carer, anyways returning to my tale!

Several mornings a week my mother walks Dad to the bus stop around the corner, sees him onto a bus heading to the centre of Town and he actually recognises the stop he needs to get off at, then he takes the very short walk to ‘The Three Horseshoes’ by himself. Well I didn’t trust this scenario and didn’t want to be the one to frigging lose him, jeez that wouldn’t have gone down well with the sibling so with this in mind I travelled with Dad finally delivering him safely to the Pub!

Joking apart, once inside the daytime barman says, (along with a few funny lines!)

“Sit down in your usual seat ‘name’ and I’ll bring over your buttered teacake and coffee”, at the same time as taking a £5 note and handing back the change, he’s a wonderful guy in my opinion, mum gets half hour to herself Dad gets a little exercise and a change of scene.

Yes I said wonderful man, this guy doesn’t need to do all this, other barmen may say to themselves ‘this pensioner has memory problems, not my problem to look after him, surely he can visit a pensioner day centre rather than my pub!’ Or am I overplaying his generosity and being disingenuous to most Publicans? Many landlords wouldn’t, in my opinion, and yes to me this small kind service reaffirms my faith in human nature please feel free to comment.

Then half an hour later after coffee and teacake have been consumed Dad is still able to find his correct Town centre bus stop and make his own way home………… incidentally you may be curious to know I’d left the pub earlier and he made his own way home……. ‘phew’ another day gone without a hitch!

To be continued with afterthoughts and conclusions?

A. Shepherdson 2018

Photo blog #4

Photo blog 16/09/2018

The title Blog #4 will hopefully tell you this post is part of a ‘family/relationship/caring for’ blog series.

My parents own a collie cross who as many of you pet owner’s will agree, has become an integral and important loving member of the family, good company for them both she needs exercising and enjoys reminding no begging/pestering us to take her out for walks, owning a dog is a great form of exercise and companionship however isn’t for everyone? Anyways this afternoon I walked the dog around our lake and Town’s nature reserve and took quite a few autumn scene photographs………… I hope you enjoy.

We are lucky and as I’ve hinted at before the majority of Town’s right across the UK have their own small wildlife sanctuaries with woods and lakes, ideal for dog walkers or family’s with pushchairs and maybe joggers…………. saw a lovely ‘bouncy’ lady in tight leggings and green licra today, the sight of pretty ladies always brightens the day especially if she smiles at you 🙂 !

I would like to add a word of caution to owning pets, yes they can be a focal point and comfort but please don’t go getting one on my say so, everyone’s home circumstances are different both ability to care for and give exercise to, plus the cost of food vet bills etc but 🙂 then you all know that.

Unfortunately in the UK our seasons are most definitely changing, the air temperature has dropped by half from a balmy 30 degrees and leaves on the trees are turning rustic browns and golds, oh and as you’ll see horse chestnut fruit is falling to the ground ready for children to collect and play the English game of ‘conkers’.

Hm when I retire one day I’ll buy myself a Border Collie pup

©A. Shepherdson 2018

Lions Tigers in a farmer’s field?……… IN England?

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To avoid confusion the cages below are not in a zoo, these big cats in my photos were all rescued from zoos then released into the wild. 🙂

I had intended to call this post Animal Zoos are cruel! But that’s a negative title and I’m a positive guy please read on……………. 

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I hope you’ll enjoy Matt Monro (yes we had our own Frank Sinatra) singing ‘Born Free’ perhaps you’ve never heard this tune before?

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heartRead More »

My daytrip to a Heritage Steam Railway…….

….……….. 🤔now there’s a real mouthful ‘Title’ for you ty for being so patient! Being a little more precise and accurate today’s post is more a self taken ‘photo dump’, or in other words sharing pictures ‘snapped’ by me on said daytrip to GWSR’s Heritage steam attraction.

Below these 4 pics are important photos to my tale, they include day ticket to ride the line for the day, the branch map later scanned from the souvenir program and myself holding a coffee mug bought from the station shop! (Now at work).

1/09/2018, a warm sunny Saturday!

Let me begin by saying I’m quite pleased with the strip of photos below, Imagine me precariously hanging out the passenger carriage window (people have lost their heads!) taking 4 photos which when joined together make 1 panoramic scenic shot/view.

 

To be honest how to best approach writing this post has been playing on my mind, let me explain! There are 2 ways of writing about my day which could either be a ‘1000 wordRead More »

Tonight, the best Dental advice I’ve EVER received

Non Fiction
11050289_536944569779158_2711964102297107114_nI have just returned from seeing my dentist and I’m feeling elated, on cloud nine my brain experiencing a legal chemical induced high and I know why. Anxiety consumed my mind as I pushed through the door into Mr Coull’s dental surgery, if that’s correct phrase, he does the examination cleans what little staining there is on the teeth with a jet of high pressure water, gives them a polish then says ,

“They look fine Andrew”, sporting his friendly smile such a charming man, soon followed with,

“I’ll see you in nine months, take care”.

And minutes later I leave his Practice yes feeling near ecstatic. You’ll all understand why visiting a dentist is so damn worrisome, first any work that has to be done is frigging expensive some people can cancel their annual holiday because a bill can be so expensive, secondly any work done is frigging painful, and lastly this is probably just the beginning of treatment because your teeth are on a downward spiral with dentures on the horizon………… yes I’m near orgasmic.

Examination over I walk straight for the supermarket with adrenalin and dopamine altering my mind and how I view the world, so strange it HAS TO be related to a body’s pleasure giving chemicals? Why else can you one minute be feeling utter sh#t then ten minutes later acting like your veins have taken a syringe of heroin? (Hypothetically speaking)

Anyways that’s not the only reason for tonight’s impromptu post. I had been extra worried today because several weeks ago my father, the one suffering memory problems, had Mr Coull extract umpteen teeth and he had a full mouthful!.

So let’s rewind my tale to first sitting in Hamish’s examination reclining chair, now comfortable I asked him,

“You’re my father’s dentist, several weeks ago you took 10 teeth out, does that mean bad teeth are hereditary and the same will happen to me?”

(Forgot to say I bumped into my Mum in the waiting room she’s broken a tooth! £256 for a crown, forgot to ask her how).

Back to my anxious question,

“Are bad teeth hereditary?”

“No Andrew, I cannot say to much because of patient confidentiality, but your father’s problem stems from drinking tea and coffee laced with sugar”.

I knew this of course in fact I’ve known he drank near hot syrup for the last 40 years”

Hamish Coull continued, “The reason is sugary drinks, however sugar isn’t the problem, let me explain, hypothetically if you ate a whole packet of biscuits straight off your mouth would soon recover as saliva neutralises plaque acid and you’d be back to normal.”

Hmm never heard that one before and he’s my dentist I thought to myself, fascinating insight.

He went further and I’m riveted.

“Regarding sugary hot drinks, the problems begin because it takes about half an hour to drink a cup of coffee, you take a mouthful, your mouth is acid filled for a few minutes and just as saliva is about to kick in, do it’s job, you take another sugary mouthful and as a consequence over that half hour your mouth has been filled with sugar and plaque acid for the whole time”.

“That’s why such a person would have ten decayed teeth taken out in one go!”

And there’s MORE bad news!

“I see the problem starting in young children because they’ll buy a tin of coke and then sip. Sip. Sip, and for ten minutes their teeth never recover from a prolonged acid attack!”

(That’s Sugar Free Coke for me from now on!)

Well all I can say is I wanted to share Mr Coull’s advice to my Readers, because tonight is the very first time I’ve heard the basic reason for tooth decay described in one short brilliant analogy by an expert (who my mum has a crush on!) Seems you can eat a whole packet of biscuits and be fine, but sip sugary drinks for half an hour and all your teeth will rot and be expensively painfully extracted.

© A. Shepherdson 2018 

My daytrip to a Heritage Steam Railway, pt1

Apologies for this post being a little late coming, but this draft has taken a great deal of planning………………. the photographs are ALL of the same location, namely my Town’s Station and Goods Yard, alas the track was pulled up sometime ago and the buildings pulled down……. 🙂 that’s called progress, I’ll go on to explain why my home Town regrets the closure decision taken by Dr. Beeching way back in the 1960’s, and remember I’ve tried to keep this post relevant to my daytrip rather than a transport history lesson.

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Steam train and passenger carriage stopped at Witney station, a UK branch line that connects with Oxford (unseen in the far off distance)
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Again a train stopped somewhere along the Witney to Oxford branch line

Call this post more of an introduction to last Saturday’s daytrip to the middle England ‘Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway‘ Heritage Line, and because that’s a real mouthful I’m NOT going to keep repeating, so for the purposes of this post I’ll use the anacronym GWSR!

Now I’m passionate about all things trains and railways so I’ll try my best to keep my stream of consciousness simple and free from nerdy techno detail, there is in the UK a rather patronising unfair label pinned onto railway enthusiasts called ‘trainspotters’, well I’m lol not a ‘spotter’ but trains capture my imagination.

There you are wouldn’t life be boring if we ALL talked about soccer all day? 

The above two photographs give you a hint as to what became of our Railway branch line….…….. please read on then return to this picture a little later! Btw they’re one and the same bridge.

My home Town used to have a rail line connecting itself with Oxford, yes the famous University city. Built before the turn of the 19th century, progressively over the decades the line fell out of used, then in about 1960 three hypothetical options were on the table as they were for 100 no profitable lines across England, people were buying cars and well society was changing.

These three options faced this loss making Oxford branch line!

1. The Town’s folk to use the railway to commute into Oxford, shop work and play, then commute home again hence making a massive profit for British Rail, the consequence the line remains open.

2. People stop using the railway completely, drive their cars everywhere and all freight switches to lorries on the road, consequently the line is closed as being non profitable, and soon after houses roads and factories are built on the land………. it’s called progress.

3. The non profit Oxford branch line closes because no one uses the trains, however the public form a preservation group, raise the funds to lay new track, buy steam locomotives to haul paying tourists schoolchildren and townsfolk to and from Oxford. The consequence the railway becomes a Heritage branch line and profitable!

(The collage of photos below also appear individually)

My Town chose option…………..…

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The Goods Yard, and now this is where the layout kinda gets complicated! The photographer is looking at the Goods Yard which after closure became a Coal Depot. Now for the purposes of my tale, the passenger Station and platform  is directly behind him, this Yard joins the Branch line and if you’re to make any sense of the following photos try and visualise the layout!
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I believe this is the very last passenger train to run on our train Line to Oxford, the gentleman in the centre has a camera hanging around his neck, the word special is written on the train and apparently rathe ironically hundreds of Townsfolk came to ride in this funeral procession!
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Two locomotive coupled together hauling a passenger train into the main Station, colour but probably taken early 1950’s
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A freight diesel locomotive hauling coal coming out of the Goods Yard
Witney 8
Passengers waiting on the platform, the photos in colour, there’s a great many people so possibly this is taken the day the very last passenger train travelled the line.
Witney 7
Looking at lady standing at the Station wearing stylish fashionable clothes, this could be early 50’s?
Witney 6
They Goods Yard yet again!!
Witney 5
The Goods Yard probably 1950’s and still in operation, on the left is tracks and the vehicles are painted red and cream the livery chosen by British Railways before privatisation?
Witney 4
Buildings that used to make up the Goods Yard after closure became a coal depot and now wait for it! Now visit this spot in 2018 and you’ll find Sainsburys supermarket

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I would guess looking at the ladies dresses this photo of a train at Witney station is very old indeed. Late 1800’s?

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(The following 2 photos are taken from my own collection and I paid money for them! Reading the captions, these two very special trains are all set to leave the Goods Yard and join the Oxford Branch Line……….. which as you remember is situated behind the photographer……………. let me ask you a question, have you ever heard of the name Witney Blankets?)

Witney 2
My home Town used to be famous the world over for making woollen blankets, the photo shows wagons loaded with blankets setting out on their journey to Oxford and beyond, alas every blanket mill has disappeared along with the railway.
Witney 3
This isn’t the same train from above, no this locomotive hauling many wagons filled with bails of blankets is possibly earlier than the above train……….. I don’t know but taking a look at the lorry on the left I would say it’s an old one?

……….yes you guessed correct, our Town chose option 2 line closure, the awful consequence being all the above photos are Town’s buildings long gone consigned to history……………. and rubble!

The reason why is simply People stopped using the Oxford Branch line, it stopped making money and passenger trains stopped rolling down the tracks in the late 50’s, soon followed by the last freight hauled train in the 60’s, and yes houses and roads were built on the land. Virtually little is left to show we once had a railway many years ago………. all except these old grainy photographs I’ve in my collection. (Above)

Without wishing to labour a point the Heritage railway GWSR, remember I visited Saturday lol keep up, chose yes option 2, tourists now visit from miles around some flying in from all parts of the globe, all to sedately ride up and down the line pulled by steam trains, and the line makes money……….. hmm, with a little foresight Witney could have done the same!

In my following post I’ll share with you all my taken photographs, a picture post of pure English nostalgia, but before I go I’ll leave you with the final dark episode to my dark foreboding tale.

With vision and insight things could have been so different, my Town could have purchased the land, formed a Heritage Company and carried commuters to and from Oxford, yes life could have been so different, but alas we didn’t and Jeeze aren’t we regretting that lack of insight……. worse still Oxford City Council has ridiculous pipe dreams of building a line and connecting Witney with Oxford because well, the shear volume of traffic on the roads causes daily misery and gridlock! Between 7am and 9am, then 3pm and 6pm traffic is virtually at a walking pace!

The irony is, with a little vision planning and people playing their part by travelling on this Oxford branch line, the line would be open today then all our transport problems would have been solved………. and they say human beings are intelligent? 

The point to this sorry tail? Those same 3 options back in 1960 faced the branch line I visited last Saturday, GWSR chose to stay open and create a Heritage railway, we closed ours and have regretted that depressing decision each and EVERY day.

I hope this hasn’t been dry reading hence I’d planned to write the post as simply and straightforwardly as possible! (I was pushed for a little time as well 🙂 )

A. Shepherdson 2018

 

Update! I am not a man who’s easily beaten

If you read my previous post you’ll know Wednesday I woke up early and left the house after breakfast with the intention of visiting a heritage steam railway, well events conspired against me (long story involving broken down trains) and being as I’m not a man who’s beaten I set out a second time this time travelling by coach (1/4 cheaper than by train) and success I arrived, spent the day riding on steam trains, took lots of photos and as you’ll guess a blog will follow!

GWR Steam Railway Fuji 040
My souvenir mug, 🙂 I’ll use this at work!

(I hope readers are interested they are trains after all 😀 , and give me a day or two to write a post).

A. Shepherdson 2018