Saturday, 15 May 2010

Folkestone 3 West

Red and green lights flickered past as the train gathered speed, metal acres stretched and contracted, dilated, narrowed. Folkestone 3 West. 30th June 1934

I managed in a previous post to squeeze in my love of soul music into my Lowry research. I have now used my love of railways to run amok in this post!

Lowry is always associated with sea journeys which pervade his life and work but he also detailed the many railway journeys that he made in his early life. One of his earliest stories A Rainy Night is set on a train. You can imagine the young Malc dreaming up stories as he travelled backwards and forwards to his schools in Hitchin and Cambridge from home in Caldy. Lowry later used these journeys as a source of material for his story Enter One In Sumptuous Armour which includes a detailed description of one of theses journeys from home back to school.

Yet another rail journey which Lowry himself made in 1934 from Paris to London forms the basis for the short story which began life as Metal and is know known as 30th June 1934.

In 30th June 1934, Lowry details the journey made by his alter-ego Bill Goodyear from Paris to London. As often with Lowry, we get a slew of references to what he has seen from the carriage window. One such set of references relate to the railway workings themselves which fascinated me as a rail enthusiast. The above quote relates to one of the Folkestone signal boxes.

While researching this post, I found a series of scenes to delight an old rail enthusiast like myself, shot at Folkestone and Dover in the late 1920s. If you go directly to the Youtube you get more details on the video.

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