On the Top Deck Three
A long long day followed by a short Parallel Lines-y link-y post.
Down to Brissol today to record voice links for the Radio Four doco ‘On The Top Deck’, which goes out at 11am on Wednesday 21st of January. Emerging from the studio on Whiteladies Road, I remembered that I’d been here before, in May 2006, to do the breakfast show on BBC Radio Bristol. I was there on behalf of The Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways, talking about a protest ride and fare strike we were to take on the immensly wonderful Severn Beach Line. This mildly anarchistic jaunt was followed by a fund-raising showing of The Titfield Thunderbolt hosted by me in a hall in Avonmouth, and then by an evening spent in the pub condemning the New Party’s public transport policies. What nicer way to spend a day?
With an hour to spare, I decided to have another ride on the Severn Beach line. Although I had to wait half an hour for the train at Clifton Down station today, the wait was welcome; it’s nobbut a step from several rather lovely cafes; and there’s an Oxfam bookshop a five minute walk away.
The run from Clifton Down to Temple Meads is a top ride, passing through funky Redland and high on viaducts across a landscape of allotments. In the other direction, the run out to Severn Beach is very different; estaurine, spine tinglingly industrial and almost half forgotten, with a spectacular view of the Severn crossings at the end. Next time you’re in Bristol with a couple of hours to spare, I really urge you to ride this railway.