Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Train Kept A Rolling: The trip to see Motorhead in Plymouth last Wednesday was a delight. Bearing in mind the new advert on TV asking us to drive 5 miles a week less to cut down on the CO2 emissions, we met them half way with Mrs. B dropping me off 2.5 miles closer to home at our doorstep station of Hamworthy Junction for the 12.42, rather than from the main station in Poole.
At Dorchester South for 13.04, it then took a brisk but short walk to Dorchester West for the 13.25 to Castle Cary. And as deep in the countryside as we then were, everything went a bit 'I can't read and I can't write but I can drive a tractor' when the train looked as if it was the very first diesel built after the death of steam as it chortled, rattled, swayed and stunk of diesel fumes through to Maiden Newton, Yetminster, Thornford and Yeovil. The driver almost shook every rivet loose by flooring the accelerator and causing an horendous din; then coasted between stations for as long as possible in comparative silence; eventually to arrive at Castle Cary at 14.16.
The 14.23 to Taunton was the other extreme; swish, silent, speedy and electric; and it arrived quite effortlessly at 14.46. After sampling some of the best Dorset, Somerset and Devon rural scenery already, the final leg of the journey went right along the coast through Budleigh Salterton and onwards, with dark and cruel waves crashing into the almost feeble coastal defences whilst brewing up for the storm which would follow; and Plymouth looked a welcome sight despite the heavy rain at 16.29.
One of those late bookings websites had brought a hostel called The Welcome Rest, which was chosen for its close proximity to the station; but throwing rain down as it was, I took a cab and paid £3 for the quarter mile ride. You see, Burridge doesn't do wet these days; after 35 years fork lift driving in every element possible, the wet was the worst, so to avoid it for a measley 3 quid was more than worthwhile.
The gig, of course, was marvellous, and from the moment the band walk onstage one can feel the spirits lift, and they stay there for a good few months afterwards - Motorhead Heaven is how we describe it, and you all know what I mean, don't you!
The return trip was easier; a mere 3 changes.
The 07.47 (Stranger's In The Night) went straight back to Castle Cary for 09.39. The 09.56 to Weymouth was 12 minutes late which meant a missed 11.03 connection; but never mind, the 11.20 Weymouth to Waterloo train was sitting there waiting to take me back to Hamworthy Junction for 11.58.
For a previous Plymouth Motorhead gig I had driven, with MHB's Nigel Moore and Eddie Evans as co-pilot and navigator respectively; but the journey was quite literally Chris Rea's 'Road To Hell' in that 50% of it consists of B roads with lots of tiny villages peppered with speed cameras, and the other 50% Motorway - and I arrived exhausted - so that's why the train kept a rolling this time, as I got there and back as fresh as the proverbial daisy.