Jeff Vinter (read
his poems here, and explore his Railway Gazetteer) contacts BtP (June 2009)
When Keith Reid wrote ...
Just a line is all I need
Just a thought to sow the seed
Just a word to start me out
The rest will come without a doubt
... he was dead right. All you need is a line to get started.
So, why I am writing to you? I am a volunteer at Blue Anchor station on the West Somerset Railway, which (as I write these words) is the home for a fortnight of Tornado, the country's first new steam locomotive since 1960. To describe the public’s reaction to Tornado's visit as 'enthusiastic' is an understatement, as witnessed by their mantra in the week leading up to the engine’s arrival: ‘When is Tornado coming?’
Subsequent questions were the tricky ones, for some of them verged on sub-atomic detail. It was an odd experience to supply the same information so many times, and unusual to be able to predict the question, or even answer it before it had been asked. The week felt almost like a succession of scenes from Groundhog Day, the comedy starring Bill Murray in which an irascible weather reporter is trapped in recurrences of the same day.
Peter Treharne is the station master at Blue Anchor, and he and I were beginning to feel slightly out of our heads by the end of each day's work. One evening, the alliterative phrase 'Tornado Torment' came to mind, recalling Keith's Typewriter Torment – and that was all I needed to get started.
I reproduce the result below, which may be of some interest and amusement to Gary Brooker, given his interest in railways. I hardly need add that the threat to lift the West Somerset Railway is not to be taken seriously.
After Keith Reid – for Peter Treharne
(c) Jeff Vinter, 2009
|A page about the Keith Reid version||More parodies||
on the West Somerset Railway