Sunday, 20 May 2007

the southwold militant tendency

Okay, I know it's not a scene from the Southwold above, but in a few years it will be - albeit on 3 foot gauge!

Our sister site has had a visit from a lovely Southwold troll. In response to my original post - '

The Southwold Railway are having a few problems from the locals. They don't want Southwold turned into 'Toy Town'.

They obviously have a 70s idea of preservationists - as knuckle dragging Asperger's Displaying NHS-wearing train buffs. And a 70s idea of what the Southwold Railway will be - a plaything for the socially inept and wealthy.

Perhaps the Southwold Railway need to be proactive and explain that all communities will need railways in the future as Peak Oil hits. That what they are planning is first and foremost a transport link that will keep them attached to the wider world once their cars splutter to a stop. That a railway will be able to carry freight in and out, that unless they stake their claim now and start building their line before the rush they'll be left behind as the skills of railway workers and builders become a fought over commodity.

Fortunately at Midsomer Norton we seem to be bereft of the Learning Difficulties Community, and that we are welcomed with open arms. We have the advantage of having many members in the community who remember the line running up to 1966. The Southwold of course closed in 1929, few locals there will remember it.

The Southwold Railway WILL be rebuilt, it's just such a shame that a few locals can't understand what's going on ...

Our troll chum came up with this gem -

The Southwold countryside is for EVERYONE not just some selfish overgrown "enthusiasts" who wish to play trains at everyone else's expense.

Which suggests he/she TOTALLY missed the point of my original post - and which underlines the difficulty of actually reasoning with these people! The whole point of my post is that the new Southwold Railway will be NOTHING to do with 'playing trains' - which we all know would be economic suicide - but with providing a future transport link on the back of a tourist start-up (a la Swanage, Minehead etc etc). Yet all that comes back as 'argument' is a repetition of the same criticisms (now of course anachronistic) of both 70s style 'rail buffs' and others' views of rail enthusiasts that haven't moved on since the 70s. The anorak-tendency!

If this is the opposition then no wonder railways are springing up everywhere. There will always be the occasional (normally retired and adrift from the community) lefty who will try to come up with facetious arguments, but they are always trampled down by logic.

The new Southwold Railway will open sooner rather than later with 'opposition' like this, and the countryside will indeed by enjoyed by EVERYONE (including the immobile young and old, the disabled etc) from the windows of a train carriage.

Southwold should indeed be proud of its railway 'enthusiasts' (overgrown or not) who are looking to the future rather than the past, and will give Southwold modern transport again well in advance of other, more backwards-looking, communities.

And isn't it great that post Peak-Oil transport planning is already firing off such intriguing dialogues? Railways certainly are riding the crest of a wave of popularity - and that's before the average fool in the street has even heard of Peak Oil!

So let's hail 'Disgruntled of Southwold', a true dinosaur of the communist era. Perhaps the railway will dedicate a statue of him/her in an ironic gesture once the first trains steam back triumphantly into Southwold!!
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1 comment:

Iain Robinson said...

Agree with your response regarding disgruntled locals. Fantastic web site, too. Disappointed at your comment about "lefties"...I thought railway revival was a left wing issue, now a cross-party one. After all, Tories have always hated the railways. Never mind- Great Blog, please keep up the good work!