Sunday I went to Didcot with my dad to look at steam engines. Wandering around, nostalgia hit me in such a huge way. I remember being dragged from one part of the country to another to look at and go on steam engines. I didn’t enjoy it much at the time, as it normally involved a long car ride which I found rather dull.
Recently there’s been a resurgence in classic programmes, re-filmed or set during or just after the second world war. A lot of these have got steam engines in them, and it has a part of me wishing that we could go back to the time when travelling by steam was fashionable again. There’s just something so romantic about it. It probably wasn’t at the time, but now, I think there is.
It’s the sound, of the boiler as it chuffs out large plumes of steam when it pulls out of a station. The steam whistle blowing loud and clear and the click clack of the carriages on the rails. The smell as well. Every autumn when the first of the fires are lit in the village, you get a heady smell of coal fire mixed with crisp fresh air and it reminds me of steam engines. It fills the pit of my stomach with happiness and my head full of ideas.
Then you could move back to the classic, Agatha Christie novels. That woman was a genius, and so ahead of her time. You open the pages of her books and you dive straight into the time they were set. Whether it was the roaring twenties or the glamorous fifties her ability to put you into that era was unequivocally brilliant. I think it’s the thought of The Murder on the Orient Express or the 4:50 From Paddington both with heavy emphasis on steam travel.
It’s funny how one thing can make you think of so many things. Can create a picture in your mind and can make you feel a certain way about things. Trying to recreate a sense of nostalgia can’t be easy, but I think I will give it a try.