GarySeven -- from the UK

Photo of the week: 17 Mar 2002, no.7

Every Sunday one of my photographs and the story behind it

Photo of the week
Photo of the week
Photo of the week

As I'm about to do the journey from the east coast down to Manchester once again, this week's photo is rather appropriate. It was taken from the window of the train during one snowy trip on the same route in the 1980's. This line -- between Manchester and Leeds -- opened in 1841.

Soon after leaving Manchester, the train cuts through the Pennine Hills. Quite literally, as there is a series of tunnels. The landscape is harsh and windswept, but beautiful too. Especially around Stalybridge. Rows of isolated houses stand perched on the hillside. Jagged walls and impossible roads snake down those hills. Although very rural, in some spots the area has been scarred by early industry. There are some magnificent cotton mill buildings and chimneys.

I don't know how many times I've done this journey. In the 1980's the train had a guard's van, so it was possible to take along a bicycle. Once I even put my Yamaha scooter in the guard's van! But then the railway scrapped those old 'slam-door' trains on this route (a process which continues in other areas today). The modern coaches have less space for legs and luggage and windows that don't open. Needless to say, there's no guard's van either.

I used to like the grandeur of those old-style carriages. Though they could be draughty, noisey and sometimes far too busy. These days the trains on this line aren't as crowded and (in my experience at least) they are a bit more reliable. However I always try to travel at off-peak times -- another benefit of being self-employed!

A N O T H E R    P H O T O G R A P H    N E X T    S U N D A Y

THIS WEEK | PREVIOUS WEEKS: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1