'the express-train drew up there
Edward Thomas pulled up at Adlestrop
at 12.45 p.m. on the 23rd June , 1914, and immortalised the
'willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry'
in his poem (see link below).
I've sketched willows, scrub and straw bales on our journey but
the unwonted delay at Peterborough (a problem with the engine) leaves
me with a view more typical of the England of 2004.
But I draw it just the same.
When I first started regularly making the trip to London when I was a
student there in the 1970s, Peterborough was the architectural highlight
of the journey with a view from the train of the abbey (now the cathedral),
in which Henry VII's first wife lies (Catherine of Aragon;
perhaps this country would still be catholic if she had provided Henry
with a male heir. At least she kept her head although Henry didn't attend
her funeral). A shopping centre now blocks out the view of the abbey,
though the spires just poke up above the uninspiring architecture that
the name Peterborough conjures up for railway travellers.
There's plenty of architectural interest around the abbey, but you wouldn't
guess it from the station.
by Edward Thomas
Richard Bell, email@example.com