Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Ransome’

We hit a ton!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


One hundred hits – 16.15 today!

At 16:15 local time BTWT registered 100 hits for the first time. Of course, some of these hits will be web spiders, bots and other creepy crawlies, but even so reaching a ton is a nice achievement, bearing in mind that just over a month ago we moved the blog from where BTWT was originally hosted. Our previous best ever was 83 hits where we peaked on 8 March this year when we ran the story Skierniewice Success. I guess quite a few members of the Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts popped in that day to see what we had written about them! On 11 March we had a mini publishing boom carrying three articles, Tribute to Howard Jones, Last Krzeszowice Engines Saved and The Papal train. Our efforts gained us 58 views.

On 18 March when our feature Oxenholme then and now brought us 55 views. Many of our visitors were Arthur Ransome fans for whom Oxenholme is the model for Strickland Junction in the Swallows and Amazons novel Pigeon Post.

So when we hit 100 visitors earlier today we were very pleased. It showed that our campaign to save the Krosniewice line was bringing in interest from outside our usual readership. But then the viewing statistics kept on rising! By 18.50 we had hit 150 visitors with no sign of a slowdown!

At this point we did a little investigation and discovered that someone had posted a link to our letter writing campaign on the Swiat Kolejek Waskotorowych (The World of Narrow Gauge Railways) discussion group. (WARNING – Polish only site) We read through the thread and were disappointed to see a succession of mostly negative posts from MISERABLE MOANERS! (Yes, that’s you if you haven’t yet written to the Mayor of Krosniewice yet!) So we contacted Andrew Goltz, Anglo-Pole and Swanage Railway founder and asked him to give SKW a good kick up the backside. His efforts brought in even more visitors. By 21.30hrs we had passed the 200 mark.

But the graph was still rising! A further check indicated that we were now getting traffic from a German railway discussion forum. Following the links back we found some beautiful photographs taken on the last day by the German visitors that we had written about on Monday. Just click on the picture below to see the rest of these sad and evocative pictures.


For some hauntingly beautiful pictures of the last
rites on the Krosniewice Railway click on the picture

Meanwhile the graph kept rising. By the time it reached 253 views it was time for bed. Now if everybody who visited BTWT just gave up 15 minutes and wrote a letter to Mrs Herman, the Mayor of Krosniewice – and then spend a quick 5 minutes forwarding details of this blog to their friends – Dyspozytor and Co. would be very happy bunnies indeed!


253 hits 01.59 (23.59 GMT) Time for bed, vertical
scale has been adjusted to match the top graph.

Oxenholme then and now

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

(Clicking on the above image links to the original on Wikipedia and the details of licensing.)

I was going to return to Poland today, but I’ve just come across two picture of Oxenholme Station which I thought UK readers and ex pats might find of interest. Oxenholme is the junction where the Windermere branch leaves the West Coast main line.

The first picture is modern photograph by Rob500. The second is a a painting by Peter Owen Jones depicting the station at the peak of the LMS in the 1930s. What is amazing is how little has changed. Yes, the station canopy and overall roof over the bay platform are now clad in ugly plastic covered steel sheet and the overhead catenary is prominent in the modern picture. But the station has survived intact, without being cut down to a bus shelter and the Windermere branch trains still run from their own platform. It shows how more of the UK’s railways could have loked and survived if HM government had not been seduced by the road lobby.

Those who read the Swallows and Amazons books as children may already know that Oxenholme is the model for Arthur Ransome’s station, Strickland Junction in the sixth book in the S&A series – Pigeon Post.

Peter Owen Jones prints

(Clicking on this picture leads to an on-line gallery showing-casing the work of Peter Owen Jones, including paintings of trams and vintage railway scenes.)