Between the three main lines lies the shed,
Smog and smoke suffocating all who enter.
Asbestos sheeting lies broken by the transfer lead,
While the drivers prep their engines at its centre.
Timid, grimy shunting engines,
With shrill yelps for whistles, move,
Hurry hurry, back and forth, they go,
Waiting on their larger brethren:
The great monuments of steel and copper,
Study these: the fire and the steam!
Great burnished safety valves and stoppers,
Rusty running gear, and blackened rings.
Majestic still, the largest of them all,
Those of a 'Peppercorn' disposition show.
Slowly backing onto shed,
Their grace of line, three cylinder design.
There, names that echo in the minds of schoolboys,
Their numbers that tally in the minds of drivers,
Kestrel, Osprey, Sea Eagle,
60130, 60129, 60139, there's the trio!
The day is done, and soon they all return,
The birds return to roost, under the broken gables
Of the roof, permanently with soot,
All go back to the blackened red brick hill.
The night falls like a blanket over the shed,
Pulling back the smoke, reveal the stars!
The engines now begin to quiet for their sleep,
Snoring in the form of hissing from their valves.
Their cracked lamps are taken, stored away,
Their tired eyes are gone then, all to bed,
Washed up with meths and flannels,
Dirtied, peeling paintwork left for dead.
The last door banged, on broken hinges,
From the burnt out foreman's office,
Everywhere in Copley Hill was silent.
Good night to the birds and shunters,
They rest, not knowing their final fate,
Men with blowtorches, men with axes,
Know what happens at the daybreak.
For tomorrow, 7th September, comes Copley's end.
This was written for my formative essay, on the module "Creative Writing 1".
Until next time!