Poems & songs
Weston Clevedon & Portishead Railway Home

Copyright © 2004-2016

Paul Gregory  

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Poems and Songs

Some examples of poems and songs that have been written about the WC&PR:


I went down to Weston, the weather were fine,

I travelled on the Clevedon and Portishead line,

Lie toralie, toralie, toralie ay.

Of snails and tortoises I’ve heard lots of talk,

But if I’d been in a hurry I’d have got out to walk.

Lie toralie, toralie, toralie ay.

It took us thik night and best part of next day,

Folks got out and gathered wild flowers by the way.

Lie toralie, toralie, toralie ay.


In the parish of North Weston, the place where I was born

You could hear that lonesome whistle blow in the early morn

It was the ole light railway engine amoving up Cemetery Hill

Sometimes at night when the wind is right I think I hear it still.


From Portishead to Clevedon and Weston-super Mare

Along the iron roadway and thro’ the country fair

That local locomotion was the best by far

It was great to ride to see the tide on the W C P R.

     In summertime the children came aboard that railway train

     Stopping on the Bristol Road and again at Clapt’n Lane

     An outing on the Flier was part of their reward

     For attending reg’lar Sunday school and singing about the Lord.


     In the early morning when the mist was on the moor

     You could see them sparks aflying as she steamed for Weston’s shore

     With quarry stone and cattle on Yatton’s market day

     And five and twenty passengers ariding all the way.



There ez a line in Zummerzet,

(And Aw! To think o’t makes I zwet):

The queerest, quaintest thing I ween

That ivver wuz by martals zeen.

The train conzists of coaches tew,

In which the trav'llers zits askew;

There baint no rume to stretch wans lags

‘Tez true, zo zure as aggs be aggs.

Th’Injun dates from ‘zebbintydree’,

(A reg’lar rattletrap her be):

Dree times a day her tries to start,

Whilst spazzums rend her gallant ‘art;

Ef timed at Weston to arrive

At ha’past dree, her comes at vive.

Or, if to Clevedon her wud go

Her niver starts at all, you know,

Or, if her du, her dawn’t go var,

But kips us wond'ring where we are !

Her whissles, an' her groans an’ grunts.

An' ivverry vorty yards, her shunts;

Tez wearisome, upon my zawl,

(They everlastin' trucks o’ cawl) !

Her backs down ‘pon ‘em wi’ a bump,

An’ kips our narves ‘upon the jump';

All dru the Zummer day we ride

Wi’ lovely vields ‘pon either zide,

The cocks an’ hens, an’ vowls an’ pigs,

Be quite accustomed to our ‘rigs’,

An’ care not if we come or go,

Or bust at Weston Gordano!

When Delia wance to Weston came

Thik railway played a party game:

Her waited at the Clevedon end,

And chatted wi’ a porter vriend,

Vor wan vull hour beyond the time

('Twuz really like a pantomime)!

Whilst my old missus waited here,

Her ‘art all ‘pinkypank’, vor vear

Lest her gude denner shu’d be spiled

An’ all the mate to rags be biled!

At last ! At last! Dear Delia caame;

But there ! At night ‘twuz ‘zactly zaame;

At least, twuz wuzz, for in the wet,

Her waited for thik ‘Injunette’,

But’t’want no gude, the thing brewk down

An’ left her there in Weston Town!

Aw my dear zawl! Thik Railway ‘light’,

Du land volks in a purty plight;

Vor, even when yu’v peassed the wecket,

An paid gude cash vor cardbooard ticket,

There's no dependence ‘pon the train

Howe’er th’ Offishuls scheme an’ strain;

An’ ‘taint no gude to fume an’ fret,

Us taakes our time in Zummerzet!

‘Tez aisy come, onzairtain go,

Iss zure, my vriends ‘tez zackly zo.

But now the ‘eight hour day’ has come

We’ll meake thik liddle Railroad ‘hum’,

The staim is up, th’injun waits,

‘Zo pass along an’ taake your zaits;

An’ if vor ‘home’ you’ve booked your vare,

Tomorrow, zometime, you’ll be there !!


The station’s empty and the train has gone

The line’s invisible it ran upon

The passengers are older now, and some are dead

That rode the last train from Portishead

The only whistle is the wind that blows

The smoke from static chimneys built in rows

And ashes from the box that turned the wheels by steam

Are cold and lying deep in Land Yeo’s stream

Leviathans that clanked and hissed their way

O’er bridges built to rock and roll and sway

Have long since gone to scrap-yards in the sky

And only live in photographs that lie.

For how can one who never saw, believe ?

Or those who were not born, even conceive ?

The majesty and might of rustic locomotion

That heady cocktail – elixir, that balmy potion.

I’ll tell you how: just once a year they say

If you’re near Clevedon on the 18th day of May

And if perchance you’re standing on the route of the old track

You might just see a train or smell the vapour from the stack.

The Ghost Train runs from Portishead to Weston, Milton Road.

They say it still seeks passengers to swell its eerie load

And if you ever see or hear or smell it going by

You’re destined then to ride upon it from the day you die.

But where its journey takes it for the balance of the year

I never have heard tell, but there’s a rumour based on fear,

That the engine driver’s dressed in black, the fireman’s in red,

And both of them wear sickly grins, and horns grow out their head.


This rhyme is sung at the end of the DVD “Somerset’s Lost Railway”

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