As part of our recent online Community Rail Awards, the Bard of Barnsley – Ian McMillan – composed a poem which captures the spirit of community rail. You can download a pdf version of poem by clicking the button below.

All Aboard!

Never a one-way ticket

Always a first-class return

On the investment of time and expertise

On these lines that help that help us learn

That people are what make a railway

More than a platform and seats, more than the timetable

People are what make a railway complete

Always, the whistle is blowing

As the ideas, they never end

Of station adoption

And colourful gardens

You see as the train rounds the bend

Of cafes and signboards and benches

Communities showing the face

Of a station to those who pass through it

Who think well… this must be a place

Where marvellous changes can happen

In this vortex of coming and going

There’s culture and learning and grand cups of tea

And the ideas just keep on flowing

So, here’s to the folk

Who make all this tick

The grafters, the workers

And those who volunteer from the first train till last

Who dig out the raised beds and put on the shows

Who spend endless weekends in gardening clothes

And go home with traces of muck on their nose

And this is a glimpse

Of what railways could be

The heart and the centre, the hub

A welcoming smile that says

Come on in and let’s all be part of this club

Now it’s time for the awards

Let the champagne get poured

And let’s shout our motto

All aboard… ALL ABOARD!

© Ian McMillan 2020