Tuesday, 1 August 2017

An Edwardian Railway and the Ghosts of Punks Past

In June 1903 The Meon Valley Railway was opened and operated with passengers until 1955. Goods traffic remained on sections of the line until it finally closed completely in 1968.  As the years went by nature took over and it all became very overgrown. Then the old railway was cleared up and became the 17.5 km Meon Valley Trail. The trail is great. Lots of overgrown old bridges, Railway sidings, platforms and all sorts of Railway goodies to explore and find.

I decided one morning to have a walk along the old Railway line. After walking for about 10 minutes I was just crossing one of the many old bridges. The bridge was fairly overgrown in places, but I noticed something white underneath all the greenery. I started to clear this away and saw some painted words. Ge  r   on X. I pulled more of the greenery away and realised the word was Generation X. I then looked to the left and saw more white paint obscured and hidden. I tore at that and in white was Sex Pistols. I looked over to the other side of the bridge and could just make out white paint there as well. After a while I had pulled all the weeds and other greenery away and to one side. I surmise that between late 1977 and early 1978 a group of youths went up to the disused line as it was then, with a tin of old paint, a packet of Players 10 No 6 Cigarettes maybe a few tins of Skol, Colt 45 or even a Watneys Party Four. Finding one of the old bridges this group of youths then decided to daube the bridge with the names of their favourite/current bands. Sex Pistols, Clash, Generation X, XRay Spex, XTC, Adverts, Stranglers and Menace. 40/39 years later I came across this old graffiti in grotty old white paint (must have had a brush with them) Do the perpetrators of this defiant act (Anarchy in Wickham Village) still live in the Wickham/South Meon area? have they ever gone back to view their handiwork? did the bands they so loved at the time then fall from grace with them, to be swiftly replaced by the next musical phase?
These are the remnants of the rural Ghosts of Punks Past.

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