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Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts

DigiTrad:
BONNIE LASS OF FENARIO
Notes for Bonnie Lass of Fyvio/Peggy of Darby/Dandy


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Fyvio / Fenario / The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie (20)
(origins) Where's Fennario? (121)
Lyr Req: The Journey tae Fyvie (Bill Smith) (11)
Pretty Peggy-O (definitive recording) (8)
(origins) Origins: Fanario (?) (3)
happy? - Oct 29 (Fyvie) (4)
as we march down to fenario (21) (closed)
Lyr Req: Peggy-O & Rosalie McFall (Grateful Dead) (2) (closed)


Catflap 25 Aug 04 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 13 Nov 04 - 07:15 PM
Joe Offer 13 Nov 04 - 09:15 PM
Susanne (skw) 14 Nov 04 - 12:36 PM
Richard Mellish 11 Mar 10 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 12 Mar 10 - 08:29 AM
Snuffy 12 Mar 10 - 04:01 PM
Young Buchan 12 Mar 10 - 04:14 PM
Young Buchan 12 Mar 10 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,eric the viking 12 Mar 10 - 04:30 PM
RTim 12 Mar 10 - 06:57 PM
Young Buchan 13 Mar 10 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,SRD 06 Sep 10 - 05:41 PM
Ian Fyvie 15 Jan 11 - 08:33 PM
Ross Campbell 16 Jan 11 - 09:17 AM
Ian Fyvie 23 Jan 11 - 01:46 PM
Valmai Goodyear 23 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM
Ross Campbell 23 Jan 11 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Paul Mackenzie 25 Jan 11 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,PeterC 25 Jan 11 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 26 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM
Ian Fyvie 29 Jan 11 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Tom Lawson 15 Jan 16 - 05:13 PM
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Subject: Half Forgotten Lyrics:- Beechings Cuts
From: Catflap
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 09:35 AM

There is - or was - a song popular in some Glasgow clubs in the 1960's, to the tune of Bonnie Lass of Fyvie, that started

Efter forty five was over and done, Geordie said to Wade, Man [alive oh?], away wi pick and spade and make for me a road, a road running a' the way frae Fyvie-o.

Wade of course went off to make the road, and the song went on in similar fashion until Dr Beeching came on the scene. Unfortunately the last time I heard it would have been close to forty years ago. More unfortunately, those first few lines keep going round and round, in the infuriating way they do. Any help out there?


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Subject: RE: Half Forgotten Lyrics:- Beechings Cuts
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 07:15 PM

A couple of verses recalled from the mists of time:

You've all heard of Watt,
The celebrated Scot,
Who was brewing up his coffee after binging-o,
The pot began to steam, Jimmy Watrt began to dream,
And invented the very first steam engine-o.

Then came the train,
Product o' a Scottish brain,
And they buildit a railway to Fyvie-o

......at which point the mists of senility close again.


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Subject: RE: Half Forgotten Lyrics:- Beechings Cuts
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 09:15 PM

I think we need to see all the lyrics for this song. I take it that this article tells the story of Beeching's cuts quite well:
    And it is the Beeching Report of 1963 that has gone down in history as the signal moment when the railways went into decline. As a direct result of its proposals, one third of all stations were closed, platforms deserted and 5000 miles of railway lines mothballed. Consequently, the name of Richard Beeching has become as British - and as synonymous with cuts - as Henry Cooper. Is it just a coincidence that the Great Train Robbery took place in the same year?
Compared to rail travel in the U.S., the trains in the UK are sheer heaven - but they sure are expensive to ride.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Half Forgotten Lyrics:- Beechings Cuts
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 12:36 PM

Eric Bogle's No Use For Him is about the Beeching cuts as well. His father was made redundant then. I'll add the link to my info, thanks Joe!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beechings Cuts
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:49 PM

I have on tape a song that is probably the one requested. The only line that I recall off hand is "They're closing down the railway up to Fyvie-o". I can probably dig out the tape and transcribe it, but I won't bother unless there's still (after some years) a strong desire for it.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beechings Cuts
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:29 AM

Ah, as the inimitable Mrs. Doyle would say - "go on, go on, go on, go on"! It sounds far too good to be gathering dust.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beechings Cuts
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:01 PM

It's here at Mudcat - look in this thread Lyr Req: The Journey tae Fyvie (Bill Smith), posted by Jim Carroll 04 Dec 09 - 04:23 AM


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE JOURNEY TAE FYVIE (Bill Smith)
From: Young Buchan
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:14 PM

There was a troop of English dragoons
Went marching down from Fyvie-o
And the reason that they marched all the way from Marble Arch
Is there wasn't a railway to Fyvie-o.

You've heard of Jimmy Watt the celebrated Scot
Who was brewing up some coffee after binging-o
As he saw the steam Jimmy Watt began to dream
And invented the very first steam engine-o

From his fertile brain there soon emerged the Train
So they ran it up to Fyvie-o
There was many an English chiel made a fortune on the deal
When they opened the railway to Fyvie-o.

But it's not the sane today cos railways they don't pay
So they called in Dr Beeching-o
He came from ICI dressed up in his old school tie -
You should have heard all the bullshit he was preaching-o.

This economic quack he said to Uncle Mac
'A propos of the railway to Fyvie-o
If you take the trains away the bleeding thing will pay
And the nation's economy will thrive-io.

So there was a troop of English dragoons
Went marching down from Fyvie-o
And the reason that they marched all the way from Marble Arch
Is there's still not a railway to Fyvie-o.


By Jimmy Smith, I think.
For our US cousins, Uncle Mac was Harold McMillan, PM.

    THE JOURNEY TAE FYVIE (Bill Smith)
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beechings Cuts
From: Young Buchan
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:15 PM

Sorry! The explanation somehow climbed up from the bottom to the end of verse 3!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beechings Cuts
From: GUEST,eric the viking
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:30 PM

I have heard a recording of someone singing the list of closed stations. The blue clicky should take you to it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/steamtrains/7319.shtml


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE SIDINGS (Cyril Tawney)
From: RTim
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 06:57 PM

Not directly to do with the thread but related, a good song from Cyril Tawney, and recorded by my friend - Steve Jordan on his CD - The Trees Scarce Green - on Forest Tracks FTCD 206.

Tim Radford

IN THE SIDINGS
(Cyril Tawney)

The pin-stripe boys have had their say:
A line must go if it doesn't pay,
But I'm too old to move away.
I'm in the sidings now.

I've worked this line for many a day.
I can name any driver a mile away,
But that's no use when your hair is grey.
I'm in the sidings now.

Well, now I know how a wagon feels
When the grass comes creeping around its wheels,
And the timbers rot and the paintwork peels.
I'm in the sidings now.

I'll give my whistle one more blow,
Then I'll swap my pole for a garden hoe.
My bogie fire is burning low.
I'm in the sidings now.

Good business men have often said,
Always trim your costs if you're in the red.
Well, come shake hands with an overhead.
I'm in the sidings now.

If your money tree will bear no fruit,
Never blame the man who tends the root,
But take your knife to the tender shoot.
I'm in the sidings now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beechings Cuts
From: Young Buchan
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 04:41 AM

There is another song about the Beeching cuts, by Johnny Handle. I can't find it in the DT. This is what I can remember. I think there's at least one more verse - about people being knocked down on the roads.

In the fifties and the sixties the railways hit hard times
So they cut down many services and altered many lines.
In the face of competition from the aeroplanes and roads
They said "We'll have to modernise or else we'll have to close".

From Kempton to the Welsh hills, from the Tees to the Lakeland shores
The little lines through the border hills alas they run no more.
They gave us a tradition on the railways next to none.
They'll curse old Doctor Beeching when the smell of smoke is gone.

Don't worry about the people when you close the railways down
Don't worry how they'll travel from the village to the town.
Just write it down in history and this is what you'll say:
Beeching closed the railways down because they didn't pay.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON THE SLOW TRAIN (Flanders & Swann)
From: GUEST,SRD
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 05:41 PM

And there is Flanders & Swann's 'On the Slow Train'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6OHD2uCpfU

Millers Dale for Tideswell
Kirby Muxloe
Mow Cop and Scholar Green

No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortiehow,
On the slow train from Midsummer Norton and Mumby Row,
No churns, no porter,
No cat on a seat,
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Chester-le-Street
We won't be meeting again on the slow train.

I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw,
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more,
No whitewashed pebbles,
No up and no down,
From Thornby Four Crosses to Dunstable Town,
I won't be going again on the slow train.

On the main line and the goods siding,
The grass grows high,
At Dog Dyke, Tumby Woodside, and Troublehouse Halt.
The sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate,
No passenger waits on Chittening platform of Cheslyn Hay,
No-one departs, no-one arrives,
From Selby to Goole,
From St. Erth to St. Ives,
They all passed out of our lives,
On the slow train,
On the slow train.
Cockermouth for Buttermere
On the slow train.
Armly Moor Arram
Pye Hill and Somercotes
On the slow train.
Windmill End.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 08:33 PM

Despite having over 25 songs in my collection about Britain's railways (11 in my current repertoire), I have very few directly on the Beeching cuts.

I can remember the chorus of onesuch from the late 1960s; title - Knowing we won't fuss. Heregoes....

First they take our railway, and run instead a bus,
Then claim a debt and shrink their net;
Knowing we won't fuss.

The full song is in my file. Should anyone like the complete lyrics, let me know!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 09:17 AM

As somebody above said - "Go on, go on, go on!"

Fleetwood lost its main station in 1966, Wyre Dock Station was then renamed "Fleetwood" and became the end of the line, releasing the huge marshalling yard area which became the lorry-park for various Irish ferry links (now being released for other development in a piecemeal fashion. The Stena link to Larne ceased in December 2010). The rail passenger service to Fleetwood ceased in 1970 (so not directly linked to the Beeching cuts) and the line to Fleetwood Power Station continued through to the early eighties. Since 1984 there has been an ongoing campaign to get the connection reinstated. It is allegedly a main plank in Wyre Borough's Master Plan for Fleetwood's future. We'll see.

Ron Baxter wrote a song "The Ghost Train" to the tune of Don Bilston's "Loco Fireman" for one of our "Amounderness Tales" shows in the late eighties (pre-computer days, so I'll have to do some digging). Will post when I find it.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 01:46 PM

Ross

On another railway song thread earleir today I mentioned the Ministry Of Roads.

Would your local line have been a MoR victim I wonder?


Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM

There is a discussion of Stanley Accrington's atmospheric song Last Train on this thread.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 11:57 PM

Ian
Never heard of the Ministry of Roads. The Ministry of Transport from 1919 has had responsibility at various times for road and rail transport, civil aviation, ports and shipping. Fleetwood Docks are part of the privatised Associated British Ports plc (1983). Where is your MoR info from?

As far as I can gather, the last of the fish trains from Fleetwood was in 1967 or thereabouts, a road distribution network having been set up to replace the rail network. Presumably road distribution was required to maintain access to inland markets which no longer had their own rail services.

A recent Archive Film Show in Fleetwood (part of the town's 175th Anniversary calendar of events) had old newsreel film from various royal visits, with good views of the old main station and the extensive river-side railway yards.

I get the impression that the loss of the Poulton to Fleetwood freight and passenger services was a reflection of the reduced demand for those services. At the time Fleetwood employed far more of its population within the town itself, with few commuting much further than Blackpool for work. The loss of many of the town's core industries has meant far more people now travel daily to Preston and beyond. Incoming industries like the new waste recycling facilities have so far concentrated on road transport links, ignoring the ready-made line which still passes their premises.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: GUEST,Paul Mackenzie
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 07:07 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 04:11 PM

Never heard of the Ministry of Roads. The Ministry of Transport from 1919 has had responsibility at various times for road and rail transport, civil aviation, ports and shipping. Fleetwood Docks are part of the privatised Associated British Ports plc (1983). Where is your MoR info from?

It is a common device in humour to give government departments modified names to reflect the supposed priorities or prejudices of the organisation concerned. I would recomment a course of Private Eye.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM

"As far as I can gather, the last of the fish trains from Fleetwood was in 1967 or thereabouts, a road distribution network having been set up to replace the rail network. Presumably road distribution was required to maintain access to inland markets which no longer had their own rail services."

This is a typical example of the far-reaching effect of rail closures and the subsequent social cost to the tax payer (vastly subsiding increased road traffic/damage/accidents/congestion etc).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 02:31 PM

Ministry of Roads is indeed a Private Eye type title for a 'consensus' in the corrridors of power that railways don't matter; roads are superior and should have priority. Variations of the term have been circulating in railway enthusiast circles as well as railway worker circles for decades.

The heavy anti rail bias of the 1960's has been muted by the growth of 'green' awareness, and the fact that rail is now another source of profit making. Before the pre John Major era of British politics was another pulblicly owned industry which the Dribbling Right couldn't gat their sticky fingers on to milk for profits.

The UK taxpayer and rail passenger is now bing ripped off big time, but lots of companies are making fat profits out of rail now, so the Dribbling Right are quiet.

Ian Fyvie

PS Ross - thanks for the background info above


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Beeching's Cuts
From: GUEST,Tom Lawson
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 05:13 PM

Bill Smith wrote this satirical song on the Beeching cuts in 1962. Bill, an old friend and, later, colleague at Cumbernauld High School gave Arthur Ferguson and me permission to give the first public performance of his song in the Waverly Bar in Edinburgh.
I was reminded of Bill's song by the performance last evening of The Bonnie Lass o'Fyvie at Celtic Connections opening concert in the Concert Hall in Glasgow.
I had lost the lyrics, so am grateful for having them on this site.
In answer to one query: no,he is not the Bill Smith of the Corries.


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