After a period of around a month during which my knee has been giving me a bit of jip, I decided it was about time I went out walking again. Things have changed since our last walk as Ginny has now got a job and as it’s a Monday – Friday job, I have time on my hands till I go and pick her up from work at 5pm.
I wonder if there is a job out there for me for as much as the news channels harp on about recovery, I just don’t see new companies opening up to replace the likes of Comet, Jessops(retail shops) and the public sector jobs that the government have shelved in the name of the austerity. All I want is a position in which I’ll be able to progress in and one that is mentally satisfying
“In this proud land we grew up strong, we were wanted all along..I was taught to fight taught to win..I never thought I could fail”
Also during this time my divorce has finally come through and although I miss the children terribly it’s time also to look forward again and not back. The fact that they left of their own freewill and I had no say in anything, is something I’ll never understand or agree with, but is something that I’ll always now have to accept. Judges and politicians make rules that are so one-sided, yet they call for equality, you see this everywhere. It’s is however a time for me to believe in the power of people once again and not the power of money like most people these days do.
After making the weekly trip to see my mum I headed back to Chelmsford and then continued towards Felsted, where I was looking to pick up the Flitch way once again. So far we’ve both walked from Braintree to Rayne and from Rayne to Felsted. We’ve also walked from Easton Lodge Station as far as Takeley.
I’ve decided to leave the last part from Takeley to Bishops Stortford for us both to walk, so it just leaves me to fill in the smaller sections around the town of Great Dunmow and the village of Felsted. I tried as hard as I could to pick up the trail from Felsted Station to Great Dunmow but without the map, which I left behind this proved fruitless. It was then up to me to find the other bit we hadn’t done Easton Lodge back into Great Dunmow. The day was sunny and reasonable warm for January, as I left the small car park and went over the bridge crossing the A120. Almost immediately you turn right at Buttleys Lane and enter the Dunmow Cutting, a part of the walk which in places has been cleared and looks tidy.
In other places trees have blown down and because of all the rain it was very very muddy in places. After about a mile you hit Great Dunmow and the trail ends and you’re forced to walk along through the houses. Dunmow station which was once in the centre of the town has long since gone as too has the Dunmow viaduct unceremoniously blown up in 1977.
(Images by Blue Pelican Railways – http://www.flickr.com/people/blue-pelican-railways)
Dunmow was the principal intermediate station on the line and the only one to have two platforms. The main brick built station buildings were on the down platform including the station masters house, booking hall, office, waiting room, ladies’ room, lamp room and porters’ room. The signal box was also on this platform. The other platform has a wood and brick waiting shelter.
The goods shed was located at the back of the up platform. The goods yard was on the down side consisting of two sidings serving the coal yard. Two further sidings served a loading dock and cattle pens. There was also a cast iron water tank on the down side of the line. A private siding to the west of the station served the Dunmow Flitch Bacon Factory.
Shortly after the track was lifted in 1971 the station buildings at Dunmow were demolished. They had been badly damaged by vandals and were demolished after complaints from the council.
So far walking the flitch way, you sense how Britain lost its greatness and how all its riches were sold off to the highest bidder, broken up all in the name of greed and profit leaving just a shell of what is left. It’s still the same today as company after company gets sold off to overseas corporations. The Braintree to Bishops Stortford railway could have been the transport link to London Stansted it could have taken millions from East Anglia to the airport, it could have finally paid its own way, but in 1972 it closed for good.
Things change, times changes, it’s just a shame that the things that man builds with the use of its own hard labour, never really stands the test if time. You look at this once fine railway and you hear the echo of distant days.
Old Photos by Nick Catford