Peering over the Parapet

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Peering over the parapet of the Stamford Bridge viaduct which saw the last train pass in 1965 but now conveys walkers, cyclists and the occasional horse and rider.

When it works out, the first stage of my Tuesday morning commute can be marvellous. Luckily we are in that time of the year when Yorkshire weather is more clement and nature is bountiful and in full voice. I’m referring to my once-a-week morning stroll along the old railway line to catch a lift with a colleague. The cold, wet, slow start to spring has made it a hit and miss affair. This week however, the weather gods smiled and the sun shone and the birds sang sweetly.

Its a Tuesday routine, that I meet Don for a lift to Malton (and from there catch a bus on to Scarborough). We began this arrangement, many months ago with a rendezvous point in the village, just by the Stamford Bridge vets’ as it happens. But mounting traffic queues leading to the bridge led to a close call when I nearly missed the hourly bus departure from Malton. (In fact we had to follow the big blue double-decker along the Main Street in Norton until it pulled up at the library to collect passengers -but I digress from the subject in hand.)

Lately we have hit upon a more reliable meeting point, which allows Don to circumvent the unpredictable queue for the bridge traffic lights. It requires me to walk across the viaduct along the old railway line trail, then up the main road a short way to a sneaky back road. It’s a 10-12 minute walk, but when the sun is shining it’s a glorious and peaceful way to commune with nature at the start of a busy day at work.

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Part of the old station green space in Stamford Bridge, you can see the old platforms.

This week, due to a planned slightly later start, I had a few minutes at my leisure to drink in the atmosphere of the Old Station greenspace, to pause and peer over the parapet of the viaduct, a historic ‘listed’ structure and even to crouch down to smell the heady scent of the bluebells in the ‘minibeast trail’. The minibeast trail, or MBT to some of us, is a legacy of my early years with Stamford Bridge in Bloom, when as Conservation Coordinator I established a Young Conservers Club which met every month and transformed a forlorn corner of woodland into a place for kids to explore nature. I can tell you more about this another time, but it features regularly on our SBIB Facebook group.

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