OBSERVER: Reminder of how wrong Beeching was on the railways

My comments a couple of weeks ago about the loss of major railway facilities at Boston thanks to the Beeching Report seem to have jogged a few memories.

The letter from a former British Rail driver last week made interesting reading, not least his comment about the railways always being a political football. It certainly was at the time of Beeching and remains so even today.

Recent stories in the national press have reminded readers that the subsidy paid to British Railways – the main reason for Beeching – was nothing like the subsidies paid these days to the various rail companies.

My father often told me about his time as an apprentice in the late Fifties and early Sixties when it was possible to take a cheap day return to King’s Cross on a Thursday for the equivalent today of about 87p!

He always looked forward to these twice-a-year trips, taken during his holiday weeks in the summer and winter, catching the early train from Grimsby and arriving in London by mid-morning. I daren’t even think about going by train these days but certainly don’t think it would be done in so short a time, no matter what time I left Boston.

As last week’s letter confirmed, the ‘experts’ advising Beeching certainly got it wrong as far as we in this area were concerned. The bus services put on to make up for the lack of trains apparently didn’t last very long and the extra lorries put on the roads have only added to the problems in Lincolnshire’s rural parts.

Mind you, if at that time the government had also taken the decision to improve the road network we might not now be suffering.

* Why does Pilgrim Hospital always seems to make the news for the wrong reasons?

The story of the retired ‘terrified’ GP won’t calm the nerves of anyone waiting for admission. But on the other side of the coin why do so few who praise the hospital to family and friends not write to The Standard to tell everyone?

A relative once said her doctor had commented they usually make the worst patients! Might be something in it.