Waving to a Train
by Martyn Read

Martyn Read - Waving to a Train

BBC Radio 4: Thirty Minute Theatre

Broadcast: Tuesday 25th November 1980 @ 11:05 a.m.

Richard reminisces back to a long summer afternoon, late in June 1953. The kind of day that exists only in memory: a burning blue sky; a heat-haze shimmering, almost tangible; deep fields, quiet fences, flowers, butterflies, bees, skylarks, and a new Queen crowned. The full, rich cornucopia of summer.

On such days, eight-year-old Richard, fifteen-year-old Susan, and their widowed mother would walk for miles along lanes, over streams, through fields, carrying an old army ground sheet to sit on and a picnic packed carefully into the green shopping bag. Always there was a small purpose to the expedition: a visit to a tiny, secret church, stone-cool inside; sometimes a particular tree with huge, gentle branches; but best remembered was a day such as today, when their destination was no more than the brow of a little hill.

Richard would run hard, the grass stinging his legs, as he would always reach the top before the others. There he sank to his knees and gazed transfixed down the embankment on the other side. At the bottom, glinting endlessly in either direction, lay a single railway track. Today was special. Today, at the top of the bank, Richard had a terrible excitment in his eyes and a fear in his stomach he didn't understand for today they would be waving to a train...

With Michael Jayston [Richard], Diana Bishop [Mother], Elizabeth Lindsay [Susan], and Jill Lidstone [Richard, as a Boy].

Directed by David Spenser.

30 minutes.


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