A little story related to tree planting seems appropriate for a first blog. It was a few weeks ago now, at a farm garden, and the lady farmer had asked me to plant three fruit trees, a plum, a cherry and an apple. ‘Get some tree guards from that shed in the corner’ she said. I’d never seen this shed and didn’t know it was there, hidden as it was amongst trees and brambles and in a far corner near to where the chickens live.
Some of the undergrowth had been cut back so there was a clear path to it and I was taken aback to find that this shed was an ancient railway carriage in the process of falling apart and returning to the earth. The tree guards were tucked away at one end so I gathered them quickly and then admired this unexpected treasure.
Few of the windows were intact and those which remained were covered in a layer of dust and algae. The walls, floor and roof were of wood, now very dry and beginning to crumble in places. Ivy grew around the doorway and some of the window frames.
I could not resist stepping inside. The foliage of the surrounding trees cast a greenish light through the windows, which enhanced the dilapidated appearance of the interior. Looking up, I saw a beautifully curved and moulded ceiling, this and the walls being coated in flaking white paint. It must have been painted decades ago, but who knows how long? The floor bounced a little under my feet and in places had given way to reveal the sandy earth beneath it.
At one end lay remnants of the carriage’s former life – wheels, axles and unidentified lengths of steel. Wires tacked along the walls showed where long-gone light fittings had once been fixed.
After a few minutes I had to drag myself away to go and plant the trees, but went back later for a closer look and to take some photographs. The farmer had lived on the site for some 40 years and said the carriage was there when she arrived and she had no idea how long it had been there. I’d like to know its story, where it came from and how it got there, but I don’t suppose I ever shall.
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