Welcome to our 12th week of our online bookclub and creative writing class Words from the Wild. This week we were inspired to look at The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit for inspiration for the class. This was due to showing Abbie my OT student around Poppleton Social and Therapeutic Railway Nursery based on the outskirts of York in Poppleton (for anyone local it is a beautiful place where you can sign up to volunteer to support running the garden nursery either independently or through the Discovery Hub at Converge).
Poppleton Railway Nursery was built in the war to stock the Royal York Hotel with food, after the war it was used for growing plants for the stations and had it’s own little arboretum at one point. Around 2005 it was donated on a peppercorn lease by the railways to the local community as it had fallen into disrepair and was no longer required. Today it has a lovely team of volunteers who run the site and is even home to its own little narrowgauge railway line. Once restrictions allow I highly recommend a visit (all the pictures on the blog this week are from the nursery were taken by myself and Abbie, except for the photographs of train journey views (which were taken by Abbie on a previous train journey!).
We chose the Railway Children because the book references the natural world, the children have moved out to the country side from London after their father has been imprisoned after being accused of being a spy! The children soon get immersed in their surroundings, having many adventures as a result, with the railway line as a central point to the story. So here are todays tasks. We hope that you will enjoy taking a virtual train journey today and we also hope you might be inspired to check out Poppleton Railway Nursery in the future.
Task 1 (5 mins) In the extract of the Railway Children that we looked at a tree falls on the train line, as if it is trying to reclaim land that the line has intruded upon. If you were nature how and where would you like to re claim land?
Task 2: A lot of train-lines run through the natural landscape. Can you describe your favourite train journey and your favourite view from a train window? (If you haven’t got one describe a train journey that you would like to take and what you would hope to see.)
Task 3: (5 mins) Write a letter from nature to society describing your feelings and how you would like to work in harmony with humans in the future.
Task 4: Using all five senses describe the growth of a young sapling along the side of an abandoned railway track. In York we have some beautiful cycle tracks running along disused railway lines. What does the young sapling experience growing into a tree, who uses the railway lines now?
I hope that you have enjoyed these tasks. We will be back next week with another creative writing class, before we take a week off for Easter. Look forward to hearing from you and even more so getting back on the St Nicks site at the end of April.
Emma and my student Abbie 🙂