Some Thoughts on Railway Journeys

Yesterday I spent a lot (and I mean A LOT!) of time researching train timetables of 1839. I could have invented a village, right? But no, I had to take a real village. And for some reason only known to my Muse, I picked a village with such a strange name that everybody will think it a fictional village anyway: Milton-Malzor (sometimes also known as Middleton-Malzor).

So here’s our hero, about to undertake a journey to the aforementioned village:

Robbie dashed off to the station and caught the first train that called at Blisworth. The gentleman at the booking office eyed him with some misgivings when Robbie cut short his explanations on luggage allowances and precautions.


“Thanks a lot, but I don’t have any luggage.”

“No luggage?”

“None,” Robbie replied cheerfully.

“Not even a carpet bag?”

“Not even a carpet bag. Just a sketchbook.” He held up the proof of this statement.

“That is most unusual,” the man said sternly.

“”I’m sure it is, but can I get my ticket now or is it against the regulations to travel without any luggage?”

The man muttered something unintelligible before he handed over the third-class ticket Robbie had bought.