Poet Lemn Sissay retraces the route taken by W H Auden's Night Mail train.
|01||Beginnings||20070326||Lemn boards the Caledonian Sleeper, leaving London at the same time as Auden's Down Special mail train would have departed.|
There is no mail on board, but the workers and passengers carry their own delicate cargo of hopes and recollections with them.
|02||Memories||20070327||Lemn meets a man who spent 30 years working on the travelling post offices, on which the freezing conditions and the long hours were not as poetic as Auden suggests.|
But is there a stanza to be written about the lot of the modern rail workers?
|03||Alone||20070328||Arriving at the busy interchange at Crewe, Lemn talks to the people who catch and dispatch the trains.|
Some are in love, some are in therapy and some are in drag.
|04||Love||20070329||In the GPO's Night Mail film, the train picks up mail at Carnforth Station in Lancashire.|
Ten years later, the same station provided the backdrop for the film Brief Encounter.
Does passion still linger beneath the station canopy?
|05 LAST||Endings||20070330||Lemn's journey is complete, but will a dawn arrival at Glasgow help him finish his poem?|