Leigh locomotive, 2017
You can hear geese at Leigh from the seafront and a little bit inland if it’s quiet, tide’s out, and one or two other things; I’ve managed to hear them from a bit further north than Pall Mall. This evening I could hear them from Chalkwell Esplanade and was thinking about having a go at recording, but it was windy and I didn’t think it would be loud enough. At Cliff Parade I thought I’d go down to Gypsy Bridge to see how loud it was down there and maybe find some shelter; wasn’t really persuaded when I got there though.
In Southend we have two rail lines but it’s mostly commuter traffic, EMUs and not much else; you might see military stuff going onto the MOD [Ministry of Defence] land at Shoebury if you’re lucky, but over the last few weeks I had been seeing a loco on the down line ’round about Chalkwell in the evenings, no carriages, just 3 units with cylinders on them, for some kind of track cleaning I’d guess. Wasn’t sure about the geese from Gypsy Bridge but suddenly realised by the sound and lights coming out of Chalkwell on the up line was that mysterious locomotive, and just about managed to record it and the squeak of the wheels on the curving track and, after that, you should be able to hear those geese and that buffeting wind.
This was about 11.50pm, a perfect lullaby for those who live by the trackside. It’s called the Gypsy Bridge because Essex Yacht Club, who have long had floating clubhouses, is nearby, and it’s named after one of them.
The image was taken by Vince pahkala and is used under a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike) licence.