Saturday, 12 November 2016

Gricer … Get Out and Push RailRoad … Adlestrop poem …



I had never heard of this term … but I bet many of you have heard of trainspotter – exactly what a gricer is.


Train Spotters on tracks in Harrogate,
Yorkshire in 1964
There’s no obvious etymological root, appearing around the 1960s… but an unproved derivation from “grouse shooting” … when out shooting for grouse or other game birds … the gun follows the flying bird before the shot is fired … logically the eyes and head follow … I hope!


… same as standing at a railway station waiting for the train to rush by … one’s neck turns quickly and the eyes attempt to follow … I could almost use the analogy of watching a tennis match?!  Grouser to Gricer … not so sure – but that’s the way it is …


Bluebell Heritage Railway in Sussex



Other terminology isn’t nearly as much fun … railfan, metrophile, rail buff, train buff ... ok, an 'anorak' is a bit more like it, or ‘gunzels’ as in Australia … but another good one – which I rather like … “ferroequinology” = study of iron horses!


This article from The Telegraph gives a bit more information, with the added plus of letting us see 10 beautiful trainspotting sites – Britain at its best … the first one is Autumn time at our own Bluebell Railwayhere in Sussex.


Get Out and Push RailRoad


To deviate slightly … (believe it or not!) … it is railway oriented: is the Get Out and Push RailRoad … or how not to sell some real estate …



This was a 19th century street railway connecting Wilmington California to the Willmore area of Long Beach … which requested patrons (potential purchasers) to assist trains over the steeper parts of the route?!


c/o Mapquest


The horse-drawn car, on the first day of service – 31st October 1882 – broke its wooden rails, forcing the men to push it to a sound section of track.  It became known as the G.O.P. RailRoad … Get Out and Push RailRoad …









The Los Angeles Times published a song to the tune of “Paddy Duffy’s Cart” (an American Old Time Song) – I sort of think it would suit Sing a Song of Sixpence:






Oh, sing a song of rail road, / Likewise the iron hoss,
Of all that run beneath the sun, / the Long Beach is the boss;
With a thirteen-cat-power engine, / that starts with a big pinch-bar,
Oh, everyone get out and push / On the G.O.P.R.R.



I think (not actually!) that’s exhausted my train posts for a while … but Gricer, G.O.P.R.R. and Ferroequine are names I won’t forget …


… and now all Californians and Americans remember how they found Long Beach – from the Wilmington and Long Beach Rapid Transit RailRoad, Get Out and Push RailRoad!




Two side notes … a minimalist film was made in 2007 on Rail Roads … titled “RR” aka RailRoad … by James Benning, who explores themes of American consumerism.




An unscheduled stop would give
some calm amongst the War; this is
where Adlestrop station would
have been
Lastly – Richard Burton reading the war poem entitled “Adlestrop” by Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917) … written when the train Thomas was on made an unscheduled stop at Adlestrop station … he describes a moment of quiet calm pause (in the midst of WW1) in which he hears “all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire” …



Interior of St Mary
Magdalene Church,
Adlestrop
It looks a pretty and very interesting village … with Jane Austen connections … the Church with its bells …


Richard Burton reading “Adlestrop” can be found in YouTube …






On a different note ... this year I have not written about Remembrance Sunday ... I have written 5 posts for 5 of the 8 years this day has come and gone while I've been blogging - each taking a slightly different look at Remembering.

However I have just read a post entitled "National Service of Remembrance" - which Mike has written ... it is really outstanding ... giving the history ... and I had tears in my eyes by the end.


A Bit About Britain - by Mike:  National Service of Remembrance      Please read ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

53 comments:

Marja said...

I love trains although I am not a ferroequinologynotist lol. I love the old steam trains like the pretty bluebell you showed. e have a few nice ones here as well and we took our children on trips with them when they were young

Elephant's Child said...

This orstraylian had never heard of gunzels.
In one of our homes a railway line ran through the bottom paddock. While not obsessive about it, I did enjoy watching them - and found the train whistle and the engine very soothing at night.
Thank you for yet another well researched intriguing post.

Patsy said...

Railways must have caused great excitement when they were new, and there's still something about a steam train which makes people turn to look, but I can't get enthusiastic over modern trains.

Out on the prairie said...

It is ad how train travel here in the US has diminished so.I rode a lot as a child, sometimes visiting my grandparents I would ride in the switch yard with my grandfather.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Get Out and Push railway doesn't sound like a lot of fun.
Still would like to take a long train ride, perhaps across Canada.
There's also a movie called Trainspotting set in Edinburgh but it has nothing to do with trains...

Mike Goad said...

Old trains are fascinating. We've done the Durango to Silerton excursion in Colorado three times now and, in 2002, we did the White Pass and Yukon Route from Skagway, Alaska up to White Pass and Back -- very thrilling.

The town I grew up in, North Platte, Nebraska, has the largest classification (switching) yard in the world. Personnel there sort, service and repair locomotives and cars headed all across North America. "The town, first known as "Hell on Wheels", received its first train in 1866." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bailey_Yard.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I enjoyed that, Hilary. Fascinating and well-researched, as always. And a picture of the Bluebell Railway, too, which I remember taking a trip on with the kids one Christmas and, another time, dashing so that my daughter could catch a glimpse of Jenny Agutter. I'm glad I haven't experienced the 'Get out and Push Railroad! Then I got to the end and saw your link - thank you very much; I hope your readers get something out of it. I think everyone should go at least once! All the best.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marja - great word you've coined for us: "ferroequinologynotist"!! The old steam trains are wonderful remnants of days gone by ... I remember some delightful trips in childhood too ...

@ EC - never heard of 'gunzels' then thee be ne'er an Orstraylian! I gather it comes from the Sydney Tram Museum in the 1960s ...

That must have been fun seeing the trains run along the bottom of the paddock, I guess not terribly often ... the train whistle and train noises are as you say soothing in a familiar way.

Delighted you enjoyed the post ...

@ Patsy - railways must have caused terror and wonderment, let alone excitement ... and yes don't we look at the steam trains when we're near one, or enjoy seeing and reading about the special train trips put on. I agree - in particular, the Southern Train situation is just dreadful.

@ Steve - it has here too .. and we chopped some of the little lines that would help people so much now in the countryside - but too late. What a brilliant childhood with your grandfather in the switchyard - wonderful memories ... I hope you've written them down?

@ Alex - no that can't have been a good marketing ploy - but I thought funny and interesting. I've been from Cape Town to Johannesburg .. and over the Rockies - but one across a continent sounds extra special ... I hope you get the chance sometime.

Yes I knew about Trainspotting (the film) - I haven't actually seen it .. but one day ...

@ Mike - good to see you ... and the read about the routes you've travelled: the Skagway to White Pass and back must be an amazing trip ... I'll add that to my wish list!

North Platte sounds ideal for a small boy - what a place ... I can see why it has earned its nick-name ... Incredible place ... "Hell on Wheels" ... no quiet there ...

@ Mike - many thanks ... the Bluebell Railway attracts lots of visitors and is a real hub of invention and ingeniousness. Bet your daughter was pleased as punch seeing Jenny Agutter ... the Railway Children was (and is) a wonderful film ...

I just had to put the Get Out and Push RailRoad in ... such a funny incident in life ... and what a way for Long Beach to start off.

Pleasure - your post is exceptionally good ... Remembrance Day - commemorating the end of World War One ... we need to remember.

Cheers to you all - thanks for visiting ... wonderful that railways still excite and intrigue ... Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Richard Burton, yes, what a voice. He could sooth me instantly when he spoke. I'll definitely visit Youtube and listen. Thanks, Hillary.

Lynn said...

I do love trains and can hear a train whistle when it goes by about a mile away from my home. Lovely post - another place I wish I could visit!

D.G. Hudson said...

My hubs was a train enthusiast and worked on the railway for 35 years doing every job - brakeman, conductor, and engineer, inside dispatch, inspector of damaged goods, etc. He and his coworkers called train enthusiasts - Foamers - such as dads and kids who come to the trainyards for a Saturday or Sunday ride on the engines or while we still have them - the cabooses, or guys who go on vacation to see and experience other trains which operate in third world countries. Most cabooses are gone here in Canada, but not on the local railway which does a lot of switching of cars for local industry.

Trains have always fascinated me, and I've ridden a short haul to Alberta. As a child I rode from the town I lived in to Atlanta with one of the grandmothers. From that time onward they have had a place in my heart.
Loved your post, Hilary, as always.

Crystal Collier said...

Okay! I'll head over, but first, that was a fun rambly about train & train related stuff. Can you imagine? We get frustrated over a slow internet connection--they got frustrated over having to push their train. Convenience can be such an inconvenience sometimes, eh?

Janie Junebug said...

As always, I appreciate the information. When I hear or see "trainspotting," I always think of the very sad movie about addicts.

Love,
Janie

Anabel Marsh said...

I didn't know most of those terms! Had a giggle at the Get Out And Push one.

Botanist said...

I've always loved railways, never heard of "Gricer" before. However I can see a possible connection - "Gricer" is how I would imagine Prince Charles saying "Grouser", so maybe, just maybe, someone was taking the Mickey out of the posh accent along with the head-turning analogy?

Robert Bennett said...

Gonna pass this along to a friend of mine who adores trains and railroads. Although, I'll be candid that I lost it at the "Get Out and Push Railroad". The concept just makes me giggle like a school boy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene – yes … anything with Richard Burton talking is just so mellifluous … that’s great and enjoy the reading.

@ Lynn – we occasionally get a ‘whistle’ from the trains here, even though it’s a terminus. Lots of places to see here – the heritage railways are always in wonderful parts of the world.

@ DG – I think I left ‘Foamer’ out of the list … must have done – so thank you for giving us such a detailed comment – really adds to the post. Obviously ‘foamers’ are just hooked on their enthusiasm for the railcar industry … and they go on holiday to see more?! I presume the local switching carries on because it’s the end of the Canadian line …

Trains in north America offer much longer rides than our services … but I too remember the steam train in Cornwall along the sea shore and its whistling as it came to a corner, or through a tunnel … just glad you’ve got those memories of your trip to Alberta, and then the special one with your grandmother down to Atlanta …

@ Cyrstal – that’s great to see you’ll visit Mike and his Remembrance Day post. Yes the analogy today of the internet v the GOPRR train is such a great one … so much has changed in 150 years …

@ Janie – yes Trainspotting I gather is a very sad film, which I’m afraid I never saw … but I’m glad you enjoyed this …

@ Anabel – nor did I know some of the terms, and now ‘foamer’ is added to the list. But I too laughed at GOPRR …

@ Ian – I suspect your explanation is probably very likely to be true … and that was implied when I looked it up … but certainly words come into the English language and this is another of them.

@ Robert – thanks, I do hope he enjoys the post … but giggle too – the concept of searching out good housing areas in California by having to use that RailRoad is just too funny.

Thanks so much for your visit and comment – cheers for now - Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

I used to go to school on a 'push me, pull you' sort of steam train depending on which direction it was travelling. We never had to get out and push!

Keith's Ramblings said...

I used to be an Omnibologist - a bus spotter. I was even a member of the Southdown Motor Services Enthusiasts Club! I still have heaps of memorabilia including my bus ticket collection and heaps of black and white photos. How sad is that?


Visit Keith's Ramblings

Annalisa Crawford said...

Every so often a steam train passes over Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash. I always miss it, because I keep forgetting (or I'm just completely unaware). It's a very popular attraction though - so many people turn out for it.

Nick Wilford said...

Gricer is a good term, although I think I like ferroequinologist best. I've visited the Bluebell Railway many times, as a kid and taking my own youngsters. The Get Out and Push railroad doesn't sound like fun on a hot day - even if it only happened on the first day, it sounds like they never lived it down!

Jo said...

Wonderful word, feroequinologist - gricer doesn't please me nearly as much LOL. Pretty Bluebell train. Having ridden trains as a commuter from Rochester to London for a number of years in my late teens, trains don't carry great memories for me.

DMS said...

I admit to not knowing much about trains and railways- so I definitely learned a lot today. I had no idea there was even a study of iron horses- but the word is just fantastic. :) Thanks for all the information. I have had trouble riding trains in the past (and getting on the right one). ::)
~Jess

Nas said...

I never miss a chance to ride on a train when I'm being a tourist in another country as our country doesn't have passenger trains.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob – oh gosh … what a fun memory – brilliant to hear about – thank you …

@ Keith – now another word … well you guessed it a post coming up anon. How extraordinary … I must have lived a secluded life!

And – you still have all those memorabilia … not sad, just amusing?! I love it …

@ Annalisa – oh yes I’ve been over that bridge – London to Penzance … not in a steam train (I don’t think). How great to think it’s a fixture and people can get to see it go over … as you say popular attraction …

@ Nick – I agree the ferroequinologist … is such a great term.

The Bluebell Railway is getting more popular – which is great for the volunteers … and yes, I might not have kids of my own, but we took two godchildren up there with a brother ... Laura and I had great fun.

The GOPRR – just is an amazing beginning to what would become Long Beach … extraordinary start to life …

@ Jo – as you rightly say ‘ferroequinologist’ is an amazing word – just I started with ‘Gricer’! Oh commuting was miserable and was one thing I did not want to do: ever – I managed that … just drove instead!

@ Jess – nor did I really, but I do enjoy the learning process in writing the post and then in the comments …

… isn’t the word ‘ferroequinologist’ just brilliant – I feel a good story coming along here …

Oh sorry about the challenges re trains ..

@ Nas – how lovely to read … especially if it’s such a treat …

Cheers to you all ... I feel another range of stories about ferroequinologists appearing soon … thanks so much for the interaction … Hilary

Deborah Weber said...

Ferroequinology has clearly taken the lead as my favorite word of the week. I'm heading my brother over here for a peek at your wonderfully researched post - he's spent most of his career working for the railroad. I'm glad we're past the old get-out-and-push times. That would definitely put a crimp in my traveling.

Liz A. said...

Nope, I don't know what a trainspotter is. Only vaguely know of the movie of the same name. But now I need to go and see if I can find the tracks for the railway connecting Wilmington and Long Beach. That's very close to me (and I wonder if the new public transit utilizes those paths).

Rhodesia said...

Well I never - gricer, another new word you have found for my mental dictionary and one that N did not know either which came as a surprise to me! He usually looks at me as if to say 'of course I know' LOL

Well done another great post Hilary, you never cease to amaze me what I learn from you. Off to read Mike's post now. Diane

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

I love trains too, but I dunno about the Get Out and Push!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deborah - Ferroequinology is a great word ... rings so true to its meaning. I think Turner's "Rail, Steam and Speed" painting totally encompasses the term 'ferroequinology' ...

I do hope your brother enjoys the post ... but I too am glad we don't have to get out and push when we travel!

@ Liz - the movie is different; this is just about spotting trains. If you find the old tracks or route-way for the GOPRR do let us know ...

@ Diane - gosh beat N to it this time! I now of course can't remember where I spotted(!) the term 'gricer' ... but it brought up a range of subjects.

I'm sure you'll appreciate Mike's post - it's an excellent summary of the day ...

@ Holly - I'm not so fond of trains now - the nostalgic ones yes ... just as long as I don't have to get out and push too often!

Cheers and thanks for visiting .. have good weeks - Hilary

Susan Scott said...

Well, these are real tongue twisters Hilary - thank you for being challenging! I'll read/listen to Richard Burton's Adlestrop soon I hope and Mike's National Service of Remembrance .. thank you so much.

Karen Lange said...

So interesting! My two nephews love trains, and I'll have to remember this info for when they are a bit older. I had no idea about the GOP train - I guess riders might not wear their best clothes for the ride lest they get dirty while helping it along. I had to wonder, what happened if they didn't have enough passengers? But I suppose that wasn't ever the case. Thanks for sharing with us, Hilary. It's always an interesting visit. Have a great week! :)

Christine Rains said...

I do like trains, and I love that term about the study of iron horses too! There's a video on Netflix that is six hours long where someone attached a camera to the front of a train around Oslo, and we get to travel where the train does. I confess I've watched almost two hours of it so far. It's a beautiful ride.

cleemckenzie said...

If we still had some Get-Out-And-Push trains we wouldn't have so many overweight and out of shape people among us. I'm all for bringing those trains back. Of course, I'll volunteer to cheer on the pushers. :-)

I'd never heard the term gricer before, and I loved the etymological background for the word.

I'll go over and read the Remembrance post. Thanks, Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

Get Out and Push Railroad. Aptly named. ;)

Joanne said...

trains and train history offers tales of growth and progress...unless you had to Get Out and Push! (that is funny and I had not heard of that nickname)

diedre Knight said...

Well that settles it. I'm a Griser ;-) Loved this post! The pictures are awesome, especially the Bluebell Heritage Railway. I wonder if there was certain criteria (health, stamina) for riding the GOP Train. I'd probably try it - once. The Adlestrop station reminds me of a place I go on my walks where all sounds of the city down below are silenced; leaving only soothing birdsong and bugs buzzing in its place. Nice!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love trains too. They're so expensive to ride around my part of the country. I'm going to read Mike's post.

Paula Kaye said...

My husband was a huge fan of trains. This was some very interesting facts! Have a great week Hilary!!

Mark Noce said...

Funny, I never heard that term, but that sort of happens to me every day when I wait for the train during my daily commute:)

Lynda R Young said...

I hadn't heard that term before. Regarding trains, I have a deep love of the old steam trains. Beautiful.

Truedessa said...

I always learn something new here. Thanks for another interesting post.

mail4rosey said...

I think Trainspotter is the name of a movie. I could be wrong. And Remembrance Day is very important. I think recognition should always come due. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan – they were some fun words … new ones on me. I’m glad you’ll listen to Richard Burton’s Adlestrop … written in the middle of World War One … and that’s great you’ll read Mike’s post: it is excellent.

@ Karen – many thanks … perhaps you can tell the nephews about the post, but remind them you need to tell them something later on? – they’ll probably remember.

I’d no idea re the GOP train … in those days they did get dressed in their finery …so I’m sure they’d have been done up to the nines. I think the passenger numbers didn’t matter … but I’m sure it was full, as it was such a new concept – the more important thing was that real estate.

The real estate aspect got abandoned by the GOPRR … but soon they went another route – the private line was taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad. And we know what happened to the real estate!

@ Christine – oh the ‘names’ are great aren’t they … especially ferroequinology. Oh gosh ... I think I saw mention of this Oslo film at some stage … and gathered it is a stunning visual. I don’t think I could sit and watch it … but I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

@ Lee – well I did think about that aspect too … we’ll get a petition up?! Well you haven’t got so far to travel to cheer on the pushers – still I could do with a holiday?! I’ll join you …

Whether the etymological background for Gricer is right ...it’s been mooted … but I’m glad you’ll read Mike’s post on Remembrance Day …

@ Chrys – I know ... I really couldn’t not put it into the post GOPRR …

@ Joanne – trains do offer tales of growth and progress unless you are in the line of one being developed … now there’d be compensation. The Get Out and Push RailRoad has its own mystery now …

@ Diedre – that’s good … a gricer is a great term and on occasion I’ll watch the trains go by. The Bluebell train looks like a Thomas the Tank Engine one …

In those days – if you wanted to look at the real estate at Long Beach ... I guess you just ‘hopped’ on … I think the whole train happened for a couple of years and that was it – too much effort and uncertainty.

Adlestrop is poignant … as the poem was written in 1917 – in the middle of World War One – so silence was golden … bird-song added to the beauty …

@ Susan – our trains are in a right mess; thankfully the Heritage lines are loved and thus work efficiently. Thanks – you’ll enjoy Mike’s post …

@ Paula – oh I’m pleased you mentioned Richard … and enjoyed the post …

@ Mark – oh yes standing at stations while the trains pass by … they do rush by … daily commuting – so glad I don’t do that!

@ Lynda – I hadn’t either, so just thought it’d make an interesting blogpost … the GOPRR was an added bonus.

@ Truedessa – just happy you enjoyed …

@ Rosey – yes there was a Trainspotting film – but about some thing completely different – drugs. So I didn’t mention it …

I was so glad Mike had written his 2014 piece about Remembrance Day – it’s so thorough … and is an excellent piece of history 100 years after WW1 began, as well as reminding us that so many fought for us to have peace and security.

Thanks everyone … good to see you and to your comments – cheers Hilary

Shannon Lawrence said...

Trains are such a symbol of freedom and progress. I enjoyed the history, especially the origin of GOP Railroad. Ha! Get out and push!

Murees Dupé said...

Lovely post, Hilary. Again, thank you for sharing this with us. I've only been on a train twice in my life. In South Africa the train isn't always the most reliable type of transportation. Keep well, Hilary.

beste barki said...

This is one of your posts that reminds us why we love following you Hilary. I had a great time reading it and as always, I learned things I had no idea about.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shannon - they are a symbol of freedom aren't they - though now I somewhat question that when they plough through homes for new lines as here in the UK etc ... but they opened up the world that's for sure. Isn't the GOPRR such a fun story ...

@ Murees - it's a pleasure and good to see you around. It's a pity that trains aren't better in SA ... they are a great way to get lots of people around ...

@ Beste - many thanks and lovely to see you here. Well I had fun writing it - and then learning those things I didn't know about ...

Thanks so much - lovely to see you ... cheers Hilary

Hart Johnson said...

Ferroequine is a good word indeed! I like trains. I wish they were more affordable as travel in the US--they tend to cost more than flying. When I was a kid though, there were train tracks near our lake cabin and we used to go up and watch for the train, sometimes putting pennies on the tracks so they would get flattened (which is illegal--defacing money, but still cool)

Jacqui said...

My country soul loves trains, especially conflated with dogs, cars, lost loves, and music. Great info on this topic.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hart - glad you like 'ferroequine' ... Really do trains cost more than flying - actually perhaps in some ways the same is here ... I flew to Scotland a few years ago ... but for shorter journeys use the trains or car, if I want to visit a few places.

Oooh - bad woman 'defacing the coins' ... till you told me I hadn't thought about it ... but being on holiday and being able to enjoy the trains passing ... must have been a treat as a child.

@ Jacqui - yes trains can bring us stories can't they ... and emotions as we move along our journey ...

Thanks so much - lovely hearing that trains are a part of your background too .. cheers Hilary

LD Masterson said...

We've done a couple vacations via train but it's not convenient around here. When we've been in Europe, we went everywhere by train. I loved it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi LD - the train gets you to places, if you don't want to travel elsewhere ... probably you would find the trains better here in Europe as you'd be travelling from place to place. But I hear you ... and having seen the other comments - your trains are good for the long journeys ... eg across Canada, across the Rockies ... thanks for commenting - cheers Hilary