Shirley 
Shirley Station

Shirley … you’re the reason I have to get up really early.
And while my expression may be surly, Shirley,
Surely you know … it’s not because of you.


You … Shirley … with your five chimney salute at 6.33
Giving me a full, five minutes to breathe you in,
Before I’m Moor Street bound and work can begin.
I remind myself, Shirley, as I sit and wait for the 6.38,
That you are one of the means to my many ends,
Though I still find it hard to make amends
With that ‘As You Like It’ Shakespeare line that pretends,
“He who wants money, means and content
Is without three good friends”.


As I mind the gap in Brum, I will hanker and day dream,
To return to your colour scheme of burgundy and sweet cream,
Full steam ahead to where staff and volunteers are your loving tenders,
Full steam ahead to where scandal sources helped out with horses,
Full steam ahead to where TT racers find their final resting places,
Full steam ahead to where Shirley puts smiles on people’s faces.


Shirley … you had a temple for the hungry traveller,
A home for the nephew of a renowned executioner,
Sidings, sheds and stables that served the day’s routine,
A station master’s regulation hat that was very rarely seen.
And when fifteen circus elephants turned up in October ‘55
The crowds gathered, Shirley, for the moment they’d arrive
It was a grand occasion, Shirley, do you remember that?
Not so much for the elephants, Shirley …
But for the station master’s hat.

by Giovanni Esposito aka Spoz