The Story

I came across this image on a walk outside of Alston. The romantic decay of the wood and iron rust of the rails in themselves is evocative of history and echoes of the past. The walk followed the railway line but ran through the fields. The are has family connections for me. As my mother spent her early years living in a house on a farm. She watched trains go through the valley from her bedroom window and walked from one end of the valley to the other. The school is no longer a school; it has been converted into a home and the railway line like most small lines in the area was closed long ago by Mr Beacham. Everything in this world grows old; trees die, wood rots, iron gates fall from their hinges, iron rusts.  Even the fields will turn to nettles and thistles if left to themselves.


In the midst of rotting wood and rusting iron, fighting through nettles and rough grass tiny little white stars of Stitchwart  break through. They remind me of life defiantly fighting through the decay of the past. New life, always there, always shining through the darkness. For me the painting reminds us that death will never have the victory, life always breaks through.

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