En route for Grasmere and the launch of The Serpent Pool, we stopped off at Carnforth, just south of the Lake District. I had in mind a trip to the very good second hand bookshop in the town, but digressed to the railway station for lunch. And this proved surprisingly memorable.
This is because Carnforth Railway Station was used for the filming of the classic movie Brief Encounter. After the British rail network was stupidly decimated in the 60s, the station was left derelict, but a great charitable effort led to it having a new life. There is now a splendid museum featuring the history of the station, and the making of Brief Encounter. You can lunch, as we did, in a recreated cafeteria that is really atmospheric.
Brief Encounter isn't really my favourite sort of movie, but I do think that what has been done at Carnforth is wonderful. Even though life moves on, and we must embrace the new, it's a terrible mistake to neglect the past. This humble railway station offers a real slice of British social history, and its revival is a sign of what can be done by people with imagination and drive.
I've always been keen on history, but if anything, I'm keener than ever these days. History plays a big part in the Lake District Mysteries, and will continue to do so, informing the lives of Hannah, Daniel and those around them. And they may even pay a visit to Carnforth one of these days...