Faction​/​A minor Piece

by Stuart Moxham

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A new, 99% factual, autobiographical short story followed by a piano instrumental from the late 90's make this my first SpIn (Spoken word/Instrumental.) I might do a compilation called "SPINs and SPoNGs". Fair warning...



I grew up in a corner house deep amongst the rigid rows of terraces which line up, like the sheep on the surrounding hills, with their backs to the Biblical rain.

This was Cardiff, in the mid 1950’s, only different then because of the yellow – stained coal smoke blowing across the rooftops, trolley buses on the main roads and tin baths hanging on outside walls.
Telephones and televisions were a rare luxury too.

Our back garden, (so named – although we had no front, or any other garden,) ended at a tall creosoted fence which belonged to the railways and separated us from the mortal dangers of the main lines and sidings beyond. Thin gaps between the stout uprights in this barrier offered disconnected glimpses of the perpetual activity beyond.

Every movement, however, had its own distinctive sound; from the roaring crescendo of express trains leaving for London, to the staccato clanking of trucks being shunted. Sometimes a diesel engine would stand waiting for a signal; its’ throbbing tickover dissolving with familiarity, right out of consciousness, until suddenly it roused itself with a low bellow and rumbled away.

Railway lines had the same appeal as cliff edges and my brother and I knew places further out, in the suburbs, where we could get onto the tracks and we would stumble along the ballast stones, testing our keen young senses against the chance of an encounter with a fast-approaching locomotive.

A favourite game involved placing pennies on the rails and then crouching in an inspection pit roofed with old railway sleepers, right next to the track, as a thundering train hammered past inches away.
We would then jump up delightedly to recover the thin copper ovals from the shiny steel bars in the sulphurous aftermath of the accelerating monster. It was a visceral thrill made more delicious by its illegality of course.

On the other hand we had to accept the fact that the innocent pleasures of the swings and slides in the park were denied us on Sundays when they were chained up for the Sabbath.


released June 24, 2013
Words and music written, performed and Produced by Stuart Moxham at Marshall Section studio.
Copyright Control 2013




Stuart Moxham Shaftesbury, UK

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