Arthur Ransome's Railways -- Notes and Observations
The online publication of Arthur Ransome's Railways by David Carter was announced on TarBoard on 11 May 2012, and was followed (as usual
on TarBoard) by some commentary. We decided to preserve observations which were amplifications or possible errata to the original text.
Andy Clayton, 15 May 2012:
In the section labelled Winter 1931/32, he refers to the comment (which I couldn't locate) early on about whether Mrs Dixon had accompanied them on the train. He doubts that she did this, suggesting that perhaps she'd just accompanied them from the station. However, in the chapter titled 'Quarantine', when the school health certificates are dug out, Mrs Dixon says: 'I have them. Mrs. Callum, poor lamb, she gave them to me just as we were catching that train, and you know what it is, Mrs. Blackett, catching trains in towns, not like going up to the station here and having a word with old Bob, that's been porter and guard these thirty year. Yes, she gave me all their papers...'
Pretty conclusive that Mrs. Dixon had travelled with the D's on their journey. The only speculation is whether she went down south specificaly for that purpose, which seems most likey, given her motherly nature, or whether she combined the trip with some business of her own. Certainly, back at the farm she is very bustly as if trying to make up for lost time domestically.
Peter Ceresole, 15 May 2012:
Hadn't she been Mrs Callum's nurse years before? That concept of personal service was very strong then; I'm sure that going down to London to accompany them back would have been reasonable for the time. Especially as they hadn't made the journey before, and a lot of it would have been in the dark.
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