High Point
by Emma Purshouse

It is March and a bumblebee is trapped
in the phone box at Earlswood station
buffering the glass. Its tiny engine frantic.

There is rock salt on the ramp that runs
up to the road, and the wind is still bitter
having not quite got over winter.

And you and I have missed our train.
Again. Our miserable baggage and us
heading nowhere fast. So we take the time

set the bee free, watch as it flies up,
away over tracks and keen flower beds
towards the landscape and garden centre,

becoming a smaller small thing,
a shunt for our spirits, a banker for spring.


In 2020 Earlswood Garden and Landscape Centre offered to sponsor and support the station adopters at all stations along the Shakespeare Line by way of supplying plants and planters.

Earlswood station is the highest point on the Shakespeare Line. When steam trains left Stratford-upon-Avon a locomotive would sometimes push from the rear helping the engine pulling the train at the front, until it got up to Earlswood. This action is known as ‘banking’.