At the end of the Downs Link

Published 10 February 2019

Buffer stops at Shoreham-by-sea
Buffer stops at the end of the Downs Link

What can be a more poignant thing to see at the end of a walk down an old railway, than a set of buffers? Ones that mark the end of the line.

They’re obviously not proper buffers. After all there’s a small set of wheels on them. And it doesn’t look like they’d hold up if a steam engine came careering towards them. Also the railway line didn’t actually end at the point that the Downs Link trail finishes. The railway carried on to Shoreham station nearby.

But that’s not the point. The point is that when you get to the end of a long distance walk, people want to feel a sense of closure. That they’ve completed the thing. And what better way of symbolising that completion than a set of buffers marking “the end of the line”. If there’s a better way to commemorate the completion of a walking trail that follows an old railway line, I’ve yet to see it.

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