Cookhouse Railway Station, Cookhouse
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The Cookhouse railway station was built in the late 1800's as part of the expansion of the Cape Colony's railway system, and became an important junction.  Unfortunately the station is in desperate need for some TLC, but it is still functional.

The station was immortalized by Chris Mann in his poem Cookhouse Station:

If you ever pass through Cookhouse Station

make certain you see what is there.

Not just the long neat platform beneath the escarpment

and the red buckets

and the red and white booms

but the Christmas beetle as well

which zings like a tireless lover

high in the gum-tree all the hot day.

 

And whether your stay is short

and whether your companions

beg you to turn away from the compartment window

does not matter, only make certain you see

the rags of the beggarman’s coat

before you choose to sit again.

 

And even if there might be no passengers

waiting in little heaps of luggage when you look

make certain you see

the migrant worker with his blankets

as well as the smiling policeman,

the veiled widow as well as the girl

the trainee soldiers whistle at, otherwise

you have not passed that way at all.

 

And if it is midday in December

with a light so fierce

all the shapes of things tremble and quiver

make certain you see

the shades of those who once lived there,

squatting in the cool of the blue-gum tree

at ease in the fellowship of the after-death.

 

And if you ever pass through Cookhouse Station

make certain that you greet those shades well

otherwise

you have not passed that way at all.

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