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Bodmin railway man inspires Seth Lakeman song

By CG_Oscar  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

Sethrailweb

Seth Lakeman and Tony Hallworth in the ban of a tank engine with Trevor Knight from the railway

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Folk singer Seth Lakeman has penned a song based on the working life of a long serving railway man from St Mabyn.

The Last Rider is included on his new album Word of Mouth, released next month, and is based on conversations he had with Tony Hallworth, who is still driving trains 54 years after starting his career with British Railways.

Mr Hallworth was 17 when he started working for the railway in Wadebridge in 1960.

He is now a volunteer driver and fireman on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway which runs passenger trains along the scenic six and a half mile branch line between Bodmin Parkway and Boscarne Junction.

Word of Mouth features songs about every day people, and Last Rider was inspired when the singer-songwriter visited Bodmin General Station to meet Mr Hallworth.

“He said about the song: “I think Seth went around talking to a few people like farmers and miners about the lives as well as myself.

“He wanted to know about my time on the railway and now he’s apparently turned it into a song, although I’ve not heard it yet.’’

Mr Hallworth volunteers to drive or fire steam locomotives for the Bodmin and Wenford Railway Company about four times a month and also does the same job for another heritage railway at Swanage in Dorset.

He said: “ To me, working with locomotives has always been a vocation, it’s all I ever wanted to do.

“I love driving trains and I still like to keep my hand in with the shovel, because I still like being a fireman too - it’s in the blood.’’

Word of Mouth is released on February 3.

Seth Lakeman will be showcasing his new album in concerts at Exeter Cathedral on Friday, February 7, and at Truro Cathedral on Saturday February 8.

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