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Railways and Demos, Ipswich, London and Cambridge - 23rd February 2013

The no-man's-land inbetween railway tracks and the rest of the normal world is something of a perennial favourite: big old-school engineering mixed with rust, gentle decay and seedy dereliction. In some ways, this strange limbo zone provides something of a window into the soul of a country. Thus, the twice-a-week commute in and out of London provides an occasional diversion where the passing of time is marked, over the weeks, by the coming and going of graffiti or the occasional violent destruction of a trackside building (currently the old Marconi building in Chelmsford and several derelict warehouses on the outskirts of Ipswich are under the cosh of the destructor). It's also where a simmering under-the-radar war is waged between graffiti taggers and The Man, especially along the tracks between Bethnal Green and Liverpool Street Station, where the brick walls were all sprayed a uniform dark brown just before the outbreak of the Olympics, and where new spots of silver-sprayed graffiti are re-appearing like the tentative first flowers of spring. Later, in Cambridge - after dropping off Isobel, Fred and Harry at a birthday party in Linton - Nosher strikes lucky with another of those photographers' pots of gold - a demonstration. This time, it's like being at polytechnic again as a broad coalition of students, trades unions and socialist workers are parading in an anti-fascist march along Mill Road. As well as colourful flags, there are even free samosas.

next album: March Un-Madness: Bressingham Winter Gardens and More Trains, Norfolk and London - 6th March 2013
previous album: Music at Amandines and a High Lodge Bike Ride, Diss and Brandon - 17th February 2013

A digger with a massive pneumatic jack-hammer gets to work on the Bacon Factory outside Ipswich

The mechanical destruction of the old Bacon Factory proceeds quickly

A weird looking goods train - a class 70 diesel - at Ipswich

One of hundreds of Class 66 goods locos milling around Ipswich

A sad-looking Freightliner Class 90 - the same sort of engine that pulls Nosher's train, and some discarded tracks

In Cambridge, rozzers block off the Mill Road and Gwydir Street junction

There's a big police presence, as elsewhere in Cambridge there's an EDL march taking place

The massed marchers are stopped on Gwydir Street

The marchers are released on to Mill Road

Massed placards

Mill Road action

The Muslim Council of Cambridgeshire joins the fray

Rainbow flags

Norwich Trades Union representation

The demonstrators head on down Mill Road, followed more more police

A placard is left in a bin

Another favourite: the unfeasably old-school 'H Gee' of Mill Road

The legendary Al-Amin Stores, Mill Road

Back home, Pippa is looking after the bar in The Swan for a night

Back in Bethnal Green: random trackside huts, and a tree growing up through the overhead pylon gantry

A gloomy Bethnal Green

There's still quite a bit of track with wooden sleepers from the 1960s under it

Tracks are nicely reflected in the side of the train

'City of Paranoia' graffiti, from Hack Doktor

More silver graffiti (silver is definitely the New Black for graffiti taggers)

The subterranean entrance to Liverpool Street station.

A stunning sunset sky, as seen on the cycle home at the Stuston 'S' bends, looking towards Thrandeston

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A digger with a massive pneumatic jack-hammer gets to work on the Bacon Factory outside Ipswich