IT seems almost inconceivable to talk about a futuristic, transportation system in the past tense, but as Jack Room's school project report in last week's Bugle about the ghost station at the Merry Hill Shopping Centre revealed, it has been 18 years since the monorail was shunted into history.
The story has sparked a great deal of interest. An immediate response to the article came from Anthony and Kathleen Page who came into Bugle House with a collection of photographs. Kathleen told us, "My son David and I were keen photographers and the monorail was a favourite subject of ours when it was in operation. Luckily the train never went very fast so all the photos are pretty sharp."
Kathleen's photos were taken in the summer of 1990, making them an incredible 24 years old. She added, "David and I also caught the train several times and the ghost station in the article brought back a lot of memories. I suppose it was ahead of its time, and I know the technical problems that plagued it put many people off from using it in the end. But if it was still running today I'm sure it would bring a terrific amount of pleasure to railway enthusiasts, but especially children, a sort of sky ride in the clouds for the youngsters."
For the younger generation of today the monorail is the equivalent of the steam engines for anyone born after the mid 1960s. Sadly it now belongs in the annals of local history, a phase of space age travel the likes of which the Black Country may never see again. The Metro runs it a close second, but as far as reaching for the stars the monorail stands on its own.
Your memories of the monorail, especially if you were a youngster at the time, would be most welcome. Call 01384 567678. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org