The Triumphal Arch

The Plym Valley Station at Marsh Mills was busy as it was Christmas Eve after all.  People with children in tow hurried along the platform to alight the Santa Special which was due to depart for Plymbridge Platform in a few minutes. Dusk was giving way to the darkness of the night. This was wonderful to see the excited passengers enjoying the decorations on the train and for a chance to see Father Christmas before he set out to deliver presents to children throughout the world.

Amongst the crowd were Lilly and Ross, who were looking forward to the short train ride along the side of the river Plym. The old steam engine at the front of the train gave a toot on its whistle and the train started to move.

Lilly and Ross boarded the train and found two empty seats that were together. Lilly turned to Ross and said “Rather than come back on the train, why don’t we get off at Plymbridge Platform and walk up the lane to Boringdon Park Golf Club for a drink?” “Sounds good to me” replied Ross.

Within a short time they came to a halt at Plymbridge Platform where the two departed the train. 

“Well that’s it then, we might as well get walking”. The couple slowly made their way up the hill toward the Bridge.

As they were walking up the hill toward the Bridge that led to the Lane, Lilly exclaimed “Crumbs, it is certainly dark down here along the Bridge”.  Indeed it was. The woodland that surrounded the bridge was most strange in the late dusk as the heavy late foliage and tree branches were very dense and scattered, making it seem very dark and eire.   The sound of the river flowing  beneath the bridge was quite rapid and loud, as was the whistle on the Steam Engine giving another toot as it started to make its way back to the Plym Valley Station.

After 15 minutes or so walking along the path, the couple emerged from the tree covered lane and continued towards the golf club. The sky was clear and hosted millions of stars that brightened the eve.  Walking across the golf links on a cold clear night was beautiful and the sound of cold crunching grass beneath their feet was breath-taking.

 “Look” said Lilly.  She pointed to one star that was much brighter than the others. “Yes” replied Ross. “I don’t think that is a star, it is the planet Venus. They call it the morning and evening star even though it is really a planet”. Lilly was impressed with this knowledge. “It certainly is much brighter than the others”.

Ross stopped suddenly and gazed into the near distance. “What is that over there?” he pointed to an Arch at the end of the woodland on the right hand side.  Just visible in the darkness, was indeed an Arch.  “Funny place to put an Arch, but let’s continue on to the Club House as it’s cold out here”.

The couple entered the clubhouse and made their way to the lounge where a party was in progress. The crowd was being entertained by a Cabaret act. It was most unusual for this time of year as it was the Christmas season.  The two dancers were giving a version of the Sand Dance. Indeed it was possibly the funniest Cabaret show seen at the club. The two dancers continued the dance after depositing some sand on the dance floor. Not a smile was given by the dancers during the whole performance, which contributed to the fun of it all.

“Hello, can I help” a warm greeting was given by the hostess.

“Yes, could we stay for a drink?” replied Ross.

“Of course, come this way” the hostess ushered them to an available table next to the window.

“Thank you” replied Ross and proceeded to order a drink. When the waitress arrived with the drinks, Ross enquired who the Cabaret team were.  The waitress smiled “I think they come from Cornwall, they are very funny”.

For all in the Lounge, an enjoyable evening followed.  Glancing out the window the Arch could be seen looking in from across the golf course.

With the singing of carols late into the evening, lights dimmed as the recorded chimes of Big Ben heralded in Christmas Day.

“WOW,  look at that” shouted Lilly looking out the window at the Arch.

Venus the star was right above the old Arch. As the crowd looked on, the Arch began to shine brightly with sparkling colours. The party goers made their way outside into the car park to watch the light show. The Arch then became surrounded with every colour of the rainbow and as if from nowhere images of angels appeared, filling the sky.

An enormous feeling of love surrounded all who stood and watched. The Venus star grew brighter and the sky was filled with feelings of love to the world on this special day.

Then with a fanfare of trumpets, the images began to fade and gradually disappeared leaving again the stillness of the night.

Such excitement embraced the assembled crowd. Some even thought that they had seen deceased family members who had come to give their love.

The show was of course like the Arch, just there.

By Ray Steed

Edited by Sandi McConnell – Canada

Copyright Ray Steed 2019