The Clifton Jocks Railway

In 1893 a railway built exclusively for the use of stone like objects residing in BS8 opened. It was called The Clifton Rocks Railway. In its first week, no rocks whatsoever used this new mode of transport. However the owner, Agamemnon Farnsworth did not panic. He was made of stronger stuff…unfortunately not strong enough to be classified as a rock and become its first passenger. It was not until early in 1894 that it did attract its premier customer. Mr Freddie Yard, who was into recreational drugs was issued with a ticket upon payment for another trip when he was stoned. It was the that he realised his mistake. He thought he was buying a ticket for the Clifton Rocks Reggae.

By 1942, despite a widespread leaflet drop in local quarries and the beach at Clevedon, no further passengers had used the railway. Then it was announced that Bristol’s own Hollywood film star Carry Grant was intending to bring his new bride, the heiress Barbara Hutton, to Clifton for their honeymoon. Shares in the Clifton Rocks Railway soared as publicity photographs of the couple revealed that Barbara Hutton had so many rocks adorning her fingers that Mountain Rescue needed to be on stand-by whenever she had a manicure. But fate intervened. Some of the advertising leaflets must have drifted out into the cosmos because a meteorite landed near the Clifton Rocks Railway ticket office causing several deaths which were covered up for years; but this was because it was wartime and the City Council did not possess the funds to finance the multiple cranes and drills required to uncover them. It was decided to no longer attract rocks to Clifton.

An enterprising businessman called George Tremor considered it a shame with all the infrastructure in place, not to re-open the railway. By simply changing one letter it became a mode of transport exclusively for the use of Scottish people in BS8. Thus the Clifton Jocks Railway was born. Tremor argued that although there were less Scots than rocks in the world, the Scots were more mobile. Then he seen a newsreel at the Odeon of the Scottish defence being torn apart by Stanley Matthews at Wembley and began to express doubts.

The Clifton Jocks Railway was opened on November 30th, 1947 by the Highland Games dancing champion Maggie McWeen. She told reporters that she was flattered by the experience. She then dodged out of he way of a caber tossed by Jock McTavish, so narrowly avoided being flattened by the experience too.

Champion cable tosser McTavish was peeved that he had not been selected to open the railway. In revenge he terrorized passengers with random acts of caber tossing for the next two years. As a mobile missile launcher it was difficult to take him out with a tactical strike. But as a Scot it was easy to take him out for the night, as long as you were paying. The only indication that the Clifton Jocks Railway received of an imminent strike was when telegraph poles went missing. Bristolians were advised to report any incidents where it suddenly went silent if they were on the phone to anyone in Clifton. But as the residents of Knowle West pointed out, whenever they phoned anyone in Clifton and stated that they were from Knowle West it usually went silent anyway.

Jock McTavish was finally stopped when all the poles were greased in Clifton. This was bad news for Wychechz Kilmanski of Goldney Road as he became addicted to massage parlours thereafter.

It seemed the Jocks Railway would now flourish, but a series of unfortunate incidents led to its closure. The first occurred on Burns’ Night in 1949 when a passenger’s handbag was half-eaten by staff after they had mistaken it for a haggis. Then a Clifton lady was left in severe pain near the track for three days after she was hit by a Jocks Railway engine. Her agonised cries went unheeded because the nearby residents thought it was the stationmaster playing his bagpipes. Finally the tartan livery which adorned Jocks Railway carriages was considered responsible for a dramatic rise in obesity amongst train spotters, as they became addicted to shortcake biscuits.


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