A Day out in Carlisle

Yesterday, we set off on one of our day excursions along the fantastic Settle/Carlisle railway line and pulled by a steam engine. The train arrived at Leeds on time and we set off on one of the most picturesque train rides in the entire country, which takes in some breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales and crosses the famous Ribblevalley Viaduct.  We were being pulled by Black number 44932 an engine that we have never travelled behind previously. My brother (who is as enthusiastic about trains as I am) were travelling with us as they have never been on an excursion before.

Waiting for the train on Platform 12

SmileyWhere is the train?

Here we are all patiently waiting on Platform 12 for our excursion train to arrive.

Stretching our legs at Appleby

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Steam trains have to take on water, and our first water stop was at Appleby.

Enjoying ice cream

Here we had a good fifteen minutes to stretch our legs and enjoy an ice cream from a lady who was selling them on the platform.

Black no 44932 in Carlisle

The first chance I had to take a good shot of the engine was when we finally arrived in Carlisle and all the other passengers had departed! Everyone wants to take a good photo of the engine, everyone wants their photo taken in the cab, its not easy to get a clear shot of a steam engine with no one else on it.

Unfortunately we didn’t have long in Carlisle and so couldn’t visit the castle, so we had a walk around the shopping precinct there, we were shot at by two storm troopers on the way, and then we sat out in the glorious sunshine and enjoyed a Costa coffee (and some hot chocolate with marshmallows in Kerri’s case and Terry’s case.

Stormtroopers in Carlisle

Carlisle

Heading our way!

Kerri happily joined in with all the theatricals by getting out her invisible lightsaber and attacking them both. (Always the actress!)

We made our way to the Lane’s Shopping Centre where I took a shot of these attractive coloured lights in the roof, and also one of a very interesting statue at one of the shopping junctions. Shopping centre’s like this one will in my view be the only savour of our towns to counteract the threat from out of town supermarkets, plus they are ideal if the weather is bad as they are covered.

Shopping Centre in Carlisle

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It was a real pity that we hadn’t time to take in the Castle but we made up for it by sitting outside a Costa coffee shop and enjoying both a cappuccino (in my case) and the gorgeous warm sunshine.

Here for your enjoyment I’ve placed all of the shots I took with my camera and phone into a photo album. Click on it to view it as a slideshow.

Enjoy.

Technogran

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A damp and dismal day out at NYMR.

On Thursday, my brother and my sister in law kindly took Kerri and myself for a days experience on the North Yorkshire Moors railway. Like me, he too is a big steam train fan and has been since being a boy when my Mum and Dad bought him an electric train set. Of course, I used to play with it as much as he did!  It was a quite a journey to our destination and most of the way, we had to contend with lot’s of spray from the other vehicles because of the constant rain.

Eventually we arrived at Pickering where my brother parked the car and we waited to board the train. It was being pulled by the Cock O’ the North today, and there was a lot of engine shunting, reversing etc. to watch prior to climbing onto the train. My brother and sister in law had brought their dog Willam and it was his first taste of journeying on a train. To say that it was all new to him, the whistles, the creaks and groans from the carriage we were sitting in, and movement, clatters and bumps, he behaved really well and didn’t seem fazed at all by any of it.

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I was also very pleased that we were travelling in the old ‘corridor down the side’ type carriages featured in the Harry Potter films. Whenever we go on our train excursions, their carriages tend to be the seats down either side with a central aisle type. It brought back memories of our holidays at Skegness where we used to journey from Leeds in these type of carriages.

Our first leg was from Pickering to Goathland where we disembarked and spent some time visiting the shops and areas where ‘Heartbeat’ is filmed. I couldn’t get over how sheep were just wandering around the village!  Willam just ignored them. It was pouring down with rain, and it was a very welcome but short respite to enter some of the gift shops. I found the obligatory fridge magnet and Kerri bought a pen as her souvenir. We made our way back to the station and enjoyed a coffee and hot chocolate (in Kerri’s case) in the station cafe as we waited for our train. Unfortunately for some strange reason, the station cafe did not allow dogs inside, so my brother had to wait outside in the pouring rain with Willam, who by now, was beginning to look very bedraggled. He couldn’t have been any wetter if he had been swimming for an hour in a river.

Sir Nige Gresley

We had time to go and have a quick look at the engine sheds before our train was due to depart, where I was quite surprised to see Sir Nigel Gresley was in for some kind of overhaul. I was also pleased to note there were plenty of young men working on maintaining the engines there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a really good shot of Sir Nigel as from the observation platform you could only spot the top of him as another engine was blocking the view.  We quickly made our way back to the station platform to board our train to Pickering. You may remember that on our visit to Railfest recently, we actually boarded Sir Nigel who was in steam for a close peek at the workings on the footplate.

On this next leg of our journey, we were sat in the familiar carriages that tend to be used on our day excursions that we often go on. We were now travelling to Grosmont for the last leg of our journey.  It would have been so enjoyable had the weather been kinder, as the views on either side of the track was stunning.  Arriving at Grosmont, and in a vain hope that we might get chance to dry out somewhat, we paid a visit to the Station Tavern for an very enjoyable lunch.  Here Willam was made quite a fuss of by the other people enjoying a meal there, and he enjoyed all of the attention he was getting. From there, we retraced our steps back to Grosmont railway station in order to make our return journey back to Pickering.

This time, we were lucky to get a carriage all to ourselves, and one without a square wheel into the bargain! In fact during our return journey, both Willam and Kerri had a sleep so that proves how confortable the ride was. It was just a shame that the weather let us down, it doesn’t matter how outstanding the scenery is, or how interesting the venues visited, if you are soaking wet through it puts a damper on the enjoyment. Nevertheless, I was in my element and enjoyed seeing so many steam engines actually running and doing a job, being used to ferry tourists and passengers up and down a very interesting line from Pickering to Whitby that probably would otherwise have been closed, and kudos to all those volunteers and hard working people who work so hard to make it all a going concern.

Enjoy the many rather damp shots I took of the whole proceedings in my photo album and also enjoy the NYMR video and If you ever find yourself in Yorkshire, do take the time to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, its an experience to remember.  

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

 

TG

A Day out in York, the Railway Museum.

Yesterday we went to York. My all time favourite City and the only one I would ever consider moving to. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, our journey there and back enjoyable, K bought the usual obligatory t-shirt of the Flying Scotsman from the Railway Museum so she was happy, I resisted the temptation to buy yet another fridge magnet so I was pleased that I still have some willpower left, we enjoyed a Caesar salad for lunch and two, yes two ice creams in the midday sun, we discovered the Treasurer’s House tucked behind the Minster, and I took some fabulous pictures of it all, so here they are the best of the bunch for you all to enjoy!

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Train Withdrawal.

Had the weather been brighter, and had I been feeling up to it, we would have been scooting off today to York to have a look around the railway museum, and hopefully catch a sight of my all time favourite steam train, the Flying Scotsman. Because of bad timing i.e returning home from our holiday, we missed the exhibition where the Flying Scotsman was on the turntable resplendent in black ‘wartime’ livery. I suppose we could have set off home earlier, jumped off the train at York, seen the exhibition, and then caught a later train home, but that would have entailed us dragging our suitcase around the railway museum.

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Illustrating ‘Me’

If any of my readers happened to be loitering around my blog during this last week or so, they might have been annoyed to see countless changes taking place right before their eyes. I’ve been vainly trying to find a new header and background for both of my ‘diary’ blogs over here and on Blogger. It hasn’t really been successful because I have arrived at the conclusion that I have set myself an impossible task. To try and find a header or background that illustrated me as a person and what I am all about, not easy when I am not sure who I am myself! I’m still not fully happy with the current choice. It does reflect one of my great passions of course, steam trains, and the very mysterious dark figure loitering at the kiosk hints at my love of mysteries.

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