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Monday, 17 May 2010

Ticket To Ride

Saturday was lovely so we set off to the North York Moors to take part in the "Spring Steam Gala".

The engines have names like Nigel Gresley and Eric Treacey and so must be male, and men talk knowledgeably about what number they are and how many times they have ridden them and where!!! I wonder if the carriages are female. There were women around but they seemed to be carrying the sandwiches.
Here's an engine but I've no idea which one. We drove to Grosmont in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and bought a rover-return ticket to Pickering. This allowed us to get on and off at the three stations in between.
A small train came in, heading for Goathland, the village used for the TV series "Heartbeat" and also the station used in a Harry Potter movie. I managed to grab this armchair at the front of the saloon in the teak-built carriage. We had a wander round the pretty village of Goathland where most of the buildings are still labelled as if they were in Aidensfield and blue and white Ford Anglias all claim to be the original police car used in the series. Then we caught another train to Pickering. We wandered round the town and had a very delicious, haddock and chips in a comfortable pub.
Then we sauntered back to the station for the return train to Grosmont.
There were none!
There was a brushwood fire on the line (probably started by a spark from the steam engine which drew our carriages into Pickering) and the fire brigade had closed the line. That meant that an awful lot of people were at the wrong ends of the railway line as their day out came to a worrying end, including us. They gathered on the platform at Pickering where immensely good humoured, polite and informative staff, got taxis for families with young ones, and tried to rally bus drivers out of their armchairs where they were happily watching the football Grand Final between Chelsea and Portsmouth, in order to come and transport the rest of us. They didn't have much luck with that and with a couple of hours or more looming between then and the likelihood of fit people with no kids getting on a coach, we decided to take action.

We walked across town to catch the Coastliner. This is a grand double-decker which travels hourly across the moors from Leeds to Whitby. We had our bus passes and enjoyed a friendly and stunningly beautiful ride as far as Goathland with some other ex-train-riders. The bus didn't go to Grosmont, so we walked the three and a half miles down the old wagonway to Grosmont from Goathland.

It was a beautiful walk and we got back to the car in the early evening and drove home over the Moors to a sausage sandwich supper. Quite an adventure via car, train, bus, foot and car again for the eleven hours we were out.

We were up early yesterday for a walk in the Bellburn woods up the road, to see the bluebells and then picnic in the Bishop's Palace Deer Shelter. Today was less eventful. My car broke down and we went to Wickes to see about a new kitchen. It's kitchen sale time and the one we want comes with a "free" dishwasher. Makes up for the cost of the new parts for the car.
Cheers Gillian

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