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. 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.
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.