Thursday, 31 March 2016

Chasing the Flying Scotsman

After our weekend away in London, the following weekend saw us down in Cornwall, so we had planned that the weekend before Easter would be a quite one. Note the phrase 'would be a quiet one' which translated into 'was a busy one'. We spent the Friday with friends in Skegness, which was true to it's poster - bracing!

So after that I had planned nothing - the weekend could stretch out in a very lazy way. That was until on Saturday afternoon I was asked if I would like another day out. 'Where?' was my reply 'Well I've just realised that tomorrow is the last day the Flying Scotsman is on the North York Moors railway and we've not been to see it'. You may remember I have a husband who was an avid train spotter in his youth and who can't go near to a steam railway without visiting it and taking the odd (?) picture. I have many fond memories of the North York Moors, Pickering and especially Levishan where not only did we spend our honeymoon there, but last year Becky, Charlotte and I went up there to Cheryl-Ann Taylor where both Becky and Charlotte had head dresses designed for their weddings. Taking all this into consideration, along with the fact the David would be so disappointed not to see it in full steam I agreed. We would need an early start as David expected that the train would be housed at Pickering, so if we got there early we would see it being brought out and steamed up. The alarm was set and an early start we had (made even earlier by putting together a picnic before we left). We got there in good time and had no trouble parking by the station in Pickering. It was as we got to the station we found out that it would be coming down from Goathland so there would be a wait. Enough time for a welcome coffee in the station's tea garden. As more people arrived we joined them on the platform

 and then came the announcement. 'There is a slight problem and the Flying Scotsman will be 10 minutes late' - not so bad you may think, but that 10 minutes turned into 1 hour and 10 minutes. It seems there was a problem with the brakes so another train was attached to help. Finally it arrived

We have many, many pictures but some of you may already be yawning so they are saved for David to enjoy.
Not content to see it in Pickering it was suggested that we might go up to Levisham and then down to the station to watch it go through later in the day so that's what we did. Levisham is a lovely village but the approach is by going through Lockton, right down into the valley and up a VERY steep hill. At the top is the village stretching up to the pub.

To get to the station you go passed the pub and wind down the hill into the bottom of the valley

It's a very pretty, well kept station and generally quiet, although on this occasion there were others with the same idea as us. Another hour passed which was spent chatting to enthusiasts, looking at different exhibitions and memorabilia until the time came for us to take our places again. I was detailed to video it on David's phone whilst he took more pictures. I didn't do a very good job of the video but he managed the pictures

It came and went quickly, but I had one happy husband! 

Monday, 21 March 2016

London - Part 4, the final one

You're almost at the end, I thought writing in installments was a good idea and bearing in mind how long it's taken me to write I think it was a good idea.
Sunday and we parked back on the driveway (still only £6-30) and went straight to meet Jonathan at Old Street tube station as we were going to Columbia Road flower market . However this caught our eye on our way there

and we stopped for coffee

it was very good.
Being Mother's Day the market was even busier than usual and you were rather taken along by the crowd with little chance to stop and look.

Once out of the main drag we were able to take in our surroundings better and a side road opened into this

Our next stop was

busy but nothing like the flower market. A real variety of stalls, many selling street food

 We loved the coffee seller

Further along we came to the old Truman's brewery building 

following our noses we went through the main door and were greeted with this

so it would have been rude not to have sampled some

From there, more walking brought us to Spittlefields Market

so a walk through there, stopping to look and laugh at some of the tshirt logos and we were on our way again. 

 I have no idea where we walked but we ended up at Liverpool Street station where we got the tube to what was by the time we arrived a very wet Marble Arch

By this time I was rather losing the will to live, the weekend had caught up with me so we decided to call it a day (or a weekend) and say goodbye to Jonathan go back to the caravan.
We really made the most of our time there and with the site fees at under £16 night (out of season) and £6-30/day parking + max £7-50 tube fares/day I think we got a bargin.