Buses, bears and pumping engines

6 May 2006: the Abbey Pumping Station is in Leicester, a local authority museum based around a Victorian steam-powered sewage-pumping facility. They’ve constructed a 2′ gauge railway around the grounds, and Leonard, a little Bagnall dating from 1919, would be in operation on this occasion (for a full report on Leonard’s activities, visit “Leonard at Leicester” on Geoff’s Rail Diaries). There were other exhibits, including couple of old buses which seemed to be operated by, and for, some rather large bears. Next door, there’s a spaceship (really!). All good fun, and interesting too. Must go again one day…

Abbey Pumping Station



26 April 2009: a visit to the museum of buildings near Bromsgrove, which is much more interesting than it sounds! One of those places we’d intended to go to for several years.
Afterwards, we appear to have driven on to Evesham, where five years and a day after the visit posted yesterday, we had another brief look at the railway. The locomotive in use on this occasion was “John”, built in 1921 for the Rhyl Miniature Railway

Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings

12 April – 2007 and 2009

2007: A day trip to north Wales. We thought we ought to visit Llandudno, for a trip on the cable-hauled Great Orme tramway (taking the tram up, then walking back down again). While we were up, so to speak, we thought we could go down the mine – the remarkable bronze-age copper mine, all the more noteworthy for being open to the public. We finished our day with a brief visit to Penrhyn Castle, where we just had time to look at the wonderful collection of ancient industrial steam locomotives.

2009: Another great Skye day, with an outing to the coral beach beyond Dunvegan. Later in the day, a clear sunny evening was perfect for a walk along the road to enjoy the warm light and the sunset behind the Western Isles.

From Princes Street to Wallgate Street

Busy days!
Saturday 16 November: off to Edinburgh, on the train from Crewe.
Sunday: an ice-cold start on the Forth’s shore at Newhaven and Leith, then up Leith Walk (on foot, of course) for a brief spot of tourism in Edinburgh’s old town.
Monday: another frosty morning. This time we’ll use the old railway track to Scotland Street, and we’ll visit Calton Hill and the National Museum of Scotland. A full day wouldn’t have done justice to the museum, and we’ve only got a couple of hours before our train for home.
Tuesday: a day off, and an hour or so of fresh air down by the Severn, where the bridge is looking good in the late-afternoon light.
Wednesday: away at the crack of dawn for a rail exploration of parts of Lancashire, which doesn’t quite go according to plan. We miss a train in unexpected fashion in Wigan, before finding ourselves (briefly) in Blackburn and Clitheroe.
(further photographic exploration to follow)