No fog on the Tyne

Not a trace! We had a clear blue sky from dawn to dusk, a perfect day for this lengthy day out on Monday 14 May. We travelled by rail to Newcastle Central, then took the Metro out to the coast, stopping at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth stations. A fine fish and chip lunch (al fresco) kept us going for the rest of the day – the trip back to Newcastle, a quick look at Earl Grey and his street, and the journey home.

Most of the rail-related photos are on Geoff’s Rail Diaries – visit “A Tyneside trip“.

A Tyneside trip

It’s a long way from Shropshire to Newcastle (upon Tyne, that is). The train from Manchester takes just under two and a half hours for the 150-mile journey, but first we’ve got to get to Manchester. At Newcastle, we’ll take a Metro ride to Tynemouth (and its magnificent railway station). Fish and chips, eaten on the wall overlooking the North Sea, will keep us going for the rest of the day. We’ll even get a glimpse of Newcastle’s Grey Street before heading for home. It’s an early start and a late return, but on a day of cloudless blue skies, this is truly a grand day out. More to follow – this is just a taster…

45212: the Great Britain XI

No, not a football team – it’s the eleventh year this round Britain tour has run. Today the train passed through Shropshire (eventually – it was nearly two and a half hours late, as a result of signalling problems further north), heading for Cardiff via the Central Wales line. As I write this, the train is still moving (I hope) after further delays – it’s due to arrive at about 9.45pm. There are (two) more photos and video on “Geoff’s Rail Diaries” – visit “GBXI: 45212” – now!

It’s never dull at Statfold

Even when the weather is gloomy… Today was the first of this year’s open days at the Statfold Barn Railway. The March event can be really great for photography if the sun shines – but apart from a few minutes when the sky was (partially) blue and the sun shone, the weather was unremittingly dull. At least it didn’t rain. There was plenty of interest, and lots going on – and a real eye-opener in Oak Tree shed. A “Rail Diaries” page will appear tomorrow or Monday – in the meantime, here’s a taster.

Rhubarb and Spanish

Wednesday 21 March: If, as a child, I’d had a threepenny bit (3d, that is, not 3p) to spend on sweets, there was a fair chance that the selection purchased would include a piece of “Spanish”. That’s what we called liquorice, and though its origins might well have been Iberian, the sweets were probably made in or around Pontefract. Just a little way to the west is Wakefield and the “Rhubarb Triangle”, still notable for its forced rhubarb. Today, armed with Northern Rail day rover tickets, we’ll be travelling around the area of rhubarb and Spanish. It’s a “Rail Diaries” outing – a web page will follow shortly…