Friday, 25 April 2014

Short Stay

Just back from an Easter holiday in Pickering...

with its special delights for the preserved railway enthusiast and angler. As before, we stayed at High Mill

but this time my three daughters and their partners were with us - so we had the excuse we needed to stay in the big house. Readers of this blog will remember that High Mill actually forms part of the boundary of the North York Moors Railway.

As usual, after satisfying the XYL's appetite to watch seabirds at the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs, there were flocks of locomotives to be seen and, indeed, heard (the pretty Kitson built 0-6-2T loco that started its working life at Lambton colliery and wears number 29 has a lovely, mellow whistle). 

Having reveled in the grandeur of Sir Nigel Gresley last visit, it was nice to see the little Fowler 3F "Jinty" this time...

There was also a brace of Black Fives marching around - 44871 is seen seen here bringing "The Moors Explorer" into Pickering, taken from the garden of High Mill...

Later in the week, the same loco was to haul "The Yorkshire Coast Express" with me on board all the way to Whitby. It does run in Yorkshire. It does go to the Coast. I didn't notice anything particularly "Express" about it, though!

I took this little video of High Mill from the first carriage behind 44871 as we pulled out of Pickering - you can see what a great place it is, with its long garden and rooms offering outstanding views of the railway...

After pulling past the trout lake and the (now defunct) trout farm, the train soon reaches New Bridge, were the driver swaps single line working tokens with the signal man who comes down from his box to make this exchange. The levers at the New Bridge Signal Box control all the action at the Pickering end of the line...

Talking of signals (how about THAT for a link!) I took no radio gear this time, remembering the QRM I experienced during my last visit. 

High Mill owner, Mike, who had explained how both he and his wife Cheryl had enjoyed careers as Radio Ops, remembered my radio interests and dug out some photos of operator desks at GKA and GKZ, which I copied. Some parts of these copies are reproduced in the montage below...

The colour image (top left) shows Portishead, GKA, on the day of its closure (30/04/00). Mike visited on that day in his rather colourful cycling gear - so I've cropped the image to respect his privacy!

Much of my "train spotting" in Pickering is conducted from the viewpoint of the previously mentioned trout lake - where I spend a couple of hours every morning before breakfast and every early evening. This Easter I landed a total of 233 trout - the best ran to something around 5 pounds - nowhere near as big as the leviathans I have captured on previous visits, but great fun none the less and a great total given the time of year.

Another great time in Pickering - thanks to Paula at the trout lake, thanks to the NYMR and thanks to the hospitality of Mike and Cheryl Potter of the wonderful High Mill, Pickering.

All too Short a Stay!

...-.- de m0xpd

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