Wednesday, 5 November 2014

East Lancs Railway Steam Gala and Cromer

Well we collected the caravan straight from storage and drove straight to Burrs Country Park CC site in Bury. Made good time up the M5 and M6 arriving on the site at about 3.30. We were able to set up on pitch 67, which meant we had a good view of the East Lancs Railway line.   We were soon entertained by class A4 Union of South Africa, taking part in a photographic run on the line by the campsite.
Robert and Cathy came down to see us after tea.

The following day we went up into the hills and rediscovered an antique  centre and coffee shop that we had found once before.  We drove back through Rochdale and visited Dunelm Mill where we purchased a linen basket for the caravan.

On the Friday we spent many hours wandering round Bury market, buying a few odds and ends for Christmas.  In the evening we went out with Cathy and Rob to the Grey Mare at Belthorn where we enjoyed an excellent meal.

Robert and Cathy joined us for a full English breakfast and on the Saturday, and we watched the early steam trains. Robert and I then went up to Bury station and spent a few hours going up and down the line behind various steam engines. The trains were getting progressively later as the day went on. Just like the old British Rail. Anyway here follows quite a few photographs of the steam gala.

This little industrial engine was built in Bristol

We came back at about 3.00pm, on the vintage bus service.

At 6.00pm all four of us went back to the Railway, armed with a superb picnic dinner prepared by Robert. We boarded the train, double headed by A4's Union of South Africa and Sir Nigel Gresley for an evening ride covering the whole length of the line.  It was a shame that it was too dark for photographs.

On the Sunday we had a relatively quiet day, joining Robert and Cathy for a late Sunday lunch.
  During the morning I had taken the awning down as it had nearly blown inside out in the very strong winds.

We departed for Wagtail Country park near Grantham on Monday morning, arriving there at about 3.00pm after a very windy drive down.We had chosen a route that did not use motorways so we had no problem with the winds.  The site was absolutely lovely, as all the pitches were round a lake.

Next day, as we were clearing up to move on the jockey wheel fell apart as we hitched up!  I just piled the bits in the boot, hoping to get it sorted out when we got to the next site. However as we were tootling along we came across a small caravan dealers, Donnington Caravans Sleaford, so I popped in and they sorted it out for me in just a few minutes.

We soon arrived at Incleboro Fields CC site, just outside Cromer.
We had a good pitch, quite high up overlooking the sea. we delayed putting the awning up as it was blowing a gale.

Next day we popped into Cromer for Coffee and a little shopping then came back and put the awning up.
Cromer pier

Sherringham was our destination the next day for coffee, and to look at the North Norfolk Railway.
Diesel Rail Car, North Norfolk Railway

 We liked Sherringham and decided to come back to visit  again as there were some nice shops for doing some Christmas shopping.
We realised that the battery charger on the caravan was not working, so I rang Tony at Chipping Sodbury Caravans. He explained where it was and how to find it. I went and bought a new one from a caravan dealers just down the road, for which I will be reimbursed, and quickly fitted it!  All returned to normal.

The following day we drove along the coast through Cromer, thoroughly enjoying the scenery. We stopped at a pub for coffee, and sat in the garden where we could look out over the sea.
As we went along we drove through a huge plant where oil and gas were bought ashore. There were loads of Police cars parked up.   On the way back Lizzie took photos of it and unfortunately the Police saw Lizzie doing it. They followed us and Lizzie was asked  to delete the photos as they were worried that we might have been terrorists!

Coastal pictures!
There were plenty of Windmills about.

This was a Radar Station that we passed.

Happisburgh Lighthouse

We decided next day to drive down to Wroxham, called the capital of the Broads. It was a very busy place and virtually every shop was called Roy's.
The view from the bridge in Wroxham

We had a look round and then decided to drive through the Northern Broads.  Unfortunately virtually nowhere did the roads go along the edge of the water.
We cut our losses and drove out to the coast, where we went through one very commercialised place, ( we think it was called Caister on Sea)  and then lots of very pretty places and some superb beaches.

Sunday was a day of rest. the weather was good, so we enjoyed the sea views. We found this super church though when we popped out for coffee.

Beeston Regis Church

On Monday we went back to Sherringham and spent a couple of hours doing some Christmas shopping.
The train from Sherringham to Norfolk. Notice the strange rail joint. This is because the main line links with the Norfolk railway here.

We departed the site on Tuesday at about 11.00am, heading for Ashridge Farm CC , which is near Baldock. This is a really small, site only 40 pitches.  We were only stopping there as we wanted to visit the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
On the Wednesday we just had a short trip round the area, but there is not much of interest.

Our pitch at Ashfield Farm

We set off for Duxford on the Thursday morning.  When we got there it was very busy with long queues, however we were soon inside.,
We worked our way round the museum, which contains not only planes, but all sorts of vehicles used in Land Warfare. the following pictures show much of what we saw.  I have to say it is a place really worth visiting.

We set off home on the Friday morning, and decided to take a cross country route rather than tackling the M25.
We got near Luton, when I had to stop at some uphill traffic lights. As I pulled away there was an almighty bang and clouds of black smoke. We limped across the junction, and pulled up! Hazards on, warning triangle out and we called Mayday!  We had visions of a ride home on the back of a lorry!

20 minutes later he was there and quickly diagnosed that the turbo hose had come adrift.  It was soon reattached and we were on our way, escorted for a couple of miles by the man from Mayday.    Soon we were through Oxford, and then we cut down to the M4, where we cruised at 60 and were soon home.

When we got home the end of our road was chaos as John and Linda had their caravan at home. So we unhitched, pushed the caravan on the drive and then had to do a lot of double parking!  Upset a few of our neighbours I should think!

Another excellent trip away!

Total nights away this year so far 144.

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