Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Exmoor House, CC Site, Dulverton

So it is the beginning of December so it must be time to head for Dulverton to enjoy the 'Dulverton by Starlight Celebrations'.
The site, was very full, with two thirds of the occupants being motorhomers. We had opted for a fully serviced pitch, and in view of the weather I was rather glad. It was extremely cold and damp.
A fully serviced pitch is one that comes with electric, mains water, which we connect to the caravan, and a drain which we connect the caravan to. On Caravan Club sites there is an extra £3.00 a night charge.  Many commercial sites and ones abroad often provide them for free !
On our pitch at Exmoor House , Dulverton.

On the Saturday we did no more than go up into Dulverton, where there is a lovely range of small shops, where we wandered around doing some Christmas shopping It was very foggy, and cold

I went to the 8.00am service at Dulverton Parish Church on the Sunday.  Just after lunch we went up to the Dulverton by Starlight celebrations. Lots of stalls in the street, but surprisingly, apart from raffle tickets we did not spend much.  Enjoyed the atmosphere though.
Afterwards the fireworks were very good as usual!

Monday started very misty, but it cleared very quickly so we set off for Minehead, for a look round, even though it was very cold.

It was really foggy and cold on Tuesday so we spent time writing our Christmas cards.

We went for our traditional Christmas lunch on the Wednesday, and had an absolutely excellent meal!
If you are in the area it is well worth a visit.  www.woodsdulverton.co.uk

Neither of us were feeling particularly bright due to winter colds, so as the weather forecast was grim we decide to cut our time at Dulverton a couple of days short.
We cleared up in 2 hours, and were home a couple of hours later.

So ends our 2016 caravan exploits. 172 nights away in total.

Overshore CS, Upchurch, Kent

Well we set off for Upchurch in Kent, a distance of 157 miles. Virtually the whole route was motorway so we reached the site in exactly three hours, which is not bad as we were towing.
The site belongs to Tara, who is a friend of my cousin Lee.
The site is a 5 caravan CC, with a small commercial site next to it. It is on the edge of the River Medway, but you cannot see the water as high earth banks are in the way. Entrance is by way of a double width gate, so nice and easy. www.overshorecaravanparkupchurch.co.uk

On site.

We were soon set up, and Lee turned up to see us and to show her brand spanking new Pick up truck.

On the Friday Lee came down to see us and we went off to see her boys, (two Shetland ponies), before going back to her place for a takeaway Chinese supper.

Saturday was bright and sunny so we set off for the Romney,  Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. We headed for the brand new station at Dungness, where ther was a smart cafe that we could sit in and watch the trains arriving. It was their end of season steam gala, so the line was really busy. trains were arriving Double headed, pulling 14 coaches. They were then split into two trains, each of seven coaches. The first then left to run non stop back to Hythe, whilst the second train ran back to Hythe as a stopper.  www.rhdr.org.uk

There are two engines under that smoke and steam.
Second train ready to depart.

The Royal Coach on the end of the train.

On the Sunday it was very windy so we set off for Margate to see the rough seas. Margate, despite the regeneration work is still a very depressing place, with many places closed down.
We got to the front, and were disappointed that the seas were not as rough as we had hoped as the winds was blowing offshore.

Not as rough as we had hoped.
We drove on to Cliftonville and found a very old fashioned, and rather quaint cafe, where we had coffee.

We spent the next couple of days doing odd bits of shopping and visiting some of my old haunts.

On the Wednesday Lee collected us mid afternoon, and we went to visit her new offices and yard, which are inside the Historic Dockyard at Chatham.  The dockyard is a mixture of historic sites, residential and industrial units. Sounds a mishmash but it works well. We then went back to Lees for dinner.

I spent most of Thursday at Lee's house sitting,  as she was having a new conservatory built, and she had to go to meetings with work.

Friday morning saw me heading for Gillingham Parish Church. My mum and dad were married there in the late 1940's and I was christened there in the early 1950's.  I enjoyed looking round the church.

On Saturday we did some clearing up, ready for a departure on the Sunday. Lee collected us late in the afternoon and we set off for Sittingbourne Dogs.  Advertised as 'Kents Big Night Out' it turned out to be great fun.
Lee had arranged for a group of us to go. Dinner had been booked. The restaurant was in tiers, so as we sat having dinner we could watch the racing. Races happen every twenty minutes, so it is very busy. A man comes round and collects your bets before each race, and also pays your winnings. Yes we did make a small profit.
The whole evening was great fun, and we are looking forward to going again.

Lee and friends at the Dogs!

On the Sunday we left at 11.30 and were home before 3.00pm after an excellent week away!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Flying Scotsman returns. Burrs Country Park CC site.

Well we loaded up an set off for Burrs Country Park CC site for the return of the Flying Scotsman.
We were going up early as the site was going to be very busy and we wanted a decent pitch with a good view of the East Lancashire Railway.

When we arrived we were not able to get our favourite pitch, so we set up next to it.  We then went up to Robert and Kathys for dinner.

On the Wednesday we got our first view of the Flying Scotsman as she came down the line from Bury for a 'Gauging Test, on the new 'Burrs Country Park' station.

Flying Scotsman passing the site.

Later in the afternoon she came down the line again this time pulling the dining train. This was apparently a Deal or No Deal special.

The following morning The Flying Scotsman appeared again, and stopped at the Burrs Country Park Station, where various dignitaries performed the opening ceremony.

The new  station, with the caravan site in the background.

 The train then continued to Rawenstall, before then returning to Bury.  It then came past the site again at 11.00, 1.00, 3.00 and 5.00, each time pulling a fully loaded train.

Flying Scotsman steaming hard.

This timetable of trains at 9.00, 11.00, 1.00, 3.00, and 5.00 continued over the next three days , each time she passed pulling a fully loaded train.
Flying Scotsman at the new station.

Dining trains were also pulled by the Flying Scotsman on the Thursday and Friday evenings.

As well as the Flying Scotsman there were three other trains running, pulled by a variety of locomotives. One of the trains was a Diesel Multiple Unit.

City of Wells also put in an appearance.

Whilst at Bury we did not spend all our time watching the trains. We did find time to get to Bury Market, where too much money was spent!

Finally after a quiet but enjoyable week we returned home