We recently spent an enjoyable day at the Beamish Museum https://www.beamish.org.uk/ ‘The Living Museum of the North’. It is a vast site and includes relocated buildings making up a small town, pit village, colliery, farm, railway station and much more, all connected by a tramway and other forms of period transport. What really brings it to life is the small army of staff and volunteers who clearly enjoy living out the lives of the characters they depict. It was school-trip season but that didn’t detract and it was good to see young people engaging with all that was on offer.
I am sure we will return on the annual pass offer (pay once and return as often as you like in the next twelve months). Hopefully one or two more blogs to follow shortly but in the meantime here are a few ‘Beamish People’. I couldn’t resist a bit of post shutter editing as these seemed to cry out for some monochrome treatment. I hope you agree.
The second day of our recent mini-break was spent at Grange-over-Sands.
We last visited Grange-over-Sands about 15 years ago and as expected, nothing has changed and we were pleased about that. The town has a sort of timeless charm and doesn’t need to change. That of course is spoken as a tourist; residents may or may not agree.
The only thing that should change is the name, Grange-over-Sands. It is a big misnomer and some have suggested it should change its name to Grange-over-Grass. Apparently the “over-Sands” suffix was added to Grange in the late 19th or early 20th century by the local vicar who was fed up with his post going to Grange in Borrowdale near Keswick. Since then, the river Kent has changed its course and the water (Morecambe Bay) and the sand is now a fair distance away. Instead of ‘Where’s Wally?’ it’s ‘Where’s the sand?’
There is a mile-long promenade but this is not a typical seaside resort promenade. This one is totally traffic-free and instead of shops and amusement arcades there are views across the bay on one side and informal gardens lovingly tended by local volunteers on the other side. We ‘Nordic-walked’ the whole length from the station and back with the gardens on one side and views over the bay to the other side.
The station building was designed mid-1860s and was tastefully restored to its former glory in the late 1990s. It is a delightful building. The light and shade through the glass canopy created this fascinating effect on the platform.
The train was about to leave for Manchester Airport, calling at such places as Carnforth, Lancaster, Preston, Wigan, Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly, all a far cry from sleepy little Grange.
Oh dear what can the matter be…?
What was the problem in the toilets which required hazard warning signs and hard hats? Clearly much more than just a dripping tap!
We have just returned home from a few days in the Carnforth area of Lancashire. Mid-way between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, it gave us an ideal opportunity to revisit some old haunts and discover some new ones. Having seen many photographs of the Ribblehead Viaduct I thought this was a good chance to have a shot at it. I had always imagined it to be in a very remote area and assumed photographers had yomped miles across moorland and bogs, carrying heavy photographic equipment, in order to get the perfect shot. Surely we would be the only people around for miles. How wrong could I be. The reality is that the viaduct is just off the B6255 between Ingleton and Hawes, complete with layby parking, tea stall and a good path to the viaduct and beyond. Another example of reality not quite living up to expectations. We just managed to get one of the remaining parking spots.
Even though not as quiet as we had expected we enjoyed the visit and marvelled at the skill of the engineers and workforce who built it back in the 1870s. 2500 workers were needed and most lived in temporary camps around the project. No CDM Regulations, no Health and Safety at Work legislation so it is no surprise that well over 100 workers lost their lives during the construction of this part of the railway line between Settle and Carlisle. It must have been very bleak during the winter months.
I really am disillusioned now! Mini buses and cars parked beneath it!
The viaduct is still in use and we saw several trains while we were there.
So much for yomping with heavy cameras! A few steps from the road with a mobile phone.
The weather was brighter when we returned home and this is the view from the other side.