Sunday, March 20, 2022

Mosaic Monday #170: Counting Down!

Twenty-five days until we fly to the UK!  Yay! Yippee!  Hurray!

So I better finish writing about our LAST trip to the UK, right?

In my December 19, 2021 post, I left off with our visit to East Riddlesden Hall.  A short drive from the Hall is the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, a unique 5-mile branch line railway set in the heart of West Yorkshire.  Heritage steam and diesel trains run through stunning Bronte Country, an area which straddles the West Yorkshire and East Lancashire Pennines in the North of England.   It was a broody, rainy day, and with the windswept land of heather and wild moors outside the train windows, it is hardly surprising that this region became the inspiration for the classic works of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne.   


I was fascinated by the switching station in the picture to the right.  If you look at the bottom left of the photo, you can see cables running from the switch house to the railroad track.  Inside the switch house are levers that are pulled or pushed, which move sections of the track, directing the train to one set of tracks or another!  I had never imagined it was such a simple AND manual process!

We purchased a ticket that allowed us to get off the train at various stops.  We began on the diesel train, which you can see in the picture below.  The various stations evoked bygone eras with signage and other features.

The 1970 film The Railway Children was filmed in various locations around West Yorkshire, including the Oakworth Station, one of the stops along the branch line.  Today, the Station contains a variety of film artifacts.  I was captivated to learn that Jenny Agutter played the oldest of the children - I know her from her role as Sister Julienne in Call the Midwife!

Above is the original poster for the film, signed by several cast members, including Jenny Agutter.  The poster is owned by Mr. Jim Shipley, former long-serving Station Master at Oakworth Station and who has compiled a book on the railway's behalf, entitled "The Making of The Railway Children".

While we waited for the steam train to arrive, we thoroughly explored the station, which had real coal fires in the men's and ladies' waiting rooms.  The ladies could enjoy the comfort of a proper toilet with a ceiling pull; the men had to go outside to a latrine with no roof at all.  For all the times I have had to stand in lines for the women's room, I felt a certain sense of satisfaction with this arrangement!

Below is a video of the steam train pulling into the station.  There is something so entrancing about the chug-chug-chug, the billowing smoke from the engine and the lonesome whistle heralding its arrival.

Spousal Unit has long been a fan of beers brewed by Timothy Taylor's.  Wouldn't you know that the Brewery was established in the center of Keighley in 1858, and the steam train serves Timothy Taylor's beers?  Spousal Unit and my father-in-law were in heaven!

Oxenhope is the terminus of the Railway in the shadow of the surrounding moors.  We had only 30 minutes to peruse two museums co-located with the station, which was not nearly enough time.  (In that time, the crew moves the engine from the "front" of the train to the "back", so that we can make the return journey.)  I had to take pictures of the signs for the Great Northern Railway; coincidentally, the Great Northern Railway built the depot that houses the museum where I volunteer once a week!  Not the same company, obviously!

One of the museums exclusively focused on vintage carriages.  Visitors could walk through some of them, and others were available for viewing from the outside only.  The museum had enabled this by building large viewing platforms at window level.  Most of the carriages had placards in the windows, listing the movies and/or TV programs that had utilized the carriage as a filming location.  The display at left gave just a few examples. (all pictures will enlarge if clicked on)

Below are close-ups of the side panels - you can see the names of programs (such as Peaky Blinders) that have featured these carriages!

Despite being dedicated to the restoration of carriages, the Vintage Carriages Trust also owns three Victorian locomotives.

The museum also had intriguing displays on other topics, such as Railway catering, and how it has changed over the years.  As I say, 30 minutes didn't begin to cover it; you could easily spend a half day just at the two museums at this stop!

I am grateful that railway enthusiasts have invested such passion in the preservation of history, to the benefit of us all.  Even one of the stations was an outstanding example of conservation.  At Ingrow West, the original station was so badly vandalized between closure in 1961 and re-opening in 1968, all that could be done was to keep the site tidy and use it as an unstaffed request stop.  Bradford Council and the Railway Preservation Society took the opportunity to improve the site by replacing the station building.  A suitable structure was found just across the Pennines at the disused Foulridge Railway Station near Colne, Lancashire.  The Victorian building had lain disused since the closure of Foulridge in the 1960s.  Here is how it looked when it was chosen as the replacement.

The structure was removed and rebuilt at Ingrow West; the unveiling took place on July 22, 1989.  Here is how it appears today!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
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  1. ...a place that I would like to visit, I just be happy watching BBC shows for now!

  2. An interesting, place.
    Would love to visit the Bronte Museum.
    Trains are fun. I have many fond memories of the trains rolling through
    my town when I was a little girl.
    Happy Spring!
    Thank you for hosting!

  3. Nice to watch the video of the train coming. :) Good to see people care about the old trains and keep it alive. :)

  4. Lovely pics. I'd like to see the place for myself.

  5. Glad to hear you are going to fly UK again. All these photos are great. The switch station is interesting.
    Thanks for hosting & have a great day!

  6. Hello Angie
    "Twenty-five days until we fly to the UK"
    That's less than a month! A lovely trip to look forward to.

    I've always enjoyed riding on the steam railways and we are quite fortunate to have them dotted around the UK. I do admire and thank all those that look after them.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a good week ahead.

    All the best Jan

  7. That was such a fun time and I know you'll have a blast on your upcoming trip too.

  8. Hi Angie
    Enjoy planning your upcoming trip to the UK! I love train rides too.
    When we visited Italy with our children we rode the trains all around the country...they were very efficient and comfortable. I'm trying to ride all the historical train routes here in Colorado. I still have a few more on my bucket list.

  9. I love old trains and train stations. Loved reading about your visit.


  10. Dear Angie –I was fascinated by the switching station, too. Thank you for the video. I was excited just hearing the sound, and still more when the steam train emerged. I like it that one part of railway history is preserved and conserved so nicely. You must be already happy for the next trip to the UK.


  11. Dear Angie,
    I'll only be in touch today, because we're already about to leave, so: I'm looking forward to your UK days with you!!!
    All the best and have a nice week :-)
    Hugs Traudeückblick-auf-den.html

  12. Reading like a journey in the past. With funny adventures, therefore I smile, it was wonderful. And I awaiting the next posts about UK with pleasure. Of course it's interesting to hear about the old switching station and the life. I believe, it wasn't a easy one.

    Thank you again for hosting, Angie.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  13. Dear Angie. Thanks for today's share of photos. Have a good week.


  14. And not a single picture of one of their beautiful birds!

  15. Hello Angie,
    I enjoy riding the old trains and seeing the old stations, it is nice they are so well cared for now. Your coming trip to the UK sounds wonderful, I am sure you are excited about your trip. Take care, have a happy new week!

  16. Great memories of the last trip to the UK, Angie. Look forward to the new snaps from this upcoming trip!

  17. That would be on our list if we visited that area. We are train crazy right now! I know you are excited about your trip! Enjoy your week!

  18. What a lovely outing and your YouTube video just perfect to bring in the extra sounds of the train as well. I'm in the UK at the moment the weather is warming up nicely for you, happy countdown!
    Wren x

  19. It is icky and sad that the Bronte sisters died from contaminated water - from a cemetery. Yikes! I just can't get over that.

  20. Railways have such history - so many stories, from romance to industry. What a great visit you had!

  21. Thanks for the continuing tour. Blogging is a great way to record. Which reminds me i havent blogged about our north west tour last year yet. The next month will fly for you and you will be on your way! Stay safe, have a great week and thankyou again for the link up.

  22. Thanks for the video. There is something precious about the sound of a train.

  23. I enjoyed the video, Angie.

    Your upcoming trip to the UK sounds exciting! Can't wait to see the photos!

    Happy Tuesday!

  24. trains, so very special to me!! we have a train station close to home, i can hear the train whistle when i am home working!! i enjoyed the video, the clouds looked like smoke from the train!!

  25. What a fun post! The train system in the UK is amazing and it's good to know that it's history is respected and memorialized. You had such a good time on that trip and how lovely to think of all you have to look forward to on your soon-to-be next visit..... By the way, it's very odd to think of Sister Julianne as a child! In Midwife, you can't even imagine Jenny Agutter as anyone other than the kind, calm, and serene "Sister Superior" that she plays!

  26. This is my kind of fun. I’m impressed with the switch levers, too. They look too skinny and delicate to make anything move. Toot, toot.

  27. Oh how wonderful that you are soon headed to England again. What a lovely thought that is for me. So nice that you have relatives to visit there. Hooray for the finding of the favorite beer!! Cheers!

  28. Safe travels.. would love to tag along! Your blog makes me want to return to the UK for another visit. I love Call the Midwife and found the Jenny Agutter fact fascinating! I need to rewatch the movie!

  29. Beautiful series of old England Angie, the holiday in a dream.

  30. Your traveling to the UK tells me that life is getting back to “normal” in many ways and I hope it stays that way for quite a while. Train memorabilia is some of the most fascinating in a land indelibly steeped in history and great movies.

  31. Hi Angie.

    I wonder if you are able to get UK Channel Five TV?

    Unlikely perhaps. We have been enjoying Jane McDonald visiting all the famous Yorkshire hangouts like Haworth, Hawes, Whitby, Scarborough and of course, Wakie.

    If your relatives can find it on catch-up TV, you would love it.

  32. Thank you for your travelogue in was a wonderful tour. Well, I can very well imagine how excited you are about your next trip. England is on my wish list... at least I've been to Ireland recently. Lots of joy to you...

  33. What a trip!! I love all things railroad, beer, and history.

  34. England will be another fantastic time for you. Thanks for the video, I enjoyed it. Take care and enjoy your countdown. :)

  35. That looked like a wonderful day out, there is something very special about steam trains.

  36. Hi Angie, I guess you are only about a week away from your trip now. There's so much to see and enjoy while there so I know you will have a wonderful time. I used to collect train memorabilia for my first born boy when he was little. Unfortunately, turns out I liked trains more than he did. Ha! The year after he went to college, traversed all over Colorado with both boys and we took the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge ... boy oh boy, was that a mess with the coal. We were right up front and had coal pieces in our hair and everywhere. Definitely won't be doing that again. But I am considering some train travel when I come to the States sometime in June or thereafter. Haven't seen my mom in 7 years (she fell and broke her wrist a few weeks ago) and haven't seen my boys in 4 years. :( Have a great trip. I know you'll have lots to share on your return. Take care.


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