9th MAY 2011 to 13th MAY 2011


Railway Bear, Scooter member of the Bluebell Railway, was one afternoon quietly reading his latest copy of the Bluebell News, with his pal Dale, who is a member of the Wensleydale Railway.

Dale remarked, "progress is being made on clearing Imberhorne Cutting, but there is still a lot of money to raise, and they really need to do it before April 2012"

"You're right", agreed Scooter. "Dad was kind enough to send off a good donation, but I was wondering how to ask him if he will send some more."

"You want to ask Allen, he seems to have the knack of getting round Dad", replied Dale.

Just then Higson (usually known as Higgy), came rushing in. He called out excitedly, "Dad & Uncle Brian have just booked to go in May to the Mallyan Spout Hotel once again in Goathland, so I am sure that will mean we will get a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway."

"That's just great", replied Scooter. "It can't come soon enough.

"That means our pals Chuffer and Dunstan will be going and hopefully Leander who Dad adopted on the Fellsman steam special over the Settle-Carlisle", added Dale.

"Not forgetting of course Fred and Gladly, our Chief Hug Bears, as they always go", said Higgy.

That was all about a month before, but the days seemed to fly by and soon it was the weekend before departure.

"I am really excited about the trip on the railway", said Higgy. "I can't wait to see the new roof that has been installed on Pickering Station."

"Do you know which of our other pals are going?", asked Scooter.

"Well we are for sure", said Byron who had just strolled in with his pal Hamley. "I originally came from Whitby, so Dad had said I deserve a trip over there, and he agreed to take my pal too."

Just then Fred and Gladly walked in. "Right", said Fred, "as you have knowledge of the area, we will nominate you two to be the main narrators of the story that will be written when we get home."

"Ooh dear, I don't know much about writing", said Byron fearfully.

Allen, who with Tetley are the authors of STAG's stories, piped up, "don't worry pals, Dad will have written his diary, so you will have plenty of notes to fall back on, and if you are stuck he will help you out."

"I know you are right", replied Byron, "but we do not have your experience."


The journey to Goathland

Monday dawned, and there was a great bustle around the house as Dad and Uncle Brian completed their packing, after which Dad carried the cases etc out to the car.

"We will be going in about 15 minutes so you had better make sure you have got everything."

"OK", I replied. Then checking with the Railway Bears I said "have you all got your membership cards, especially you Higgy."

"Yes Byron", replied Higgy for them all.

So minutes later we dashed out and settled in Dad's new car, for the journey. Many of us had not been in it before, and we thought it very comfortable and luxurious.

"Which way are we going", asked Gladly.

"Not through the Yorkshire Dales as we did last year, but up on the A66, which will take us almost to the east coast. It is dual carriageway for much of its length, so it will be an easier drive", Dad replied.

Leaving home we headed north, and soon we were on the M6. As we climbed up more hills came into view and then suddenly there was a whole range of hills before us.

"What are those", asked Hamley.

"The Howgill Fells", Dad replied. "STAG and I have climbed them all, and that one over there is Linghaw, which was our last summit."

"Oh, don't start him off", said Fred yawning loudly and promptly nodding off.

At the village of Tebay we left the motorway and continued to pass through Kirkby Stephen.

As we approached, Leander said, "look, that bridge carries the Settle-Carlisle line. We can look forward to another trip on it in July."

"Can't wait", called out Chuffer.

A few miles beyond we joined the A66 turning east. The road climbed up reaching about 1500ft at its summit over Stainmore, and we could appreciate why it gets closed in the winter and why high sided vehicles are banned in extreme winds. Apart from a small section on the A1, this road was to take us past Stockton and Middlesborough, and then leaving it we came to the coast at Redcar. After winding through some residential streets, we drove along a road, with a very wide grass verge to the left, beyond which was a paved path above the beach. This is called The Stray, and along it was the Stray Cafe. Unsurprisingly Dad was hungry, so he pulled up outside. We had sensibly packed a picnic which we had sitting on a seat overlooking the sea.

Meanwhile Dad and Uncle Brian enjoyed sausages, bacon egg and chips, with a large mug of tea. This was followed by a fruit scone with butter for Uncle Brian and a large piece of chocolate tiffin for Dad. No surprise there!

Settled again in the car, I asked, "what was the cafe like?"

"Very nice and the food was good, Byron", replied Uncle Brian.

We now continued south along the coast through various places, including Saltburn and Sandsend to then bypass Whitby, and on to the road to Pickering, to soon turn and drop down to Goathland, passing through the village to the Mallyan Spout Hotel, situated opposite the church.

The sheep wander at will here, keeping the grass verges neatly trimmed, and at this time of year there are lambs too with their mothers.

Last year our room was at the front, but this time we had a room at the back. It was much bigger and besides two easy chairs, there was a settee too. No prizes for guessing who commandeered the settee!

Some of us need no introduction but for those who are not so familiar with us, we are from l-r -
Dunstan, with Leander sitting in front. Byron, Hamley, Fred, Gladly, Snowdrift & Ruswarp with Chuffer sitting in front.
On the front row are Railway Bears, Scooter, Higson & Dale.

Through the large window was a wonderful view over the neat gardens and fields to the Esk Valley and beyond. Dad and Uncle Brian concluded this was one of the best rooms in the hotel. It does not have a number on the door rather a name - Beck Hole - after the next village down in the valley. As you can see in the picture it was cloudy here in Goathland, while the sun was shining brightly on the opposite side of the valley.

After the journey, all any of us wanted to do was just rest. Dinner for Uncle Brian and Dad was booked for 19:30. Ruswarp, who was adopted here by Dad last year, had, like Fletcher does at Armathwaite Hall, arranged room service for us, so we enjoyed a lovely meal. The food here is quite superb, and in short the Mallyan Spout Hotel is a wonderful place to stay. It can be recommended without reservation.



Today was to be spent on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), so Dad and Uncle Brian were up early as were the Railway Bears who were to go along too. The rest of us decided to stay in bed and have a late breakfast. As you know, Higson is the member bear of this railway, so I will leave it to him to tell the tale of today.

"Thanks Byron", Higgy replied.

Today's trip was to be basically a repeat of last year and a very detailed account of that day is elsewhere on this site. So, today's account will be much shorter to avoid too much repeat. Mainly I want to highlight the feature of the newly restored overall roof at Pickering station, with a few other shots taken by Dad along the line.

Although the first train from Goathland to Whitby, does not depart until 09:45, we like to get to the station early and soak up the atmosphere. While Dad and Uncle Gerry went to get their tickets, we continued to the station platform, settling on the cart with the milk churns, as the other seats were wet from overnight showers.

Here and at all the stations on the line, and indeed at the other railways that my pals represent, we are full of admiration for the dedication of the volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain them for the benefit and pleasure of the many visitors. Looking across, was the pretty scene of some of the station flower beds and beyond the wall the steps that lead up to the moor above trees resplendent with spring blossom.

The coded ringing of a bell in the signal box, was followed by the clearing of the home signal, indicating the imminent arrival of our train. This soon ran into the station, hauled by diesel D5061.

"I hope that we will be steam hauled on our other journeys", said Leander, who was visiting for the first time.

On time we departed and headed north for the 20 minute run to Grosmont. Here indeed Leander got his wish as D5061 was replaced by LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 45407, originally built by Armstrong Whitworth in 1937. One of the so called Black 5's. Here 45407 can be seen on approach to couple with the carriages, with detached D5061 to the right.

Then the whistle sounded and we pulled out of Grosmont station, leaving NYMR metals and crossing on to the Network Rail metals of the Esk Valley line, to proceed through Sleights and Ruswarp stations and so into Whitby. The River Esk meanders and we crossed and recrossed it a number of times on the delightfully pretty journey. We were also pleased to see that Network Rail, had substantially renovated and painted Sleights station from its derelict looking state last year.

With modern trains having a driving cab at each end, there is only one line at Whitby station, flower beds having replaced where the second line once was. Thus there are no facilities to run the engine round. To comply with Network Rail's rules, everyone had to get off the train while it ran out to perform this manoeuvre. Adjacent to the station is a large car park and supermarket. This was once the site of additional platforms added by the North Eastern Railway in 1854, engine and goods sheds and sidings.

We reboarded the train and settled again on the table looking out of the window. At 11:00, the train pulled out running alongside the River Esk, wide here as it reaches its estuary. Through the road bridge Dad got this shot of the stark ruins of Whitby Abbey, that stand on a headland above the town.

"Wow that's a fantastic view", called out Leander. "What a super day I am having. Thanks for inviting me along pals."

"Your welcome", replied Higgy.

The first monastery was founded in 657 AD by the Anglo Saxon King of Northumbria, Oswy, as Streoneshalh (the older name for Whitby). He appointed Lady Hilda, abbess of Hartlepool Abbey, to be the founding abbess. It survived until about 870, when after successive raids by the Danes the area was laid waste. After the conquest of England in 1066, Reinfrid a soldier of William the Conqueror, became a monk and travelled to Streoneshalh, which was by then known as Prestebi or Hwitebi (the "white settlement" in Old Norse). He approached William de Percy who gave him the ruined monastery and two carucates of land, to start the new monastery that followed the Benedictine rule. This lasted until it was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. If you are wondering, a carucate was a Medieval unit of assessment for tax. It was based on the area a plough team of eight oxen could till in a single annual season (equivalent to 120 acres).

The journey to Pickering should have taken 40 minutes, but due to a passenger on the 11:00 from Pickering to Grosmont being taken ill, we were delayed and stood at Goathland for 45 minutes. There was nothing that could be done as the track is single line, so we just had to be patient. At least the train staff came through and gave regular updates concerning the delay. Finally we arrived and the train drew in under the magnificent new overall roof. We sat on a seat while Dad kindly took our picture.

l-r Dale, Higson, Dunstan, Chuffer, Leander & Scooter

We then climbed up on to the bridge, to see 45407 taking on water, prior to joining the front of the train to form the delayed 13:00 service to Grosmont.

By now we were all hungry. While we had our picnic on the station, Dad and Uncle Gerry went to the station buffet for lunch. We admired the wonderful new roof, and felt rather proud that Dad, Uncle Gerry, Chuffer, Dale, Dunstan, Scooter and my name, are inscribed on seven of the slates. Later Dad walked out of the station to take this external view for me.

We had been followed down by locomotive 76079, running light engine. This is a powerful former British Rail Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0, originally built in Horwich in 1957.

It stood in the station for quite a while, then when ready to depart let off steam, in a noise that reverberated round the station with some people, Dad included, putting their fingers in their ears. Uncle Gerry was just returning to the station and took this shot. The people immediately in front were about to be totally enveloped by the steam. A fine view too, of the interior of the roof. The new roof follows the design of the original constructed in 1845 and removed by British Rail in 1951, being replaced by canopies. So it is to be hoped that the new roof lasts at least as long.

After the noise had died down and we had removed our paws from our ears, Scooter said, "wow, that was quite deafening."

"Quite", replied Dale, "my ears are still ringing!"

Due to the delay all the services ran late for the rest of the day. Our return journey was to be on the 15:00 service, which actually departed about 15:40. Here it can be seen arriving headed by 80072. This is a former British Rail Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4T, built at Brighton in the mid 1950's.

Last year we took this train up to Grosmont before travelling back to Goathland, but due to the delay, my Dad asked, "if you don't mind Lads, I would prefer to get off at Goathland, as I am a bit tired now."

"No problem", I replied.

Chuffer added, " fine by me too. We have had an absolutely super day."

We sat a while longer on the platform before boarding the train making sure we were near the front, as the platform at Goathland is not long enough to accommodate the whole train.

As we sat waiting to depart, Dale said, "just look at the serpent design of the supports for that seat on the platform."

"Ooh yes. That is fascinating", enthused Leander.

So the whistle sounded and the train began to pull out of the station, Uncle Gerry taking this shot leaning out of the window.

We enjoyed the return trip stopping at Levisham, then on through beautiful Newtondale and interestingly stopping at the request halt, to pick up people who had been walking in the valley. Fifty minutes after leaving Pickering, the train pulled in to Goathland, our destination and the end of our day on the NYMR.

So, tired little Teddy Bears, we returned to the hotel, to tell our other pals all about our day. It had been quite magical, and we can tell you that we all slept very soundly. Dad and Uncle Gerry had, like us, enjoyed every minute.

"Back to you", Byron.

"Thanks", Higgy. "You sure had a good day."



As we looked out the early morning sun was shining brightly, its rays catching this beautifully balanced tree, that stands in the field just beyond the boundary of the hotel.

Today it was to be the turn of Ruswarp, Snowdrift, Hamley and I to go out for the day. The plan was to go to Runswick Bay, but first there was an errand that once again would involve the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

When our pals arrived back yesterday afternoon they told us all about their day, and during this Higgy remarked, "Uncle Gerry bought himself a t-shirt."

"Is it a special one?", asked Ruswarp

"Well, yes", Higgy replied. "Over the last two weeks up to last weekend there has been a special steam gala, to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Whitby to Pickering line. In recognition of this a run of just 175 of these special T-shirts were printed."

This morning Dad decided to wear his new t-shirt, and Uncle Brian liked it so much that he decided he would like one too.

"No problem", said Dad. "On the way out we can go to the station shop at Goathland and see if we can get one."

So in due course, after breakfast my pals and I settled in the car, and we drove to the station. Uncle Brian stayed in the car while Dad went to the shop. The lady assistant was most pleasant. She explained that they did not have the T-shirts here, only at Pickering and Grosmont. She immediately rang the shop in Grosmont, and it was confirmed that they had one the right size. The lady at Gromont even offered to put it on the next train, but Dad explained we were going in that direction so would call in to collect. When Dad told Uncle Brian he was very pleased. It is just a few miles down to Grosmont, and we were soon at the station, and Dad popped into the shop and completed the purchase. By chance too the timing was such that the 11.30 from Grosmont to Pickering was just about to depart. He took a few shots and we include this one below.

The business now concluded, we took the narrow road out that led to the main road at Sleights, and so on to bypass Whitby, and continue up the coast, along the road we had driven down on Monday, to turn right and follow the ever steepening narrow road to Runswick Bay. There is a cafe here, where Dad and Uncle Brian planned to have lunch, but as Dad found out when he went to investigate, this was some way down a very steep hill from the car park. Too much for Uncle Brian to walk, so Dad drove down and dropped him off, before returning to the car park. Between them they had little change, but Uncle Brian had given Dad a £2 coin to pay the fee. This was fine, except the machine did not accept such coins! So for the second time Dad had to walk down, get 2x £1 coins from Uncle Brian to pay the fee. As Dad sat down in the cafe, Uncle Brian commiserated with him.

"Never mind, the exercise was good for me!". Dad replied.

The cafe was a light airy establishment, that served lovely sandwiches that were accompanied by mugs of tea. After lunch we went and sat on a seat looking at the lovely view and pretty village, while Dad kindly took our picture.

l-r Byron, Hamley, Snowdrift & Ruswarp

The land rises steeply on all sides above the sea, and the pretty village clings to the hillside above the beach. The single storied building in the centre is the cafe. Uncle Brian is sitting on the seat in the left of the picture.

The bay is a large horseshoe with cliffs rising above the beach and rocky coastline, an imposing headland enclosing it on the right as we looked out to sea.

For a little while we sat with Uncle Brian, but it was actually quite cold and it started to rain, so it was decided to get to the shelter of the car. Dad took us with him as he climbed once again the steep hill. With us settled in the car, he then quickly drove down to pick Uncle Brian up. We then ambled back to Goathland. We had nevertheless enjoyed our trip out.

"As this is a joint effort, it's over to you now Hamley, to tell the tale of our final day"

"OK Byron", said Hamley.



The previous evening Dad and Uncle Gerry had discussed with much scrutinsing of maps, what they might do today. Eventually a plan was formed to take a tour across the moors and visit a village called Roseberry Abbey.

We were all having a lie in, but Uncle Gerry was up early and before breakfast walked to the paper shop to get Uncle Brian's Daily Telegraph. A pleasant stroll he told us in the spring sunshine, with the sheep and lambs browsing the verges. He told us too of what was an amusing incident, but perhaps an everyday happening here. As he came out of the hotel, he noticed a car stopped on the road, the driver walking away behind a sheep. The driver returned, laughing, and Uncle Gerry guessed he had had to stop and shoo a ewe and lamb off the road.

While Dad and Uncle Gerry were having breakfast there was some discussion amongst us, who should go along today.

I said, "Fred and Gladly must go, as they have not been out so far."

"OK", agreed Gladly, "but we want some company too."

Scooter said, "we Railway bears had such a good day out it is not fair for us to go."

Snowdrift then said, "Ruswarp and I enjoyed yesterday, but we want a rest, so I suggest you and Byron go along."

"That's kind", I replied.

So about 10:30 we settled in the car and set off through the village and on to the main road, to take the next left down over the moor to Grosmont, crossing the railway and on along the road ahead to Egton, here taking the left fork to Egton Bridge. Passed the station and continued under the bridge, to then go ahead at the junction on the road signed Rosedale 8 miles. The narrow road climbed steeply after crossing a dry ford, to pass over Egton Grange and on to Egton High Moor. The road, now unfenced, passed between the wild heather covered moorland, reaching its summit near the junction with the road to Glaisdale.

"I wouldn't like to get marooned up here", remarked Fred. "Unlike STAG I am not one for the outdoors."

Ever more steeply the road descended, crossing the narrow Hamer Bridge and on down to the pretty village of Rosedale Abbey, our destination. Splaying out from its green dominated by a huge sycamore,

are the lovely mellow stone houses, inn, shop/tearoom, school and church.

This, the parish church of St Mary & St Laurence, was built in 1839, from the stone of the small priory church and ruins of the once Rosedale Priory. Rosedale Priory was founded in 1154 and stood as a place of study and prayer until 1536, when it was destroyed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. All that now remains of the priory is a part of a turret staircase.

The current church is quite simple, but very pleasing and Dad and Uncle Gerry sat a while in here in quiet contemplation. This ancient stone chair was noted. We feel sure that this must date from the time of founding of the priory in the 12th century.

All that then remained before we continued on our journey, was for us to settle on the seat under the sycamore tree on the green, for our picture.

We were spotted by a couple who were passing, so Uncle Gerry chatted to them and explained about us and the sizeable Hug we belong to and of course about STAG. They love the Lake District, and for many years holidayed at Low Manesty close to the shore at the southern end of Derwentwater. They told Dad that they were going to stay in Keswick next month.

Setting off again we now drove the 10 miles to Castleton. The road climbed to over 1400ft at Rosedale Head, where there was a fantastic view back down the valley. Beside the road we saw two stone crosses one painted white, and a large standing stone. From the summit it descended steadily to the pretty village of Castleton, with its stone houses. From here we now drove along the valley of the River Esk, passing through further pretty villages with their stone houses, with names of Danby, Houlsyke, Lealholm & Glaisdale. During the drive we criss-crossed over and under the railway a number of times. Just through Glaisdale, this ancient packhorse bridge spans the River Esk.

It is known as 'Beggar's (or Lover's ) Bridge', built in 1619 by Thomas Ferris. Years previously he had been unable to meet his beloved Agnes due to floodwater, before leaving to earn his fortune at sea. When he returned a wealthy man he married Agnes, becoming mayor of Hull. He never forgot however his struggles at Glaisdale, and paid to have the bridge built, to prevent other couples from being parted.

So, the road led to Egton, where we turned right, then left to come again to Grosmont, where Dad and Uncle Gerry planned to have lunch at the station refreshment room. The problem was that there were no spaces in the car park. We drove to the other car park, to check on the charges, and as they did not have any change, hoping perhaps that it might be free for disabled badge holders, but this was not the case. Not having any change Dad suggested parking beyond the level crossing, but no parking was allowed. We drove on up the hill and turned round, trying the NYMR car park again, and blessedly a disabled space was free. It was £5 to park, but you did get a voucher for £1.50 off purchases in the cafe. Uncle Gerry dashed off to the shop to change a note, buying a small badge for our pal Leander to wear, to show that he had travelled on the railway. The fee paid, we then sat on the station. There were coaches parked by the station, which we discovered were a replacement bus service to Whitby, as NYMR trains were not running beyond Grosmont, due to engineering works on the Network Rail line.

"It's a good job you went on the railway on Tuesday", said Gladly, "otherwise you, Higgy and Co, would not have had such a good day."

"We would all have been disappointed", replied his Dad.

The 13:30 for Pickering was standing in the station, and we sat to watch it depart from platform 3, hauled by 80072.

Uncle Gerry remarked, "that's the locomotive that hauled our train from Pickering to Goathland, on Tuesday."

Time for lunch. We had brought a picnic so went and sat in a quiet corner of the station to have this, while watching what was going on. Dad and Uncle Gerry went to the refreshment room where they had a delicious sausage bun (3 sausages) and pots of tea. This was followed by a fruit scone with butter (Dad) and chocolate covered flapjack (Uncle Gerry). Both were scrumptious they said.

"Can we have our picture taken here", asked Fred.

"Of course", replied Uncle Gerry, promptly taking us across to the other platform where there were plenty of free seats.

l-r Byron, Fred, Hamley & Gladly

As we were having our picture taken we were noticed and commented on by a lady. She asked if we had names, Uncle Gerry obliging with the information. Looking at Fred and Gladly, she then said, "those two are twins."

Sat now with Dad, watching the 14.30 for Pickering depart hauled by 45428. A train from Pickering had recently arrived , hauled by 44767 'George Stephenson', which now ran round to the front, pausing to allow one of the crew to alight, heading for the refreshment room, soon to return with tea and what looked like a sausage or bacon bun.

A shower came on, so we dived for cover in the shop. Here Dad and Uncle Gerry each bought a NYMR baseball cap. They chatted to the lady in the shop (she was the lady, that yesterday, Uncle Gerry had bought Dad's t-shirt from). They said we were staying at Mallyan Spout, and she commented what a nice hotel it is, and how friendly are the staff.

It had been an exciting day, so we were now ready to return to the hotel and rest, and tell our other pals what we had seen.

Of course a story would not be complete, without a group photo. So this happy band of bears trooped out into the lovely gardens that surround the hotel,

and settled ourselves for our picture.

And that was it. We all slept soundly that night especially those of us who had been out today.



Dad and Uncle Gerry were up early, packed and the luggage was put in the car before breakfast. We stayed in the room to have our final breakfast, then settled in the car for the journey home. We drove through heavy rain that was heading east.

"Seems we are going home at the right time", remarked Fred.

"It has been a great holiday, and we all say a big thank you", added Gladly.

"It's only four weeks until we go to Northumberland", went on Fred.

"This is the best home in all the world", said Byron.


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