26th SEPTEMBER 2021



Hi, my name is Summer.

I have been asked to write and narrate this story. I am honoured to do this again. When Dad and my pals visited in March 2020, I was adopted, and became a member of the Hug Railway Society. Shortly after that Covid-19 came along that has badly affected the humans. As a consequence much of society had to close down, and travel etc., was severely curtailed.

Dad however was wonderful to me, and arranged for me to become a full member of the East Lancashire Railway. So, I join my other pals in supporting a Heritage Railway.

Before we move on to the day in question, I thought it best that I re-introduce my Railway Bear pals and me.

From the left -

Chuffer - He was adopted on 14th February 1999, from the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway. Dad joined him as an official member in 2010.

Scooter - He is one of the very first bears in the Hug, being adopted on 11th June 1983. With Higson he is the joint Chair of the Hug Railway Society. He has been a member of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society since October 1991.

Summer - I was adopted on 15th March 2020 from the 80097 fund raising coach at Bury Station. I became a member of the East Lancashire Railway in April 2020.

Dunstan - He was adopted on 22nd August 1992, from Deborah Hamilton, who had initially rescued him in Northumberland. In 1995 the Aln Valley Railway Society was formed. This is dedicated to reopening the branch line between Alnwick and Alnmouth in Northumberland. It was in 1997 that Dunstan became a founder member of this society.

Dale - He was adopted in Hawes, North Yorkshire on 15th August 1997. In 2001 he joined the Wensleydale Railway Society. This is dedicated to reopening passenger services in Wensleydale. Currently these operate between Leeming Bar and Redmire.

Higson - He too is an early member of the Hug, being adopted on 2nd June 1985. With his best pal Scooter he is the other joint Chair of the Hug Railway Society. He has been a member of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway since late 1994.

You will see that they all wear badges. These represent the different railways they have travelled on over the years.

There is just one other Hug Railway Society member to introduce. This is Leander. He is not actually a member of a specific railway, having been adopted on 28th July 2010 on the Fellsman Steam special from Lancaster to Carlisle over the famous Settle-Carlisle line. That day the train was hauled by LMS Jubilee Class 5690 locomotive that is named Leander. Hence his name. This is an early picture hence the absence of badges. Now he has badges from the Bluebell Railway, North Yorkshire Moors and Wensleydale, following having travelled on these lines.

Well, all that done, here is the story.



Sunday dawned there was an air of excitement as we waited for Dad to be ready, then we dashed out to the car, calling goodbye to our pals.

Tetley who is a member of our intrepid walking group STAG, said, "have a good time and enjoy the day."

Last time Dad had used his Satnav to guide us to Bury, but the postcode information we thought applied to Bury, was incorrect and we nearly did not get there in time. So as we backed out of the drive Dad said, "I am using a route I know. This is mostly the route I use when I go to the concerts in Manchester. M6 then M61, and here instead of taking the M60 west, we will take the route east leaving at the first junction onto the A56."

"We trust you Dad", said Scooter. I am sure all will be well this time."

"Hopefully the railway will be signed once we get into Bury", I said.

Well this turned out not to be the case, but Dad had an idea that coming to a ring road we went right then took the second street left. There was no sign of the station, but spotting a gentleman on the pavement Dad stopped and asked the way. Directions were given and a couple of streets later there we were, turning left into the large car park, Dad finding a space.

"Great" cheered Higgy. "Here in good time." Then looking about he went on "I reckon Aunt Sheila and Uncle Paul will not be here yet, as we are early."

"I just have to pay the fee". said Dad. "It is only £1 on Sunday."

That done we scrambled out and made our way to the platform where a train was standing. "This must be ours", I said.

"Very luxurious", said Chuffer peering through the window.

"Let's have a group picture sitting on one of the seats", I said.

"Great idea", replied Leander.

We then made our way along to the front of the train to see which locomotive was hauling us today.

"Look Summer", called out Dunstan. "It is Standard 4 80097. That is the one that took 34 years to restore back to operation."

"And it was from the fund raising coach for 80097, that I was adopted, so it is super we are to be hauled by it", I replied.

Dad said, "I am going to take you all to the coach, as I want to tell the gentleman that you are now a member of the society."

So that is where we met Harry. Dad explained about me, and he thought it was a great idea for him to have joined me as a member. Dad then showed him the rest of my pals, explaining that they were members of different railways.

"You have certainly brightened my day", he said to Dad.

There was a customer who was wanting a bag to put some books he had bought in, and hearing what Dad had said, he replied, "that's mint!"

Harry said, "can I take a picture of Summer and her pals?"

"Of course" replied Dad.

So he went a set a table out on the platform with 80097 in the background and took the group picture and then one of just me.

"Thank you", said Harry, "this will make a good entry for our Facebook page."

He noted down the names of each of us and which Heritage railway we were members of.

"Wow", said Dale, "what a wonderful start to our visit."

By now Uncle Paul and Aunt Sheila had arrived, and coming over Dad told them what had been going on.

My pals and I posed again on the table with first Dad behind us......

...and then Uncle Paul and Aunt Sheila.

You might notice that I have got a sticker across my chest. This was given to me by Harry, and reads 'I'm supporting 80097'.

"Thank you", I told him.

By now it was time to be boarding the train, so we walked down to queue for instructions from the lady, where our seats were. Ironically they were in the coach at the front of the train, where we had just walked from.

Aunt Sheila, Uncle Paul and Dad got settled, then we settled ourselves on the table looking out of the window, where we were to stay for the duration of the journey.

At the station is this signal gantry.

The one second from left, was raised, telling the driver he was clear to go, and right on time at 13:00 we set off to Heywood that is the end of the line in that direction.

Stopping here, Higgy said, "the engine will run round, so we can return to Bury then continue on the rest of the journey."

The lady who had directed us to our seats, had come through the train and seen us, saying, "is it alright if I take a photograph for social media."

"Of course", said Dad, "they are not camera shy."

She did this while we were at Heywood.

Setting off the train gently took us back to Bury, where Harry was on the platform and gave us a thumbs up as we passed by. Then we continued non stop passing through Summerseat.

"That's how you got your name", said Chuffer.

"Yes pal", I replied.

Onwards we passed through Ramsbottom, and finally on to Rawtenstall. During this lunch was served. Starter of tomato and basil soup and then steak with roasted and boiled potatoes and vegetables and gravy.

We had brought a picnic of sandwiches, and delicious cakes made by Grizzly and Little Eric, who are our hug bakers.

"The Chorley cakes are delicious", said Scooter.

"As is the chocolate caramel shortbread", added Leander.

"Grizzly and Little Eric really are ace bakers", said Dunstan.

There was a longish stop at Rawtenstall, and while we decided to stay on the train and wave to people passing by, Dad, Uncle Paul and Aunt Sheila got off.

"Take some pictures please", I said.

This first is of the station buildings at Rawtenstall.

The gentleman leaning on the platform wall is the fireman from our train. He is waiting to switch the points once the locomotive has run to the end, so that it can change tracks to run round for the return journey.

Walking further up the platform Dad then took this nice shot of the two goods wagons.

In the previous picture the gentleman in the uniform talking to the fireman, is the station master, now seen here in conversation with the driver. The plate just above the buffer bar states that 80097 was built in 1954 in Brighton.

Plenty of people were milling about on the platform taking pictures and generally looking at the locomotive.

Dad said, "Paul, Sheila, let me take your picture by the engine."

Shortly 80097 was run round, and can be seen here coming on to the carriages.

The fireman then climbed down to hook the engine to the carriages and connect the vacuum brake, under the watchful eye of the train guard.

People were being allowed on the footplate, and Uncle Paul and Dad went on. While Uncle Paul talked with the driver and fireman, Dad took this of the fire burning at terrific heat in the firebox...

...and this of the gauges and controls in the cab.

"Thank you Dad for all the pictures you took, they have provided a great illustration of the time at Rawtenstall", I said.

So now it was time for the return trip to Bury. We had more of our picnic, while Dad, Uncle Paul and Aunt Sheila had dessert. This was a favourite of Dad's, blackberry crumble and custard!

"You love crumble", laughed Higgy.

"That I do, lad."

To finish there was either tea or coffee.

"That was a lovely meal", Dad told the waitress. "You have looked after us very well."

So soon we were running into Bury, where there were people sitting on the platform. One gentleman saw us and pointed as we passed by.

Scooter said, "we'll go back to the car now, but Summer you stay with Dad and walk round the station a bit."

"Ok pal."

I did and then went back to see Harry and chat, while Uncle Paul looked the the huge range of books for sale. He bought two. So taking out leave Harry said again, "you have brightened my day, and you can bring Summer anytime to the railway."

"Thanks" said Dad. "We have all had a super day."

So now goodbyes were said, and we relaxed in the car after our exciting day, while Dad drove us home. There we told our other Hug pals about our day.

I love you so much Dad!