16th - 20th MAY 2023



Higson and Scooter came into the room full of excitement.

"Dad is planning a holiday and we have noticed that he has been looking up the Mallyan Spout Hotel in Goathland", said Scooter.

"That means we will be going for a day on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which I am a member", went on Higson. "Of course all the railway club will be there too."

"That will be good", cheered George. "Summer and I have not been on the NYMR."

Fred recalled, "the Mallyan Spout was where Uncle Gerry and my Dad stayed on the previous visit to the North Yorks Moors."

"Aye brother, happy times" replied Gladly.

Overhearing Dad came in saying, "we won't be staying at Mallyan Spout, as I cannot get the dates we want. However I have found Raithwaite Hall, between Sandsend and Whitby. It is rather like Armathwaite Hall. I've made the booking."

"Super", cheered Chuffer.

"Now you will just have to decide apart from the Railway Bears and Gladly and Fred, who else will be coming along", went on Dad.

"How many?", asked Fred. "You know that my Dad limited the number of us that could go to Armathwaite Hall."

"Say another four", replied Dad.

A few days before Dad received a phone call from Lucy to confirm he was coming. During this he mentioned that a group of us were coming too. She said, "you must let us see them."

Good we thought!


Tuesday 16th May - Journey, arrival and Daniel and Kent explore the grounds

While Dad packed his luggage, we sat in the kitchen chatting excitedly, prior to setting off. Gladly and Fred on the chair

and the rest of us in a circle on the table.

Soon Dad called out, "I'm ready."

"OK Uncle Gerry", said Higson, as we hopped down and dashed out to the car.

"Have a great time pals", said Ralph, on behalf of the Hug who were staying at home.

"Have you anything planned?", asked Dunstan.

"Shh, that's for us to know but not Dad", replied Craig.

Dad programmed the Satnav and off we went to the M6 and then north. "We leave the motorway at junction 38, so I plan to stop at the services for some lunch", said Dad. This was beef chilli with rice and a mug of tea.

The rest of the journey was good, along the A66 with grand scenery over Stainmore, then A19 and other A and B roads finally to Sandsend and in the direction of Whitby to go right into the extensive grounds and the hotel.

"Higson, you must come and check in with me."

Lucy was on reception and seeing him she remembered Dad. Scooter came in shortly after when Dad went to get his debit card to pay.

Both of us were fussed.

We settled in the room immediately taking over the chair! Fred said laughing, "through us you have already made your mark here Uncle Gerry."

"So as not to waste the rest of the day, I am going to explore the gardens. Does any of you want to come?"

"Me and Daniel", called out Kent.

Down to reception it was then through the conservatory and onto the terrace.

"Oh how lovely", called out Daniel as we looked over the gardens.

Scampering down the steps we headed towards the gazebo. "That is beautiful", exclaimed Daniel.

"There's a seat. Please take our picture Dad", said Kent, who is on the left.

Walking on up the path we had this fine view of the hotel.

"Where is our room?", asked Daniel.

In the right hand block at the far end overlooking the orchard to the right", replied Dad.

Just ahead there was a large bed of bluebells in their full glory. "We must have our picture by them", insisted Kent.

At the top we came to a wide path that right crossed a bridge by the lake on the left. "Beautiful and near perfect reflections too", said Kent. "What a wonderful place we have come to stay at."

Daniel said, "Dad I noticed a sign that indicates there is a path round the lake. Can we explore?"

"Of course lads."

At the far end another bridge allowed us to get to the return path.

Initially the path was a bit muddy so we walked on the verge to keep out paws clean. There were more nice views of the lake like this.

"What are those lovely flowers?", asked Daniel.

"Rhododendrons", replied Dad. "As well as here there is a huge bank of them above the garden where the gazebo is. It is just a bit early. By June they will be all in flower and will be quite a sight to behold."

Reaching the bridge again, Kent said, "I guess we take the path ahead in this side."

"Those flowers by the path are pretty. Take a picture please, Dad", said Daniel.

So after our exertions, it was time to relax on the terrace.

For some minutes a bird was singing its heart out. We just sat quietly listening to the wonderful song. Then, back to the room to tell our pals about our adventure.


Wednesday 17th May - Railway Bears day on North Yorkshire Moors Railway

This is the subject of a separate story, but Higson says "here is a taster picture showing our train arriving at Pickering station, prior to our return journey." NYMR


Thursday 18th May - Fred, Gladly, Norfolk Shades and Ryan visit Goathland

We were up early and had our breakfast. "So glad you and your pals had such a good day on the NYMR, Higgy", said Ryan.

"Yes it was super, but there was just one thing missing. My Dad."

"We all miss him every single day", went on Fred.

"So true Fred", agreed Dad. "I miss Brian so much. Hearing his voice. Making me laugh. But we all have so many memories. I am sure he is with us in spirit on this holiday."

"So what is the plan today?", asked Gladly.

"You Fred, Ryan and Norfolk Shades. It is your day out and we are going to Goathland", replied Dad.

"You mean Aidensfield, Uncle Gerry" , stated Fred.

"Whatever are you on about?" asked Norfolk Shades.

"Well back in the 1990s there was a TV series called Heartbeat. A police drama set in the 1960s. It was filmed at Goathland as the fictional village of Aidensfield", replied Fred.

So, off we went, through Whitby and across the moors to drop down to the village. "One of the plans is to visit Mallyan Spout waterfall, so initially we'll park at the far end of the village", said Dad.

Walking down the hill, Ryan said, "how about taking those nice cottages to get the story properly underway."

As he was doing this we saw an emergency vehicle go speeding up the road in front. "I wonder what that's about?", mused Fred.

We were to find out later.

To the left stands the Mallyan Spout Hotel.

Gladly said, "that's where we stayed with Uncle Brian We had two holidays in 2010 and 2011. I recall our room was at the front overlooking the church, where the clock strikes every quarter hour."

"And all through the night", sighed Fred.

That indeed was our next objective today. St Mary's Church.

"I've done a Grizzly", said Ryan, "and gathered bit of information about the church. There has been a place of worship here in Goathland since AD 1117. Henry I by Royal Charter granted Osmund the Priest and his fraternity a place to lodge and entertain the poor, for the soul of Queen Matilda and her heirs. Osmund founded a hermitage that was known as St Mary's. The original hermitage appears to have stood at place now called the Abbot's house about a mile from the present church. The building we see across the road, dates from 1894."

"Thank you", said Fred. "Let's go inside now."

Pointing Ryan said, "the font has been in use for at least 1,000 years."

"That window is quite beautiful", pointed Norfolk Shades.

"Installed to celebrate the Millennium, and referencing the sheep farming, and the figure is Jesus Christ as shepherd", said Gladly.

Adjacent is this window. Peering Fred said, "that celebrates 900 years of ministry in the village. I suppose the figure of a priest represents Osmund. The other figures represent different stages of history. Soldiers on horseback, a trader with a packhorse and a modern day walker, like you Uncle Gerry."

Walking down to the chancel we then sat for our picture -

l-r Fred, Norfolk Shades, Ryan and Gladly

We had heard the door open and close, and two couples had walked up the aisle. One lady said, "I'm glad that there is someone as mad as me." She went on "I collect animals as reminders of places visited, such as sheep, rhino, gorilla etc. I bought a sheep today from the village shop."

Dad explained about his collecting and how long he had been doing it and the size of the Hug. There was a murmur of surprise when he said that there are nearly 600 in the Hug. He also explained that Gladly was the first bear and that Fred was Brian's special bear.

"I must take your picture with Fred and Gladly, if that is OK, to show the grandchildren."

"Of course."

Leaving the church Ryan asked, "where now?"

"To visit Mallyan Spout waterfall" replied Dad.

Access to the path is through a gate adjacent to the hotel. It descends steadily for some way down into the valley.

At the bottom paths go left and right beside pretty West Beck.

The sign for the waterfall pointed left. The path being a bit of a scramble at times over and round big rocks to reach Mallyan Spout that drops vertically some 70 ft, into a pool and then into West Beck."

"Wow", said Norfolk Shades. "Take our picture Dad."

We met three lady walkers. They were taking pictures and Dad said, "do you want me to take one of you all."

"Yes please."

The conversation went on Dad telling them where we live. One lady said, "we live in Happy Valley."

"Oh I really enjoyed that TV series starring Sarah Lancashire", replied Dad.

Making our way back, Gladly suddenly pointed saying, "look there's a money tree."

"If only money did grow on trees", sighed Ryan.

"Well the one in our garden at home has definitely died", laughed Dad.

We said goodbye to the ladies at the path junction, they were continuing along the valley. We made the climb to the village, and headed back to the car.

"There's a post box", said Fred. "We ought to take a picture for our pal Little Eric, for his collection." Then showing off his knowledge, "it dates from the reign of King George V."

"What is that walled enclosure", pointed Norfolk Shades.

"I know", replied Gladly. "It is a pinfold. If a sheep, for instance, was found wandering and the owner is not known, it would be put in the pinfold. When the owner came to claim the animal, he had to pay a fee. It is the origin of the saying 'pin money'."

We went to look at the inscribed stones either side of the entrance. To the left it reads -


"Ryan pointed, "in the bottom right corner is 'Wigglesworth, Sleights. I suppose he was the stonemason."

And to the right -


ON THE 6th DAY OF MAY 1935

"Interesting", said Norfolk Shades. "I have learnt something new today."

So, what now Uncle Gerry?", asked Fred.

"I thought we could go to the station. Take a few pictures that Higson might want to include in his story. There's a large car park just before the station."

From there we wandered down, Fred saying "The Goathland Hotel doubled as the Aidensfield Arms in the Heartbeat series."

I stayed there with your Dad" replied his Uncle Gerry. Looking it up later, he told us, "it was September 1993. Can't believe it was 30 years ago! We took Higson and Scooter on the NYMR. Higson became a member then. Also your Dad walked down to Mallyan Spout. Happy times."

On the platform is a trolley with old milk churns. "Will you take our picture, please?", asked Ryan.

While this was happening a school party who were having an educational tour of the station, we being asked what the milk churns were. We were spotted and the teacher asked their names, so Dad obliged. Lovely!

The dining train was standing in the station and we found out that it was delayed due to a fire, that was not NYMR's fault, near the track. "That explains the emergency vehicle we saw earlier", commented Ryan.

I'm going to have a snack in the cafe", said Dad.

One of the ladies serving had come up on the train from Pickering. She said, "I'm not sure, due to the fire, whether I'll get back."

After a while the matter was resolved. Services could resume. We had walked up to the road bridge, Dad took this of 5428 Eric Treacy, blowing off steam...

...and then departing...

We were told that the dining train was now only going to Levisham, where it would then return.

Quite soon the normal service for Pickering hauled by 92134 arrived.

Dad took this from the footbridge, and saw the lady from the cafe crossing. "Your train awaits", said Dad.

"Yes, lucky me", she replied.

"What an interesting time we have had here", said Gladly. "Thanks Dad, and I am sure that Higson will be pleased to include some of the pictures to enhance his story."

"The spirit of Heartbeat still lives on in the village", commented Norfolk Shades, pointing to the shop.

"And at the gift shop and post office", pointed Ryan.

"Better take the post box for Little Eric", said Gladly.

"Another dating from the reign of King George V", remarked Fred. Then looking across the road, "that was Bernie Scripps Garage in the series."

"Time to go home now?", asked Ryan.

"Yes lad. I plan to make it a circular drive across the moors and via Egton."

In places the gorse was quite magnificent, Norfolk shades saying, "that will be worth a picture Dad."

So a bit tired after all the activity, but very happy teddy bears, we settled in the room at Raithwaite, and told our other pals about our adventures.


Friday 19th May - Dad goes for walk on Sandsend Beach,

The weather forecast was for rain, and Dad had booked a full body massage for early afternoon.

Kent said, "we have been chatting and quite honestly we are all happy just to have a relaxing day."

"Quite" agreed Fred with a yawn.

Dad had a conversation with the concierge about the history of Raithwaite. Coming back to the room, he told us, "originally it was built by a man who had a steamship company. It then passed to another owner of a steamship company. Then his nurse, read mistress, owned it, before subsequently being a garden centre for a while, and finally a hotel."

"As a hotel the building must have changed a lot", mused Scooter.

"Yes lad, there is just a facade of the original house on the side of the building that incorporates our room. The rain has not materialised so I am going to have a look at this and walk onto the beach. Any of you want to come?"

There was silence, before Gladly said, "no we are happy just to relax in the room."

Walking up the slope at the side of the hotel, Dad could clearly see the red brick facade of the original building.

To the right of the picture the balcony on the right is our room.

He went along the drive to the main road turning left along the pavement, where these wildflowers made a pretty sight... he was looking for a path down to the beach.

The mist was down on the headland...

...but Sandsend village was clearly seen.

Soon then on the beach, he walked back with the harbour at Whitby in the distance.

A helicopter flew over.

After a further distance Dad judged where to leave the beach and climbed the path up to the road.

Across the road he then strolled back along the drive, passing the lodge and cottages.

Halfway along is The Hide that has pet friendly rooms and suites.

With a large lounge area.

Chatting to the concierge Tim, he told Dad that there was once a restaurant and bar here, but it was not financially viable, so guests have to go to the main hotel. There is a golf cart type service for those who do not want to walk.

The end of Dad's exploration, in the afternoon he had a lovely full body massage given by Hannah.

A final dinner with room service for us, arranged by Higson, then next morning it was time to leave for home. We can say that Dad and us had had a super time. We wish to say that so much of this was due to the staff who had been so kind, friendly and helpful. Thank you!

And we are pleased to say that Dad has booked to come and stay again in September.

On behalf of us all Higson says, "we can't wait, and amongst other days out for our pals, it will also mean that I and my railway bear pals will have another day on the NYMR."