Hi, I am Higson (Higgy to my pals), and as soon as we heard that Uncle Gerry was planning to go and visit the North Yorkshire Moors, I knew that my Railway Bear pals and I would be going along, as one day of the holiday would be spent on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, of which I am proud to be a member of 30 years.

While Uncle Gerry had breakfast in the dining room, ours was served in the room, making sure that we were well fortified, as it promised to be a long day. It was to be a Big Kid, as far as Uncle Gerry was concerned, and Bears outing.

Making sure to be ready I said, "have you all got your membership cards."

"Yes" replied Dale, "we are all prepared."

Setting off in good time Uncle Gerry drove into Whitby parking on the harbour, just a short walk from the station. As a member I am able to get a discounted ticket so I presented by membership card to the gentleman issuing the tickets.

"We must have our picture at each station we visit", insisted Summer, who like George was travelling the line for the first time.

l-r George, Dale & Chuffer

l-r Dunstan with Leander, Higson, Scooter & Summer

"We have to be on the other platform for our train", I said.

"Ok pal", replied Dunstan, as we jumped down from the seat.

As can be seen there were plenty of passengers waiting to travel.

Scooter remarked, "last time in we were here in 2011, there was just the opposite platform in use. The track had been removed from this one and flower beds planted. It is good to see that the track has been restored and there is the centre track for running round the engine."

Here is the picture taken on 5th October 2011 showing this.

Soon the train arrived and we scampered aboard. Dale said, "there is not enough room for us all to sit looking out of the window. I'm happy to sit on the seat."

"As am I" went on George. "Higgy you Scooter and Summer can sit looking out. We can swap over on the return trip."

l-r Higson, Summer & Scooter

As you can see we showed off our relevant membership cards, as did my other pals sitting on the seat.

l-r George, Dale with Leander, Chuffer & Dunstan

The first station stop was Grosmont, and here we are approaching the station.

Leander asked, "Higgy, can you tell me why we are being hauled by a diesel engine?"

"The section of line between Whitby and Grosmont is actually Network Rail. So their rules have to apply. Only certain of the steam locomotives are allowed to run on that section. There has been a failure of the steam locomotive today, so hence being diesel hauled."

"Ah I see. Thanks", replied Leander.

Just a minute later we were running into the platform at Grosmont.

To the right under the footbridge is the Network Rail line that runs to Middlesborough.

The onwards journey was so enjoyable through the beautiful countryside, stopping at the intermediate stations of Goathland and Levisham to arrive finally at the southern terminus, Pickering.

Scooter recalled, "when we visited in 2010 the station was still without it's overall roof. However by 2011 it had been reinstated.

"That's right", agreed Higgy. "My Dad and Uncle Gerry sponsored slates and their names, and Dale, Dunstan, Leander, Chuffer, Scooter and mine are up there too."

We wandered round, Dale saying, "a picture of the fire buckets would be nice."

"And of that old luggage that adds character to the scene", suggested George.

"We must have our picture here" said Summer. "Come on pals, let's sit on that seat."

l-r Dunstan, Dale. Higson, Scooter, Leander, Summer, Chuffer & George.

Uncle Gerry, "most of us have NYMR badges, but not George and Summer. Can we go to the shop and get one for each of them."

"For sure", lad.

This was quickly done.

Then Higgy said, "my membership is due for renewal at the end of the month. Can that be done in the shop?"

"I am sure it can", replied Uncle Gerry.

This too was soon done, and a few days later I received my new card in the post.

"Right lunchtime", said Uncle Gerry.

Yummy coronation chicken sandwich, tea and of course Yorkshire Curd Tart. Delicious!

After Dunstan said, "there is plenty of time to kill before our train, so how about we go and explore Pickering."

"Good idea", agreed Leander.

As we walked out of the station, we passed the beautifully tended War Memorial.

Along the street we passed the Kirk Theatre, where My Fair Lady was being performed.

"That was one of your Uncle Brian's favourite shows", said Dunstan.

"Yes" agreed Uncle Gerry. "He would have been great in the part of Professor Higgins, had he had the chance."

Along the street past the shops and finally up to the church of St Peter and St Paul.

The first church to stand on this site is believed to have been built in the Anglo Saxon era. The church was rebuilt c 1140 with significant additions in the following decades. In about 1200 drastic alterations were made due to the collapse of the tower, which until then had sat in the centre of the building. The tower was replaced but at the west end, on top of which the spire was later added. The chancel was enlarged in 1300 in order 'to accommodate the increasingly elaborate services at the time', resulting in the unusual situation that the east end of the church is wider than the nave. The last major structural alterations were carried out in the 15th century when the walls of the nave were raised and clerestory window added. It was on to these that church's wall paintings were painted.

They date from around 1450. This first depicts St Catherine.

Adjacent is this, depicting the beheading of St John the Baptist.

And on the opposite wall this of St. George.

"Wow", breathed Chuffer, "they are amazing."

"Incredible!", exclaimed Summer. "And to think they were painted nearly 600 years ago."

Having made our way to the station again, we waited for our train to arrive. "Great", I cheered, "we are to be steam hauled on the return, as far as Grosmont."

Chuffer said, "92134 is a 9F and one of the most powerful locomotives built."

"We are to ride the the LNER teak coach set", went on Dale, who was looking beyond the engine."

We scampered over the footbridge, and got settled in the carriage. and soon the whistle blew and off we went. To Levisham then on through beautiful Newtondale, to Goathland.

"This was where we started our previous journeys" I said, "when Dad and Uncle Gerry stayed in the village.

We did not alight today, but some of our pals were to visit the station tomorrow, and I am including some of the pictures, to add to my story.

The service we were on today, did not run tomorrow as the Pullman dining train operates. It was held up at Goathland due to a fire near the line.

It was hauled by 5428 Eric Treacy.

Finally it was safe for the train to proceed, and Dad got this shot of the station at Goathland, with passengers waiting for the normal service train for Pickering.

Looking at the picture, Leander commented, "I have to smile at the dog who is apparently fast asleep."

The train was hauled by 92134 seen here arriving at the station.

Back to today, it was onwards towards Grosmont, enjoying the wonderful scenery the countryside being fresh with the trees full in leaf.

As we approached Grosmont, where the locomotive works are we saw NER Q6 0-8-0 63395 in the sidings.

At Grosmont the service terminated, and Dad took the opportunity of snapping this of the NER teak coach set that we had ridden in.

"Time for our picture here", called out Dale.

"Ok then, get settled" said Uncle Gerry.

As can be seen we sat with our membership cards. So left to right - Dale (Wensleydale Railway), Dunstan (Aln Valley Railway), Summer (East Lancashire Railway), Chuffer (Embsay Railway), Higson (NYMR), Leander, Scooter (Bluebell Railway) and George.

Take a shot of the station, please", I asked.

"While we wait, I fancy a cuppa and a scone, at the cafe", said Dad.

We sat ourselves in the corner.

While Dad enjoyed his scone, we had mugs of Yorkshire tea (of course) and biscuits.

The service from Pickering arrived and as expected we were diesel hauled back to Whitby. On approach we passed under the magnificent Esk Viaduct.

And this view of the ruins of Whitby Abbey

What a super day", cheered George. "Thank you Higgy."

"You are welcome pal. So pleased you enjoyed your first visit here."

"Me too", said Summer. "How fortunate I was to be adopted at the East Lancashire Railway, so that I can enjoy such wonderful days like this."

So rather tired little teddy bears, it was back to Raithwaite Hall, where we told our other pals all about our day.