An early start this morning - the 08:55 bus from Scarborough to Thornton-le-Dale. Very quiet onboard - barely any passengers. This I find strange - during the week, when the bus was retimed from 9am to 8.55, all the local OAPs went crazy, because it meant they couldn't use their bus passes, but on a Saturday, when there are no time restrictions, they all want a lie-in 'cos it's the weekend. Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely if you're retired every day is the weekend?
But anyway, enough of that - back to the main reason for this blog...
|Look - I've trimmed me beard! (Thornton Dale)|
Thornton Dale railway station (note the lack of "-le-". Presumably the North Eastern Railway thought it was a pretentious French-ism) closed to passengers in 1950, and is now owned by the Overbrook Caravan Park. The name is rather apt, as the platforms and track were built partially on a bridge directly over the stream that the village is famous for.
|The station bridge, over the brook|
From Thornton, I crossed two fords in quick succession - one over the proper stream, and then the other over the mill race. I then wound my way through a small woodland area, and then along back lanes to the edge of the village, where I had to briefly follow the main A170 for a short while.
The next village - Wilton - can be sensed long before it is reached. It stinks of cows, or, more specifically, cow turds. At first it's fairly rank, but after a while you get used to it though, and you don't notice it any more, although I noticed that nobody appeared to have hung their washing out...
Before the next photo, a quick explanatory note may be necessary, regarding station names. The station in Allerston, was never called Allerston. It was called Wilton - despite not being in Wilton - and is thus named on the big tile map. However, in 1903 it was renamed Ebberston - even though, again, it wasn't in Ebberston. That's Edwardian logic for you...
Whatever it was called - it has been restored as "Ebberston" (but purely for pedantic purposes I am tagging it as Wilton) and has track, and carriages in the platform which can be rented out for holidays. It's all very neatly kept, and even the weighbridge is neat and tidy. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be a station cat, but there was a chicken, which will have to do.
After this, the next village is Ebberston (Erk! My brain hurts!), which only ever had a crossing-keeper's cottage - now a house with a garden full of sheep - and then it's along the road to Snainton, which was opened as Snainton, remained as Snainton, and is nowadays called Snainton. Phew.
|Why so serious? (Snainton)|
Until recently, the building was used as a garage business, but recently they've moved next door into the old goods yard and converted the station into houses. Honestly I can't say it's the most exciting conversion I've ever seen, but at least they haven't done a Scalby and flattened the lot - at least they've left the big monkey-puzzle tree at the end of the platform...
|A relic from the stationmaster's garden?|
The final station of the day, thus completing the whole of the Forge Valley Line, is in Brompton, but Edwardian Logic (or perhaps Victorian?) comes to the fore once more. The station was always called Sawdon - after a village a few miles away, in the hills to the north. Is it any wonder the line closed due to low passenger numbers? Probably nobody knew where the hell they were!
The station here has been nicely restored as holiday cottages, and I can imagine them being very popular as Brompton is a very pretty village, with it's little streams gurgling along at the roadside, and chickens, ducks and geese milling about all over the place. There's also a very good butchers on the main street - Glave's - which sells excellent home made pies. As I had about twenty minutes to spare before catching the bus back home (and after walking for three hours, being quite hungry) I headed up to the shop. As I approached I could see the canopy was still unfurled, and the "Open" sign was waving gaily in the breeze. The lights were on, and there were people busying themselves inside...
|Quiff-tastic in |
But DISASTER! Saturday! Half-day closing! They closed at 12.30pm, and it was now 12.43!
13 minutes late for pastry-clad meaty goodness! Nooooo!