Saturday, 3 May 2014

Go East! La la la la laaaaa! Go East! La la la la laaaaa!... etc...

A quick morning jaunt down the coast today. Caught the 10:00 train from Scarborough. Nothing of note happened, apart from eating beef Hula-Hoops and reading part of a book about Paris. Got off at Bempton. 
I <3 NER mileposts :)
Bempton station has only got one track left through it, and the former northbound platform is gradually disappearing under a sea of brambles. The signalbox is long demolished, but the station building is nice and tidy - think it's a private house - and there's a half-milepost by the level crossing. 

There used to be some llamas in a field nearby, but they appear to have gone. Didn't go to the famous bird reserve on the cliffs, or into the village, as my OS map (a relatively clean one - the scabby one only goes as far east as Scarborough) sent me the other way. The road  doesn't have pavements, but it wasn't too busy - strangely the majority of the traffic appeared to be ice-cream vans, but not with their music on, so I don't know where they were going...

After a short while, I reached the former station at Flamborough - it was originally named Marton (and is indeed, actually in the village of Marton), but there was another Marton on the North Eastern network (in Cleveland I believe), so it was renamed after the village of Flamborough about 3 miles away. It makes me wonder if they published a warning in the timetable.
Flamborough (Marton)
But anyway, Flamborough has been closed since 1970, which I find odd, as it seems to be a relatively important place - especially in comparison with Bempton, which stayed open. Perhaps it's on a better bus route? The station buildings are just about visible from the level crossing, but are partially blocked by a row of bastard leylandii trees on one side, and a development of rather twee little houses at the other. Oh well, still better than flattening the whole lot, a la Scalby...

My route took me along the main road through the village of Marton, which is mainly dominated by a big maltings - "Muntons: Passionate About Malt" - but it was ugly, so I took a photo of a rather jolly sign by the duckpond instead. It was quite unnecessary today, as all the ducks were fast asleep. They didn't even wake up when I quacked at them (much to the amusement of a passing pensioner on a bike) - perhaps they were dead. Or made of plastic. (The ducks, that is, not the pensioner).

After a short while, I found myself in the suburbs of Bridlington, but architecturally it could've been anywhere in the country, from about 1960 onwards. My route took my through a housing estate - one of those ones with carefully designed curvy roads and paths, and lots of wide grass verges that are supposed to make it feel like some sort of glamorous utopian garden-city, but in reality just encourage people to take shortcuts and trample the daffodils. Oh well.

Actually quite pretty
Things improved after I passed back beneath the railway line, under a big brick skew-arched bridge, as the full expanse of Bridlington Bay lay before me, glittering in the late-morning sun. It was one of those lightbulb moments, and made me realise just why people actually go on holiday to Brid (a place I have always considered to be a bit of a dump). The white cliffs to the north positively glowed, the beach was virtually empty, and little boats bobbed about in the sea - which was actually remarkably blue, and made a nice change from the normal turd brown one expects.

I wandered along the promenade, past the usual seasidey things - crazy golf, bandstand, candy-floss stall - it was all there. It just needed a skinny bloke with a knotted hanky on his head, and a rosy cheeked buxom wife for the scene to be complete! I did, however, manage to spot was a bloke with a parrot on a lead, sitting on his shoulder, as I walked up Quay Road. Maybe he was an off duty pirate...

Rare survivors
Homeward Bound
I reached Brid station with 15 minutes to spare before the next train back north. Enough time to take the required photo, buy a slightly melting Twix from the vending machine, and have a look at the signalbox in the distance, from the end of the Scarborough platform (Platform 4)... 

Yes, that's right Platform 4. Despite the fact there's only three platforms. They're numbered 4, 5 & 6 - despite the fact that the others (the original 1, 2 & 3) were demolished about 30 years ago. The station was refurbished fairly recently - at least since Northern Rail took over anyway - and all the signs were replaced, but they still didn't bother renumbering the platforms. Brid is a strange place...

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