England

Steam Trains and Penny Arcades – The Moors and Scarborough

Another full day in beautiful Yorkshire! The weather started off a bit grim, but perked up in the end.

The day’s activities started at Pickering Station, where we waited to catch the Steam train on the North Yorkshire Moor Railway.

20140408-084341.jpgNYMR is an 18 mile long, 6 station railway, that opened in 1836. It was declared ‘uneconomic’ in 1965 and was closed down. Two years later, the NYMR Preservation Society formed and after 8 years of fundraising and hard work, the line reopened. Currently, it’s used to run tourists up and down from Pickering to Whitby, through the beautiful moorland. It was a but misty, so visibility wasn’t that great, but the weather definitely added some atmosphere to the landscape.

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We had a quick lunch in Goathland, which brags one claim to fame; it was the filming location of a show called Heartbeat. Heartbeat was a procedural police show set in the 60’s which I remember watching a couple of times as a kid. Any and all props are out and about for the visitors to look at, and there are many knick-knack shops selling absolute tat. In additional to Heartbeat souveniers, there is also a variety of gollywogs for sale. I know the American audience will not know what those are…google them. There’s no way I was going to take a picture to post on the blog. Let’s just say, my former in-laws would have been delighted with one.

After lunch in a proper tea-shop, we drove down to Scarborough.

20140408-085337.jpg My sister has a delightful name for this sea-side town, ‘scabby Scarborough.’ With a population of ~50k, Scarborough is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire coast. It was formerly a grand spa town, the first of it’s kind on the UK coast. The Grand Hotel, which opened in 1867, was one of the largest in the world. It still sits on the cliff, overlooking the run-down arcades and crab shacks that line the sea-front. The majority of Scarborough sits on, or below, the poverty line except during the high season of summer where tourists flood to the sea front to push 2ps into the slot machines, eat candyfloss and shove money into the hands of merchants for tat they really don’t need. Maybe it was the weather, but my impression of Scarborough was a bit grim.

20140408-090702.jpgThe lighthouse was demolished in 1914 by the famous Scarborough Bombardment by the German warships Derrflinger, Von der Tann and Kolberg. These shipped peppered the town with 520 shells for 30 mins, damaging and destroying 200 buildings and killing 8 people. 14 years later, the town had raised enough money to rebuild and in 1931 the lighthouse was reopened.
We walked away from the arcades and fish and chip shops and continued up Marine drive, where the sun popped out for a visit.

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We are only human, for Christ’s sake, so we blew a small chunk of change in the penny arcades, as did a couple of grannies who appeared to be having a smashing time.

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20140408-091809.jpgWe left Scarborough while the sun was shining and drove through the moors to Rosedale and up a steep road to Chimney Bank. This is where we were knocked off our feet by the beautiful views.

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This is the landscape I identify with the homeland. This is Hobbiton. This is Narnia. This is my England.

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