Three Days in Yorkshire – 3: Middlesbrough
Over the Moors to Middlesbrough.
The third and final of our “Just Three Days”.
And so we come to the last of those wonderful three days in God’s Own County. Yorkshire. Middlesbrough. Sunday 2 October.
The sun is shining and it’s a glorious prospect for the trip over the Moors to see Diddley’s Yorkshire relatives and now Bobby’s friends.
We stayed at Ruswarp Hall.
A superb 400 year old Jacobean Hall close to Whitby. Yet in the country by the River Esk, with its own tiny railway station.
As you can see from the pictures I was in my element.
Down to the station for the 08.50 again. Third and last day of the NYMR’s Autumn Gala and consequently a train full of the trainspotters again. Trundling over numerous bridges, this surviving branch line hugs the Esk Valley – crisscrossing the river and eventually climbing up to Grosmont. The train emptied quickly with Bobby glued to the window. Torn between the plans for the day and another day living the steam dream. What lay ahead was just as exciting for a country lover. All part of the North Yorks Moors National Park. Try this to whet your appetite:
Just look at the station names. Glaisdale, Commondale, Kildale. All evoking the Yorkshire Moors and the valleys in between. Go in August and see the heather in purple glory. It’s hard to describe just how beautiful this railway line is. National Rail market it for its tourist qualities, but it is still a working line, especially nearing Middlesbrough. It’s also incredibly cheap with your senior railcard!
Pulling into Battersby, we have a terminus in the middle of nowhere. The driver walks down the platform, opens a box, does something important and gets in the driving cab at the opposite end that now becomes the front of the train. Round the triangle of lines and down through countryside that gradually levels out. Passed Roseberry Topping. Now a National Trust landmark. We love the name.
And finally into Middlesbrough.
In complete contrast. A mighty industrial town gradually slipping the bonds of the past. A city with magnificent buildings from a bygone age. When massive companies and factories once dominated the shores and skyline. Treasures from the past, like the world famous Transporter Bridge. A city needing to be reborn and seemingly heading in the right direction.
A city where the taxis are so cheap it’s hardly worth getting on the bus. Shelagh and Dennis showed true Yorkshire hospitality and roast dinner was the order of the day. Dennis, the brother of Diddley’s mother. Bobby and I are privileged to have met the Jarvis family through Diddley and are honoured to have them light this week’s candle to Diddley.
Too soon the taxi to the station arrived. About the same distance as Dorking station to Laurel Cottage. £2.50……………..
Middlesbrough to Darlington. Darlington, a reserved seat to Kings Cross. Sitting opposite two girls, Bobby couldn’t stop bumping their knees under the table. “I am really sorry” he said, as they laughed their heads off. They nearly choked when he asked “WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MY FRIEND?” pointing at the luggage rack. Hahahahaha.
They were Dutch, from Amsterdam. My appearance from the rucksack saved the day. So much so, that I spent the journey with them all the way to London.
A taxi back to Laurel Cottage from Dorking station. Just £17.50! With plans for Yorkshire next year. Whitby and the NYMR Spring Gala. Maybe York at Easter.
And finally here’s Middlesbrough’s famous son, Chris Rea to put you in the mood for Christmas.
I Don’t Believe It…….
Here’s my friend Amanda, National Trust warden extraordinaire. She has a friend Heather who raised £1,430 for the Royal British Legion crocheting 286 poppies.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
We are lighting a candle for “our Diane” (Diddley). Her mother, Betty, was born in Middlesbrough. She met Diane’s father when they were both serving in the navy and spent most of her future life down south, particularly the Cotswolds. And became known as Sarah. Diane, born in the Cotswolds, came to Yorkshire each year for the summer holidays. Put on a train in Gloucester, under the watchful eye of the guard, to meet Yorkshire Granny and Grandad at Darlington station. She loved those Yorkshire summers. In more recent times, her family’s love of those Whitby holidays made it possible for us to meet. Either at Whitby or here in Middlesbrough. And now Bobby is continuing the friendship, coming to see us whenever he comes to Yorkshire.
Her Uncle Dennis (who she always called Dentist) remembers taking her to the park on Sunday and buying ice creams. They didn’t stay too long as it was early opening time. For him, not her! I met Di when she was grown up and had her own family, when we stayed with Don and Sarah (her parents) and she would come for the weekends.
When she and Bob married, the family holidays in Whitby became a feature of summer. We would meet up for a few days in that lovely cottage overlooking the harbour and talk, and walk and shop. Watch the regatta and fireworks. Spoil the grandchildren and have fun. Di was always ready for anything. Then, in the evenings, we would sit looking out over the harbour, share a bottle and put the world to rights and all that. Di will always be remembered for her kindness, fun and all the happy times in Whitby.