Jan 052016
 
2015 - a stay at home year

Despite having over a dozen overseas places on my ‘must visit’ list, 2015 was a year in which I stayed on these shores, unless you count the Channel Islands as abroad. Although outside of the United Kingdom, I don’t regard our annual holiday in Herm as a trip overseas. Holidays Apart from a day trip to Llandudno in April, my first holiday was a repeat trip to the Outer Hebrides, this time on an organised rail and coach trip. The last time I was in the Hebrides, Sandra and I flew there and drove the length of the Isles from Barra to Stornaway. [Read more]

Aug 202014
 
Multiple Memories

I was born in an era of steam railways, but this era was soon to come to an end, and when I reached my teenage years, steam was rapidly being replaced by diesel. My favourite form of diesel engine was the diesel multiple unit, or DMU. I fondly recall riding through the Peak District in a DMU on the Sheffield to Manchester line. DMU’s are now becoming increasingly rare, but one place that has preserved several of these units is the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, which runs through central Derbyshire between Wirksworth in the north and Duffield in the south. This [Read more]

Sep 052013
 
Welsh Mega Steam 4

Welsh Mega Steam 4 was an eight-day holiday that I took between August 24th and 31st 2013 in which I toured the preserved railways of North and Central Wales. A group of 32 were on the trip, which was organised by Railtrail Tours, and was the fourth year they had run the trip. Staying in university accommodation, and using a coach to visit the various sites, the itinerary for the tour was as follows: Day 1 – Alfreton to Bangor via the Great Orme Tramway Day 2 – Lakes and mountains Day 3 – The long and the short Day 4 – Bangor to [Read more]

Jun 122013
 
A day I'll never forget

Saturday 8th June 2013 was the proudest day of my life and a day I will never forget. This was the day that my eldest son, Jamie, married his long-time girlfriend and fiancée Alice Hawkins. The day began with me and my wife Sandra collecting Jamie, and his brother and best-man Luke and taking them to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, where the ceremony was to take place. Meanwhile, Alice and her party were assembling at her home in Eastwood preparing for the big day. The bridal party travelled to the Railway Centre on a vintage London Routemaster bus [Read more]

Jan 302013
 
HS2 - what it means to the neighbourhood

While residents of the small town of Toton will be welcoming the announcement of a new station with high-speed connections to London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, communities north of the station will be wondering what effect the new High Speed 2 rail line will have on them. Immediately north of Toton, the M1 will be realigned for a distance of 1700 metres and a 950 metre viaduct constructed over the River Erewash flood plain, the Erewash Canal, Stanton Gate and the Erewash Valley railway line. Running mainly parallel to the M1 as the line snakes beyond Toton, the first villages [Read more]

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