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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

345: 12 degrees

I'm in Golspie on the North East coast of Scotland, in the county of  Sutherland. It is 12 degrees Celsius, despite being the middle of Summer. What can I say, apart from Brrrr!
On the way here I stopped off in Yorkshire for a mini-holiday entitled "Yorkshire by Steam".  I first visited Yorkshire in 1967 and stayed there for two years at the Army Apprentices College at Penny Pot Lane, just outside Harrogate. In my formative years! Yorkshire is one of the larger English counties and is, or at least was, divided into three administrative regions called Ridings (West, North and East). I stayed in the Old Swan hotel in Harrogate. Its claim to fame, apart from now having hosted Des Buckley, was that Agatha Christie stayed (hid) there for 10 days in 1926.
The holiday included visits to York, to Whitby, and to the Bronte sisters' family home in Haworth. Here are a few photographs taken to mark the occasion.

Flowers at Harrogate railway station. A well-kept station.

Our tour guide holding forth on the history of York.
He also introduced us to the word "snickelway"
York minster. A minster is not the same thing as a cathedral, although York Minster is a cathedral as well as a minster. A minster is a church that was established during Anglo-Saxon times as a missionary teaching church, or a church attached to a monastery. A cathedral is the seat of a bishop (his seat, or throne, is called a cathedra). Maintenance and restoration of the minster is a never-ending task. It is built from a magnesian limestone and this type of stone only lasts a few hundred years before it has to be replaced. There was a static display with stone masons working on replacements. They are all hand-crafted.
A form of medieval punishment. The guilty person had their hands and head locked in position through the holes and the public was invited to throw rotting fruit and veg at them. This apparatus is called a pillory. Stocks are similar but are used for fastening the feet.
Whitby and its abbey
fishing nets or creels
I'm reminded of the pier at Sopot 2 weeks ago, although admission to this one is free!

The "raging" sea, off Whitby on Saturday





Halfway through the last century steam trains began to die out as faster, and cheaper, diesel trains came on-line (pun intended). Now however steam trains are enjoying a revival and there are many small branch lines in UK where enthusiastic volunteers have repaired/rebuilt/re-engineered steam locomotives and rolling stock. These non-British Rail lines are known as heritage railways and are hugely popular with holidaymakers - including me.

Two video clips to finish. One, a reading of the night mail train, a poem by W H Auden, and the other a song called "Young Girl" from Gary Pucket and the Union Gap. It was playing in night clubs in Harrogate in the late 60s and I remember it fondly.

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