Sunday, 25 October 2009

Steaming Forties

A very big hello to you all once more. Remember me?!

Hope you've all had a fabby week. We most certainly have, and have so much to tell and so much to show. After a veeeery long drive home yesterday we are happily ensconced back in the HenHouse, the Munchkin with his birthday Lego, Mr HH doing something with wood and a drill (as men do) and me, well I'm in the den, of course!

And from where have we returned? Why, from here...

We rented a cottage for the week, our very own piece of cottagey, railway heaven in the charming Yorkshire town of Pickering.

The cottage is situated right on the railway line, by which I mean the steam trains run about ten yards from the back wall of the house! Wowee, think Mr and Master Henhouse! I tell you, the boys are seriously in my debt following this holiday!

Can you just make out the building on the left of the photo above, behind the trees? They are the two original railway workers' cottages. We stayed in the one furthest away, number two. The cottage is right on the level crossing, right near the signal box. Yes, I did lose Mr HH to the signal box one afternoon, he even took his mug of tea.

Only minutes after we had arrived in radiant sunshine last Saturday, a steam train came through. The trains slow right down to allow the exchange of "tokens" (ensuring it is safe to carry on along the line).

The cottage is in a lovely, quiet rural area and the owners kindly loaned the Munchkin a bike on which he had oh so much fun! A tad safer than these London streets which are usually the norm for us.

And now, would you like to step back in time with us? Our main reason for travelling to North Yorkshire was to attend the "War on the Line" event, where the town of Pickering and of course, the railway, recreates a weekend in the year 1943.

But how to get to the station in these war-torn times? As we trundle on foot along the country lane to the town to do our weekly shop, the Army lads are kind enough to give us a lift in their jeep. Important to share petrol in these times of shortage.

The Munchkin is very excited to ride in a jeep, on his birthday too, so we take a photo for the record.

It is very busy in town.

We pause to buy our groceries from the van.

Mr HenHouse wants to buy his daily rag and the Munchkin is excited by the comic books in the news van.

Good job we brought the ration books along!

The Munchkin wants to ride back on the train. Off we go to the railway then...

The station is very busy. The wonderful singer Lola Lamour has come to boost morale and entertain the troops at the NAAFI.

Mr HH ponders returning by bicycle instead, to avoid the crowds....

...but there's only one method of travel on Master Munchkin's mind...

Particularly if he gets to spot the magnificent engine, Sir Nigel Gresley. Every 8 year old's dream in 1943.

So Mr HH relents and settles down with his pipe and his paper.

The Munchkin busies himself too.

We arrive at Grosmont at the Northern end of the line to a rather marvellous welcome.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend!


  1. Welcome back to you and your lovely family, Hen!
    It's really amazing the way you can spend a crazy historical weekend overthere! Thank you for sharing! Just steam?! Really anything more girlish for you?! Oh, naughty boys!

  2. Oh what fun it looks Hen! And you look gorgeous in your 40's gear - definitely your era!


  3. I am so envious! Great pictures.


  4. Oh Hen it looks like such a wonderful weekend, and dressing up too! It makes me remember our own 1940's day in Howarth in May.

  5. Welcome home Hen!

    Looks like you and your boys had a topper time up in Yorkshire! The photo of Munchkin on the Station Platform had me welling up, so evocative with the steam swirling and the train in the background, like the railway children when Bobby is wondering if her Daddy will get off the train..... (Pause to dab eyes, sniff thet's better!)

    Glad it was fun, lovely post,

    Sarah x

  6. Welcome home. Oooooh! Now I'm envious a week near a railway. You look absolutely lovely in the beautiful clothing. Is it yours or did you hire it?

  7. Hello Hen, It's lovely to know that you travelled so far for the weekend at Pickering, isn't it wonderful? As a Yorkshire lass it makes me very proud. Did you visit the Antique Center whilst you were there? It is run by the lovely Christina Vance and her team and well worth a visit. I live in the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales and don't get over as often as I would like since opening my pretty shop. We host our own 40s weekend in Leyburn in conjunction with the Wensleydale Railway and dinky 30s buses meet the trains to extend the service deep into the Dale. If you get chance to look I did a post about it on my blog on 16th August. It was fantastic, perhaps another year? Best wishes and glad you enjoyed Yorkshire, Karen

  8. Hi Hen
    welcome home, what a great holiday something for all of you, love your outfit.
    Have a great week

  9. Hen, you have got such a charming way to take us along on these fabulous trips back in time.

    Your photos are really perfect, and the pace at which you take us through the journey is just right.

    Thank you for letting us see how much fun you all had. xo

  10. Wow!! I've been to Pickering many times, we used to spend the whole 6 weeks holidays up there when we were kids, beautiful countryside. I've never heard of the war on the line before, it looked amazing! I shall have to watch out for it next year. Did you visit Eden Camp while you were up there? It's quite a place!

  11. all look amazing, Hen, especially your good self in the first picture! If someone had told me that your pictures were taken in the fourties I would believe them! x

  12. You really do make the most wonderful 1940's family. Very authentic clothing. The munchkin looks exceptionally adorable!

  13. Oh wow that looks like so much fun. Glad to hear you all had such a lovely time

  14. You all look fabulous!! Glad you had such a fun week ;-)

  15. Oh my goodness though boys must have been in heaven to be holidaying in a railway cottage right next to the railway line during a railway extravaganza weekend!
    Lisa x

  16. Wow...what a fantastic holiday. Glad you had such a lovely time, those photos are just brilliant.

    The Munchkin has a lovely cheeky little grin and he so looks so much part in his get up, but is that an Ipod wire I spot?? Lol.

    Sue xx

  17. Wow, just look at you all, you look so totally authentic, could have stepped right out of a period movie! Great photos.

  18. Definitely not a sneaky lead on the Muchkin - but the string on his gas mask box!
    Hen x

  19. It looks like you and your family had a wonderful time. Your pictures are lovely. As soon as my son saw the one of the train he asked me if we could ride on it, too. :)

  20. What a fantastic event! Don't you all look wonderful? Thanks for taking us along!

  21. Well by jove! What a ripping time you all did have! It looks like such a wonderful break. I have a picture of my Gran in a spookily similar outfit!

  22. welcome back Hen, Ive been thinking of you all week and hoping you've been having a lovely jolly, esp as the weather here has been dire this week. You and your family look amazing in your photos, I've lovd this post!
    Did you make it to RHB?? Oh I hope you did!
    A really funny thing happened...I had an email from a scottish friend of mine who was visiting relatives in Pickering last week, she mailed me all excited to say that she saw you and recognised you from your blog, but was too "star-struck" to say hello!!!! Famous you are Hen!!!!

    Can't wait to see more pics from your week
    Love Lucexx

  23. Oh what a lovely trip! I think Pickering is lovely! Did you visit Goathland? It is the Aidensfield village in Heartbeat! (I know a little late for you favourite era!)

    The photo's are wonderful!

  24. Hi Hen, wow, looks like you all had a fantastic time,
    and you all looked amazing!!!
    Photos are brilliant, especially like the one of The Munchkin in front of the train, he looks soo happy!!!
    Glad you had a good holiday, and that the weather stayed fine for you
    Linda O xx

  25. What jolly good fun it must be to dress in all those fabby vintage clothes!

  26. ...I know those lovely places so well....but not in 1940's style...glad you are enjoying my darling yorkshire...H

  27. That looks amazing! My dad would love that! The railway (we are all railway signal engineers in my family!) and the war! He would love it and it's his birthday now! Does this happen every year? Might be a nice birthday surprise for him next year!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Lots of Love

    Kelly xxx

  28. Glad to have our lovely Hen back again!
    What a glorious time you guys have had & the pictures are fab!!
    I loved the story Luce had about her friend recognising you...famous Hen!!!
    xo, Kali

  29. You all look wonderful. Looks like you all had a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Oh Hen, you look fabulous in your 40s get up! xx

  31. Hola, que lindo blog tienes me encantaron todas fotografías, muy bellas, te felicito Chany.-

  32. What a fantastic trip for you all, looks like everyone enjoyed themselves.

    Victoria xx

  33. wow what a great holiday! Your photo's are great, you all look so good in 1940's style. How cute is Muchkin? :) x

  34. Oh, what wonderful photos! These really made me smile! xx

  35. Hen that first picture is gorgeous - don't you look stunning!
    What a wonderful time you all seem to be having; a great way to spend a birthday. The Munchkin is such a happy little boy isn't he? - he will surely remember lovely times like this as being very special. Great pictures and fascinating to read. Nice to see you back -missed your colourful blog while you were gone!

  36. Fantastic post Hen, I love your family trips you always do such exciting things. You all looked totally FAB.
    Thanks for sharing. It always amazes me that you have the patience to downlaod all your fantastic pictures onto Blogger...fabulous for all of us but extremely time consuming for you, so thank you, it's very much appreciated.
    Have a lovely week,
    Jane. x

  37. Fantastic! what a brilliant time you chaps had! I love the pipe! Suzie. x

  38. What a beautiful and fun weekend! Love the idea and your family looked so glam!!!!!

  39. Hi Hen

    WOW! This is such a fabulous post. The photos are fantastic. The 3 of you certainly looked the part!
    You must have had such fun, I know would have loved it there.
    It looks like you had good weather too. Did you have time to miss The Den with all that fun?!
    Good to have you back!
    Isabelle x

  40. OmG... You look sooooooo nice !!!
    So fantastic pics :o)
    Many many lovely greetings,

  41. What fun you guys had and your photos look all the better for you being dressed the part. Lovely :-)

  42. That was wonderful! Ooo, I'm going to show my son when he gets home and he's going to be so jealous!

  43. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. We went on the NYMR last month and I was thinking at the time that the 'War' event would be right up your street.

  44. Hello there I was right when I guessed that you had gone to Pickering. It is a lovely area and we went on the train from Pickering to Whitby in the first week in September. It is a great railway line - I only live about 45 minutes from Pickering and my favourite part of the world is Whitby and the surrounding villages like Grosmont etc. I apologise for the tackiness of the shops in Goathland and totally agree - they could do so well with a vintage style shop or even retro but it is tat! Mind you we went to Mont St Micheal in France and the shops were an embarrassment to sell such rubbish in a beautiful place like that was such a surprise - I didnt realise that the French sold cheap tat as well!

  45. Reading that post was like a mini adventure back in time! I loved it! The photos are just wonderful and it looks like a fantastic holiday. I for one am very jealous!

  46. How wonderful to read your post on your trip to North Yorkshire. Mainly because that is where I live!!! We have just been to Whitby this weekend for the Halloween goth weekend when lots of people dress up in goth outfits - it was heaving!!! I also shop regularly in York and my husband was born in Scarborough! Bettys is a real treat too even for locals. We used to visit Goathland en route to the seaside but I agree that the tourist trivia has taken over and spoilt it. Did you manage to find Bobbins in Whitby and Sheepish on The Shambles in York? Both yarn shops.
    Anyhoo love your blog which I have just found via Do you mind if I knit blog (have seen the wristwarmers thers!) and I am addicted!! Thanks for sharing your fab photos - you all looked wonderful! Janet


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