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!